Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about the Justice department. If the information you need is not addressed here, please contact us during our business hours.
The Court Office window is open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.; the Court can be reached by phone at (518) 783-2714 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and the Courts mailing address is: Justice Court, Public Safety Center; 312 Wolf Road, Latham, NY 12110-4814.
The Justice Court is open daily between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. You may appear in person or mail to the address above:
- Cash (in person)
- Money Order/Certified Check made payable to "Colonie Town Justice"
- Visa or MasterCard by Returning the attached Authorization Form in person or by mail
OR make payment:
Failure to pay on time, contact the Court, or appear may result in a Bench Warrant being issued for your arrest as well as forfeiture of any bail. Failure to pay your fine, surcharge or restitution within 60 days may cause the amount to be converted to a civil judgment against you and/or suspension of your New York State driving privilege.
Vehicle & Traffic Related Questions
Your ticket contains the information on how to answer the ticket. You must respond to the ticket to prevent a suspension of your driver license or driving privileges. For more information on answering your ticket download the Instructions for Vehicle & Traffic Application for Reduction of Charges.
A warrant can be issued for your arrest and your license can be suspended.
A supporting deposition is a document that has information about why the ticket was given, the time and location of the stop, and other information about what happened.
If you have misplaced or lost your summons, you may submit the Vehicle & Traffic Plea by Mail and submit it to the Court. This form may ONLY be used for Vehicle & Traffic Infractions.
For answers to other frequently asked questions involving vehicle and traffic matters and other license related questions including:
For information on Penalties visit Alcohol/Drug Related Traffic Offenses.
For Vehicle & Traffic Application for Reduction of Charges Instructions click here.
Criminal Related Questions
It’s important to appear on the date you have been given. On the first court date, the judge will explain the charges and you will be given a copy of them. If you do not have a lawyer, the judge will decide if you can have a lawyer free of charge. The issue of bail will be discussed.
A warrant will not stop until the person makes a personal appearance in court. The judge will make a decision about bail and/or jail after reviewing a variety of factors.
The Arresting Officer, Judge or Court Clerk will inform you if bail is required, the amount of your bail to be posted, and how it is to be posted. Bail is a form of security to be sure you return to court. In the event you fail to appear when directed, your bail is subject to forfeiture. Bail can't be returned until such time that the case is finished. Please note that if there is a conviction, there is a mandatory state surcharge on cash bail (3% of the amount).
In New York State, the court surcharge is mandatory and they cannot be waived (CPL 420.35). However, there is a provision which allows the time in which to pay the surcharge to be deferred (CPL 420.40). Upon request by the defendant, the surcharge can be converted to a civil judgment.
For answers to other frequently asked questions, or to download the Criminal Justice System Handbook.
Small Claims Related Questions
In order to file a small claims action in our Court, the person or entity you are suing resides, or has an office for the transaction of business or regular employment within the Town of Colonie. In other words, the address you provide the court must be located in the Town. You do need an exact address and the amount of your claim cannot exceed $3,000.
Once you have this information, you or, if you suffer from an illness or infirmity, someone on your behalf, must come to the Court to file a "statement of claim" at the Court Office. Claims may be filed Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
For more information you may pick up "A Guide to Small Claims Court in the NYS City, Town and Village Courts" at the Court office, or you may download the booklet online.
Additional frequently asked questions can be found here.
Landlord-Tenant Related Questions
A summary proceeding is a legal means for recovering possession of real property. A landlord or other person entitled to possession of real property can bring a summary proceeding to quickly remove an occupant and recover possession. The procedures for bringing a summary proceeding are found in Article 7 of the Real Property Actions & Proceedings Law (RPAPL). Other relevant provisions are found in the Real Property Law (RPL).
A summary proceeding must be brought in the Court of the municipality in which the property is located. (RPAPL § 701) Therefore in order to bring a summary proceeding to this Court, the property must be located in the Town of Colonie.
The parties to a summary proceeding are the petitioner (a landlord or other person entitled to possession of real property) and the respondent (the occupant of the real property). If the petitioner prevails, the court may issue a warrant of eviction that must be enforced by a sheriff.
You need to obtain the paperwork from a legal supply store or online. A small property owner can use the free and easy DIY(Do-It-Yourself) Form programs to make the court papers needed to start a nonpayment case, a licensee holdover case, or a squatter holdover case.
Find information about evictions (outside of New York City) for owners, landlords and tenants. Learn how to start and answer an eviction case here.
For additional frequently asked questions please visit the following link.
Court Records Related Questions
While the public has a common law right of access to court records, that right of access may be restricted by statute. The Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL") specifically exempts court records from disclosure. However, certain court records are available under other laws.
Upon a request and the payment of the fees allowed by law, the court will diligently search and supply copies of court records not restricted by statute. The request must reasonably describe the specific records sought and cannot simply be a request for general information or for the creation or compilation of records.
The fee for photocopies of records shall be 25 cents per page for photocopies. There is a search fee of $5.00 for every two-year consecutive search.
Submit a notarized request to the court indicating the specific conviction referenced, include as much information as possible to ensure the correct court case is provided, along with the $5.00 fee.