Town Justice

Hon. Thomas A. Graham
Phone: 585-948-5835 ext. 106
TDD Number*: 1-800-662-1220

Hon. Randy T. Baker
Phone: 585-948-5835 ext. 107
TDD Number*: 1-800-662-1220

Court Clerk - Sandra Almeter
Phone: 585-948-5835 ext. 108
TDD Number*: 1-800-662-1220

*TDD is the Telecommunication Device for the Deaf or the New York relay number.

Monday & Wednesday 2:00pm-8:00pm Tuesday & Thursday 9:00am-2:00pm

Town of Oakfield/Elba/Alabama Court Hours

Town Justices are elected to four-year terms. Most towns have two judges that preside over their courts. Town Justices conduct arraignments on a 24 hour/7 days per week basis.

Town Courts are local courts with jurisdiction over all criminal and traffic matters arising within their borders. They have jurisdiction over civil matters up to $3,000.

Court General Email:

Justices are required to complete a basic school and annual training each year.
Town Courts deal with the following types of cases:

Alcohol Beverage Control Law
Navigational Law
Civil Practice Law & Rules
Parks & Recreation Law
Contract Law
Penal Law
Criminal Jury Trials
Personal & Property Torts
Criminal Procedure Law
Public Health Law
Domestic Relations Law
Real Property Actions & Proceedings Law
Environmental Conservation Law
Small Claims
Family Offenses (Spousal Abuse)
Tax Law
Local Laws & Ordinances
Thruway Law
Mental Hygiene Law
Transportation Law
Vehicle & Traffic Law

Justice Court Schedules
Every Monday at 6:00 pm (Except Monday Holidays)
1st Monday of the month is Disposition Sessions (with District Attorney Present)

Small Claims:
Mondays at 5:30 pm

Jury Trials:
As scheduled.

Small Claims
Parties can sue individuals in Small Claims cases in where amount in controversy does not exceed $3,000. The person being sued must reside in the Town of Oakfield, do business in the Town of Oakfield, or the contract was entered into in the Town of Oakfield. The party being sued can then file a counterclaim against the plaintiff. The counterclaim can be filed prior to the hearing date. However, the defendant can wait to file the counterclaim on the night of the small claims trial. If the defendant waits to file the counterclaim on the night of the trail, then the plaintiff is entitled to an adjournment to review and prepare to defend against the counterclaim. Anyone being sued in a small claims matter is entitled to a jury trial. Normally, small claims cases are conducted without an attorney. However, if a jury is requested, it is recommended that both parties have an attorney. A free pamphlet on Small Claims matters is available from the Town Court Clerk.
The cost is $10.00 for claims of $1,000 or less and $15.00 if the claim exceeds $1,000.

For a Guide to Filing a Small Claims in NYS City, Town and Village Courts, click below.
Guide to Small Claims

Civil Cases
Town Courts have regular civil jurisdiction of matters involving damages up to $3,000. These cases frequently involve parties that are represented by attorneys, since the regular rules of pleadings apply. These cases can involve discovery procedures, wherein the parties exchange information about the case to the opposing attorneys. The regular rules of evidence are enforced by the judge. Parties are entitled to both bench and jury trials.

Appeals from both the Small Claims and the regular Civil Cases are made to the Genesee County Court.

Landlord Tenant Cases
These cases normally involve actions by landlords against tenants for unpaid rent. In addition, landlords usually request that the court grant them a warrant of eviction, which permits a landlord to have Genesee County Sheriff Deputies remove the tenant from the premises if the tenant does not leave as directed. The landlord may also be entitled for a judgment for unpaid rent, attorneys fees, cost expenses, and interest on the debt. There are specific rules for service of the Summons and Petition, and there are time periods which must be taken into account, when seeking a court date. Representation by an attorney is not required, but may be recommended.
The cost is $20.00 for eviction proceedings.

For a Guide to Tenant Vacate Default Judgement Program, click below.
Tenant Vacate Default Judgement Program

For a Guide to Small Property Owner Nonpayment Petition Program, click below.
Small Property Owner Nonpayment Petition Program

For List of Frequently Asked Questions, Links and Resources, click below.
City, Town and Village Frequently Asked Questions

Links and Resources

Criminal Case Jurisdiction
Town Courts have original jurisdiction over any individual charged with any violation, misdemeanor, or felony matter, which occurred within its geographical area. Town Justices are the local magistrates, before which any individual charged with a crime must be brought for an arraignment. At an arraignment the accused is formally advised to the charges which have been filed against him or her.

In the case of a felony matter, such as a murder, robbery and burglary, the town justice must decide at the arraignment whether to release the defendant on their own recognizance, release under supervision or set bail. If the defendant has been convicted of two prior felonies, and is currently charged with a felony, the town justice must hold the defendant without bail. If the accused is not released, the town justice must hold a preliminary hearing within 120 hours of the defendants arrest or within 144 hours if a holiday or weekend intervenes during that time period. The preliminary hearing is conducted to determine if there is reasonable cause to believe a felony has been committed, the defendant is held over for action of the Genesee County Grand Jury. The court could also determine that the charges only raise to the level of a misdemeanor or that no violation of the law occurred.

In the case of a misdemeanor, such as DWI, Assault 3rd, Petit Larceny, or Criminal Contempt 2nd, the justice court has jurisdiction of the matter up through trial. The defendant is entitled to a bench or a jury trial. Jury Trials in justice court call for a six person jury, where a unanimous vote is required for conviction. If the defendant is convicted the court can sentence the defendant up to one year in the Genesee County Jail, probation or a conditional discharge.

In the case of a violation such as disorderly conduct, the defendant is entitled to a bench trial. If convicted the defendant can be sentenced up to 15 days in the Genesee County Jail.

Town Justices can also sentence people to probation or a conditional discharge. Sentences can also include fines and / or community service.

Vehicle and Traffic Matters
Some vehicle and traffic matters, such as speeding violations, are violations and not criminal matters. Nevertheless, they can involve fines and loss of driving privileges. Defendants are advised to consider consulting an attorney, when their license is in jeopardy of revocation.

Point System:

Violation Points
Speeding 1 to 10 mph over posted limit: 3

Speeding 11 to 20 mph over posted limit: 4

Speeding 21 to 30 mph over posted limit: 6

Speeding 31 to 40 mph over posted limit: 8

Speeding more than 40 mph over posted limit: 11

Cell Phone/Texting: 5

Reckless Driving: 5

Failure to stop for School Bus: 5

Following too Closely: 4

Inadequate Brakes: 4

Failure to Yield Right of Way: 3

Traffic Signal, Stop Sign or Yield Sign: 3

Improper Passing / Lane Change: 3

Leaving Accident Scene: Property / Animal: 3

Child Safety Restraint: 3

Any other moving violation: 2

Legal Representation; although you are not required to hire a lawyer to represent you in a traffic infraction matter; however, based on the infraction, it may be in your interest to do so.

In addition to fines on traffic infractions, the State of New York imposes a surcharge on moving violations and equipment violations in the amounts of $93.00 and $63.00, respectively. (Except for DWI, surcharge of $400)

The court does accept credit/debit cards for payment of any fines. Fines not paid by credit card must be paid by cash, cashier’s check (available at banks) or money order. NO Personal Checks Allowed.