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New York Court of Appeals

The New York Court of Appeals is the highest court in the New York Judiciary.  Unlike the other states the Supreme Court in New York is called the Court of Appeals.  It consists of a Chief Judge and six associate judges.[i]  They hold the office for a period of fourteen years.  At times, judges of the lower court (Supreme Court) are appointed temporarily as Court of Appeals judges.

A quorum is met with five judges.  Atleast four members must agree to issue a binding decision.  Seven is the maximum number of judges to hear any one case.

The court of appeals only reviews questions of law, and cases relating to death penalty.  Additionally, it reviews cases where the appellate division had entered a judgment based on finding of new facts.  In criminal cases apart from the death penalty cases, the Court of Appeals reviews cases from appellate divisions.  The jurisdictional limit is not determined based on the amount involved or claimed in the case or the status of the parties.

The court term commences in January of every year and stretches through the year in month to month sessions, except for July.  Primary elections cases are decided during August.[ii]

New York Courts Website:

[i] NY CLS Const Art VI, § 2

[ii] State of New Your Courts

Inside New York Court of Appeals