Duties & Responsibilities
Starting at 4:30 p.m. on the Mondays that court is in session, the Court Clerk is available for fine collection and to help those people who need assistance with paperwork for small claims and evictions. At 6:00 p.m. the court usually hears small claims, evictions, vehicle and traffic trials, and violation of probation hearings. Court hours begin at 7:00 p.m. The Court Clerk has seen a lot of changes since she began work in 1999. She went from processing all the paperwork by hand, to processing nearly everything on the court computer. In August of 2005, the court was moved from the small room in the basement of Town Hall to the "Old Gray Garage" that was once used for town Highway Department storage. The renovated building is located at 3668 State Route 3, right next to Town Hall.
Town Courts are known as the Local Criminal Court. The Court House is located at 3668 State Route 3, next to the Town Hall. Court is in session each Monday evening; the justices alternate every other Monday. The Justices are also on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and may be called to preside over an arraignment at any hour of the day or night, regardless of weather conditions.
After a person is elected to Town Justice, he/she must enroll and successfully complete the New York State Basic Training Course for Town Justices. This is a six-day course held near Albany, New York. Each year the justice remains in office, he/she is required to successfully complete 12 hours of advanced training. Justices preside over proceedings for violations of all the laws of the State of New York (Vehicle and Traffic, Penal, Environmental Conservation, Transportation, etc.), Clinton County Solid Waste Laws, Local Laws, e.g. Dog Control, Dangerous Dog Complaints, Local Building Code and Property Maintenance Code.
The justices preside over felony arraignments, felony preliminary hearings, jury trials for both Class "B" and "A" misdemeanors and civil matters, such as small claims, civil jury trials, and summary proceedings, e.g. an action to recover unpaid rent and/or the removal (eviction) of a tenant from rental property.
The Town Courts are much busier today than in the past. Years ago the caseload was about 85% vehicle and traffic. Over the years, the caseload has changed to less than 50% vehicle and traffic. The number of criminal and civil cases has increased more rapidly than vehicle and traffic.
3668 Route 3
Saranac, NY 12981
Office: (518) 293-8082
Monday starting at 4:30pm