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Civil Court Committee

The Civil Court Committee addresses issues pertaining to the New York City Civil Court. The Civil Court has jurisdiction in cases involving claims of up to $25,000. The Civil Court Committee focuses on all of the types of cases brought in Civil Court, except for landlord/tenant cases, which are addressed by the City Bar’s Housing Court Committee. Civil Court filings include the burgeoning number of consumer debt collection cases (over 210,000 in 2010), small claims cases (approximately 50,000 per year), and no-fault insurance cases.

Recent topics addressed by the Civil Court Committee include regulation of the process server industry and of debt buyers. The Committee develops memoranda on state and federal legislative proposals, in particular as they pertain to consumer debt collection. Committee members also help administer the Bronx CLARO Program, in collaboration with the Bronx County Bar Association, Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice, and Legal Services NYC Bronx. Bronx CLARO provides limited legal advice to unrepresented New Yorkers regarding consumer debt collection issues.


Recent Reports

Comments on Proposed Reforms Relating to Consumer Credit Cases (May 2014) ( PDF ) 
Subject area: Consumer Credit Cases

Comments on proposed amendment to adopt the use of forms for default applications in consumer debt cases (December 2013) 
( PDF ) 
Subject area: Consumer Debt

Comments on proposed rule making by the New York State Department of Financial Services regarding debt collection (October 2013) ( PDF ) 
Subject area: Debt Collection Practices

For the full list of committee reports click here


Of Interest

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Policy Recommendations for New York City's Next Mayor
(PDF)

The Legal Aid Society, MFY Legal Services, NEDAP, Urban Justice Center, Debt Deception: How Debt Buyers Abuse the Legal System to Prey on Lower-Income New Yorkers (May 2010)

District Council 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services, Where’s the Proof? When Debt Buyers are Asked to Substantiate Their Claims in Collection Lawsuits Against NYC Employees and Retirees, They Don’t (December 2009)

MFY Legal Services, Inc., Justice Disserved: A Preliminary Analysis of the Exceptionally Low Appearance Rate by Defendants in Lawsuits Filed in the Civil Court of the City of New York


Legislative Activity

For more information on the legislative and policy work of the committee, including relevant reports, bill texts and additional advocacy materials, click here.