The Rules of Suing the Government in New York
There are special rules for suing municipalities, state agencies and the state itself. Unlike other defendants, state and local government require notice of your claim. These strict notice requirements mean that you must act quickly if you are suing the state or a municipal corporation. What are these notice requirements?
When you have a claim against the State of New York or one of the state’s agencies, the case is heard in the New York State Court of Claims. A case against the State is started when you file a claim and a $50 filing fee with the Clerk of the Court. New York law requires that a copy of the claim also served be on the New York Attorney General. For most causes of action, the claim must be filed with the court within 90 days of the accrual of the cause of action. This includes those for:
- Intentional torts
- Wrongful death
When you sue a municipality or municipal corporation in New York, the lawsuit is filed in the Supreme Court or County Court. However, the municipal corporation must have notice of your claim before that lawsuit can be filed. That means filing a notice of claim with the municipal corporation itself within 90 days of the accrual of the cause of action.
Regardless of which governmental entity you are suing, you can ask the court for permission to file a late notice if you miss the filing date. However, it is not guaranteed that you will get that permission.