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History and Organization of Suffolk District Court

In New York State, a District Court has been established in the five western towns of Suffolk County, and in Nassau County. These state courts are separate from each other and are unrelated to the United States District Court.

The District Courts are the "local criminal court" and the "local civil court" for the municipalities they serve.

The Suffolk County District Court became operational in January 1964. Prior to its creation, each of the five western towns of the county (Babylon, Huntington, Smithtown, Islip and Brookhaven) had what would now be considered a town justice court (as the five eastern towns of Suffolk County still operate). The Uniform District Court Act transferred the authority of the five western town courts to the newly established District Court and provided for a courthouse in each of the five districts and a central location referred to as the First District.

First District Court encompasses the towns of Babylon, Brookhaven, Huntington, Islip, and Smithtown

Second District Court encompasses the town of Babylon

Third District Court encompasses the town of Huntington

Fourth District Court encompasses the town of Smithtown

Fifth District Court encompasses the town of Islip

Sixth District Court encompasses the town of Brookhaven

In 1993, that “central location” became the District Court Building of the Cohalan Court Complex in Central Islip (which also houses other state courts and county agencies). In Central Islip, judges hear criminal matters as a local criminal court, as provided in the Criminal Procedure Law (CPL). more info...

In 1998, First District Court Civil Division opened in Ronkonkoma, sharing the facility with Fifth District Court. In this courthouse, and the other four “outlying” courthouses, judges hear civil matters, small and commercial claims, landlord & tenant matters, and town ordinance offenses (which are prosecuted by the Town Attorney’s office in each of the towns). more info...

The Suffolk District Court now consists of 24 Judges and a support staff of 330 non-judicial state employees in six different facilities in five towns. In 2004, over 70,000 criminal cases, 58,000 civil filings, and 21,000 parking tickets were accepted, over 1,000 trials were heard, and more than $10,000.000 in fines, fees, and bail was received by the court.

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