General Election: Civil Court Justices

The Civil Court of the City of New York handles lawsuits involving monetary claims for damages up to $25,000. For example, if a dry cleaner destroys $500 worth of your clothes, you can sue them in Civil Court to try to recoup the loss. Civil Court also presides over cases around housing, specifically landlord-tenant matters and maintenance of housing standards. Judges elected to Civil Court often are assigned to Criminal, Family, and Supreme Court instead of serving their term in Civil Court; so these judges have a lot of power for everyday Brooklynites. 

Civil Court judges are elected directly by the electorate to 10-year terms. There are 25 Civil Court justices in Brooklyn, and can be either count-wide or municipal specific. The Brooklyn Democratic Party leadership tends to limit competition for Civil Court seats and will only support one candidate per seat. The end result is that the ballot does not have real choice. 

Five judges will be elected in the current election for county-wide Civil Court seats, and three will be elected for municipal Civil Court seats. Only five judges will appear on the ballot for the Civil Court of New York for everyone. The additional three will only appear on the ballot in certain municipal districts (1, 7, and 8). These races are generally decided in the primary, but if you have a choice on your ballot, we recommend voting for the judges who are running as Democrats.

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