Check to make sure your case is on the calendar, posted in the courthouse. You will need your index number to find the case on the calendar.
At the call of the calendar in the courtroom, identify yourself. If all parties are present, the Judge will probably request that you try to settle the case - a voluntary, binding agreement that resolves the differences between the parties to a lawsuit. It is put in writing in a document called a stipulation. In a settlement you can help determine the outcome of a case. However, no one can force you to settle a case. Also, no case should be settled unless and until the settlement has been reviewed by a Judge and you understand the terms of the agreement.
If you cannot settle the case, the Judge will have a hearing.
Generally, the landlord presents his or her case first. After being sworn as a witness, the landlord or the landlord’s managing agent will tell his or her version of the claims in the case. The landlord may offer certain documents into evidence. When the landlord or the person on the landlord’s behalf has finished testifying, the tenant has the right to ask questions. This is called cross-examination. Sometimes a Judge may ask some questions to clarify matters. Other witnesses can be presented in support of the landlord’s claims, and they, too can be cross-examined by the tenant or may be asked questions by the Judge.
The tenant will then be sworn as a witness and tell his or her side of the story and present evidence. When the tenant has finished testifying, the landlord has the right to cross-examine the tenant. Sometimes a Judge may ask some questions to clarify matters. Other witnesses can be presented in support of the tenant’s claims, and they, too, can be cross-examined by the landlord or may be asked questions by the Judge.
Parties to a lawsuit have a right to object to the introduction of evidence or the way a question is being asked or answered. The proper way to object is to say “objection.” The Judge may then ask what the basis for the objection is. If the Judge agrees with the objection, the Judge will say “sustained” and the evidence will not be admitted. If the Judge disagrees with the objection, the Judge will say “overruled” and the evidence will be admitted.
Family Court - Central Islip
400 Carleton Avenue
Central Islip, NY 11722
631-740-3800 - General Clerk
Family Court - Riverhead
Arthur M. Cromarty Court Complex
210 Center Drive, 2nd Floor
Riverhead, NY 11901
631-852-3905/06 General Clerk
Hon. Theresa Whelan
Deputy Chief Clerk
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. Family Court is closed on weekends and on holidays.
The Suffolk County Family Court is located in Central Islip, New York, and maintains a facility in Riverhead, New York. Case assignment is dependent upon the geographical location of the parties.
The Family Court was established in 1962 in each county of the State, as a successor to Children's Court. Individuals, attorneys, and agencies may initiate a proceeding in the Family Court with the filing of a petition. Petition forms are available through this website, or upon request from the General Clerk's Office.
Cases under the jurisdiction of Family Court.
Petitions may be filed in the Family Court to enforce or modify an order of another court including support, custody and visitation provisions of Supreme Court divorce judgements. However, divorce or separation matters are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and may not be filed in Family Court.
Child support and spousal support payments (other than "pay direct") are handled through the Child Support Enforcement Bureau (CSEB), an agency of New York State. Accounting questions including arrears, issues pertaining to the suspension of licenses(drivers', recreational or professional), income tax or lottery interceptions, restraint of assets, or Department of Taxation and Finance Tax warrant inquiries should be directed to CSEB.
Integrated Domestic Violence Parts (IDV) are under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and are under the "one judge, one family" precept, enabling members of a family to address Family Court, Criminal Court (District Court), and matrimonial issues before a single judge.
Family Court personnel will only provide procedural information, forms and/or guidelines concerning "how to proceed" in this court. Court personnel cannot provide you with legal advice.