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How Does the New York Court of Claims Work?

Located across 9 locations in New York, the Court of Claims serves as a state-wide trial court responsible for litigating claims of monetary damages against any New York state agency, board, or commission. The court of claims also serves as an exclusive forum for civil damages against other state public agencies such as the Olympic Regional Development Authority, the City University of New York, the New York State Thruway Authority, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Cooperation, the Olympic Regional Development Authority, and the New York State Power Authority.

The New York Court of Claims Act waives the state government’s sovereign immunity to liability and legal action. This law furnishes the Court of Claims with exclusive jurisdiction in civil claims where the defendant is the state government and not individual entities, county, city, or town government. Typically, the Court of Claims Judges has the power to provide relief to aggrieved claimants in the following case types:

  • Negligence resulting in personal injury, property damage, or both
  • Breach of contract cases
  • State appropriation claims
  • Wrongful imprisonment cases
  • Wrongful death cases
  • Intentional tort cases

Judges of the New York Court of Claims are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. These judges, 86 in number, stay in office for a period of 9 years, after which they may be re-appointed or replaced. To be qualified to serve as a Court of Claims Judge, a nominee must be an attorney admitted to practice law in New York and less than 70 years of age, the mandatory retirement age for all judges in New York.

Some Court of Claims Judges also serves as Acting Justices of the Supreme Court to curtail the large caseload borne by the Criminal Term of the New York Supreme Court. Generally speaking, the method of selecting Supreme Court judges and Court of Claims judges differ. While judges of the court of claims are appointed, Supreme Court judges maintain elected positions. As such, it is easier for legislators to vote and increase the number of Court of Claims Judges to match increases in pending criminal (felony) offenses.

Decisions of cases filed in the Court of Claims from early 2000 to the present are available via a searchable database featured on the court’s official website. Records of cases filed in the court of claims are not remotely available. Interested persons are required to visit or post mail to the Chief Clerk’s office in Albany. Before exploring any of the provided request options, It is wise to contact the clerk’s office beforehand to ascertain the local request guidelines and applicable search/copy fees. The physical, mailing, and contact information of the clerk is listed below:

Robert Abrams Building for Law & Justice

P. O. Box 7344

Capitol Station

Albany, NY 12224

Phone: (518) 432–3411


The locations of the 9 chambers of the Court of Claims where designated judges sit and hear cases include:

Albany County

Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice

P. O. Box 7344

Capitol Station

8th Floor

Albany, NY 12224–0344

Phone: (518) 432–3478

Saratoga Springs Court of Claims

65 South Broadway

Lincoln Baths Building

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Phone: (518) 432–3478

White Plains Court of Claims

140 Grand Street

9th Floor

White Plains, NY 10601

Phone: (518) 432–3478

New York City Court of Claims

26 Broadway, 10th Floor

New York, NY 10004

Phone: (518) 432–3478

Hauppauge Court of Claims

Veterans Memorial Highway

Suffolk State Office Building

Room 3B46

Hauppauge, NY 11788

Phone: (518) 432–3478

Fax: (631) 339–7223

Binghamton Court of Claims

State Office Building

44 Hawley Street

18th Floor

Binghamton, NY 13901–4418

Phone: (518) 432–3478

Rochester Court of Claims

144 Exchange Boulevard

Court Exchange Building

Rochester, NY 14614–2108

Phone: (518) 432–3478

Fax: (585) 987–4219

Syracuse Court of Claims

205 South Salina Street

Salina Place Building

2nd Floor

Syracuse, NY 13202

Phone: (518) 432–3478

Fax: (315) 466–7164

Utica Court of Claims

207 Genesee Street

State Office Building

Utica, NY 13501

Phone: (518) 432–3478

Fax: (315) 266–4363

Buffalo Court of Claims

130 South Elmwood Avenue

Suite 300

Buffalo, NY 14202

Phone: (518) 432–3478

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