New York Court of Appeals Decisions

The highest appellate court in the State of New York is known as the New York Court of Appeals. Founded in 1847, it is located in Albany. The Court holds jurisdiction over any type of appeal but generally may review only legal rather than factual issues. This focus on legal issues is intended to help the Court develop principles of law that will apply across the state, rather than resolving specific disputes. Its jurisdiction does not hinge on the amount of money at stake in a civil case or the types of parties involved. Most appeals must pass through the Appellate Division before reaching the Court of Appeals, but an appeal may go directly from the trial court to the Court of Appeals in a civil case in which the only disputed issue is the constitutionality of a law.

The New York Court of Appeals has featured some of the most famous legal minds in the nation, including eventual U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo. It has issued several controversial decisions in recent years, including a 2004 ruling that the state death penalty law was unconstitutional and a 2006 ruling that the state constitution does not require the recognition of same-sex marriage. Each decision by the Court of Appeals is binding on lower courts but only persuasive authority for future cases heard by the Court of Appeals.

A candidate to serve on the New York Court of Appeals must have been admitted to practice law for at least five years. Article Six, Section 20 of the New York Constitution provides this requirement. Seven judges serve on the Court, including a Chief Judge. While New York previously used elections to select judges, the state has shifted to a system in which the Governor of New York appoints a judge from a group of candidates. Each judge serves a 14-year term.

Browse Opinions From the New York Court of Appeals

Recent Decisions From the New York Court of Appeals
Chavez v. Occidental Chemical Corp  
Date: October 20, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 05839
Docket Number: 39

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals answered questions certified to it by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit regarding whether New York recognizes so-called American Pipe tolling of the statute of limitations for...

People v. Batticks  
Date: October 20, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 05840
Docket Number: 41

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Appellate Division affirming Defendant's conviction of second-degree assault, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in giving the jury a curative instruc...

Lynch v. City of New York  
Date: October 20, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 05841
Docket Number: 44

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals reversed the order of the Appellate Division and reinstated Supreme Court's judgment declaring that Defendants violated the second subdivision (h) of Administrative Code of the City of New York 13-21...

People v. Hardy  
Date: October 15, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 05803
Docket Number: 48

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals reversed Defendant's conviction of criminal contempt, as charged in an amended accusatory instrument, holding that the lower courts erred in permitting amendment of a clearly erroneous fact contained...

In re Miller  
Date: October 15, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 05804
Docket Number: 61

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals affirmed the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct that Petitioner, a Judge of the Family Court, Broome County, committed certain acts of misconduct and should be removed from off...

Matter of Zielinski v Venettozzi
Date: September 15, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 04905
Docket Number: 83 SSM 13
People v. Hinshaw  
Date: September 1, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 04816
Docket Number: 46

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals held that the automobile stop in this case was unlawful and clarified the law of New York as it is presently understood by all four Appellate Division departments, holding that the Appellate Courts a...

Barry v Lee
Date: September 1, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 04817
Docket Number: 82 SSM 12
National Fuel Gas Supply Corp. v. Schueckler  
Date: June 25, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 03563
Docket Number: 29

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals held that the certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to National Fuel Gas Supply for its proposed construction of a ninety-nine-mile...

Matter of Seon v New York State Dept. of Motor Vehs.
Date: June 25, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 03564
Docket Number: 32
People v Hemphill
Date: June 25, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 03567
Docket Number: 66 SSM 5
Matter of Froehlich v New York State Dept. of Corr. & Community Supervision
Date: June 25, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 03565
Docket Number: 68 SSM 10
Matter of Arroyo v O'Neill
Date: June 25, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 03566
Docket Number: 69 SSM 11
People v. Lang  
Date: June 23, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 03487
Docket Number: 27

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals reversed the order of the Appellate Division affirming Defendant's conviction for murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, holding that the trial court di...

In re Senzer  
Date: June 23, 2020
Citation: 2020 NY Slip Op 03488
Docket Number: 31

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals concluded that Petitioner, a justice of the Northport Village Court, Suffolk County, committed certain acts of misconduct warranting his removal from the office and accepted the determined sanction o...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.