Erik P. Jacobsen
A plea sent by email or fax will not be accepted.
A plea may be entered in person or by mail at the Court Office (except misdemeanor pleas, which must be entered in person on specified return date).
Court Meeting Schedule
All scheduled sessions are as set by the Court
- Civil & Small Claims, Landlord/Tenant: Civil and small claims matters and landlord/tenant cases are heard once a month on a Monday evening at 6pm.
- Code Violations: Held on a Monday at 9 or 10am.
- Criminal Court: Criminal court takes place on almost every Wednesday evening at 6:30pm.
- Criminal Hearings: Criminal hearings are set by the Court.
- Jury Trials: Jury trials are generally held at 9am as needed.
- Parking Tickets/Summons/Trials: Once a month on a Monday at 9am.
- Vehicle and Traffic Conferences/Trials: Court convenes twice a month on Tuesday mornings.
Payment of Fines
Personal/business checks are NOT accepted in payment of fines. Credit card payments in person and by mail are acceptable; the Court accepts MasterCard and Visa. There is a 2.99% service fee assessed on all credit card transactions. Cash, certified checks and money orders are also accepted, do NOT send cash by mail.
All persons entering the Court are subject to magnetic screening. Weapons and other prohibited items, as established by the judges, may not be brought into Court, and will not be vouchered by court personnel. The Court’s complete Security Policy can be can be found under Links.
Court Internship Program
The Court has a volunteer intern program for high school students. Interns are introduced to all aspects of the Court’s operations and are permitted to attend public court sessions as observers, including criminal, civil and traffic calendars, and jury trials.
Interested students should contact the Court Clerk, Diane Georgio, at 666-6965.
Is there a schedule of standard fines for traffic violations?
No. Fines are set at the discretion of the Court, within certain maximum/minimum guidelines prescribed by law, based on the severity of the offense. Repeat violations usually are assessed higher fines.
If I plead guilty or am found guilty after trial, how long will I have to pay the fine?
All fines must be paid on the date of trial or guilty plea. If you are unable to pay your fine when due, your license may be suspended.
What happens if I ignore my summons or miss my Court date?
If you ignore your summons, the Court will notify DMV, which will suspend your license. Driving while your license is suspended can be charged as a misdemeanor, or even in some cases, as a felony.
If you miss an appearance date, you can call the court office for assistance as to how to proceed or send a letter, not a fax, explaining why you have missed your court date.
How long after I move to New York State can I continue to use my out-of-state license?
30 days. Use of your out-of-state license after that period is an infraction. It’s also an infraction to hold licenses from more than one state.
Am I entitled to a Court-appointed lawyer in the trial of a traffic infraction?
No, although you may bring a lawyer at your own expense.
Am I entitled to a Jury in a trial of a traffic infraction?
I have been charged with DWI. Will I continue to be able to drive after my first Court appearance?
Quite possibly not. Better bring a backup driver to Court. And a lawyer.
I have been charged with AUO (Aggravated Unlicensed Operation). What does that mean?
It means that you have been charged with driving after your license has been suspended, usually for failure to answer a summons or to pay a fine (or for other reasons, like suspended insurance). This is a misdemeanor, and can result in serious penalties. It is advisable for you to try to clear up the discrepancy before you come to Court, and bring your documentation. Keep in mind that you cannot legally drive while you are suspended, even to Court.
SMALL CLAIMS COURT FAQ’s
What are the jurisdictional limits of Small Claims Court?
Small claims and counterclaims are limited to $3,000. The defendant must live or work in the Town of Bedford or have a place of business here.
Do I have to do all the paperwork to bring a small claim?
You must fill out a form at the Court office, and the Clerk will be available for questions.
Do I need lawyer in Small Claims Court?
Absolutely not, although you may bring one. The procedure is informal and designed to permit individuals to bring and defend claims without being skilled in the law.
I’ve just received notice of a Small Claim being brought against me. What if I just don’t appear?
The Court may issue a default judgment against you.
I’ve brought a small claim to recover damages from an auto accident. How do I prove the damages?
Bring a receipted bill from the repair, or, if you haven’t yet had the car repaired, bring at least two itemized estimates of the cost of the repairs.
The Town Clerk is elected to a four-year term and serves as the Records Management Officer and the Registrar of Vital Statistics. This office is responsible for the safekeeping of Town records and assists in local elections.
Dog Park Licensing Procedures
All dogs using the Bedford Dog Park also known as “Canine Commons at Beaver Dam Park – A Tribute to Working Dogs” must be licensed through the Clerks office. No permit will be issued unless the dog is properly licensed through the Town of Bedford and permits will be rescinded if a dog’s Town license expires and is not renewed on time. Day guest passes are available and must be obtained at the Town Clerk’s office; proof of valid Town of residence license and rabies certification must be provided before a pass will be issued.
To obtain a marriage license in the Town of Bedford:
- Marriage licenses are issued by appointment only and both parties must come together. Hours are from 8:30 to 4 daily, Monday thru Friday. If you need an after-hours appointment, please call the Town Clerk to make arrangements.
- Bring the following documents with you:
- An original birth certificate or certified duplicate issued by the registrar of vital statistics in the city where you were born. A photocopy is not acceptable.
- Photo identification: a driver’s license, non-driver’s id or a valid passport.
- If either of the applicants has been previously married, a certified copy of the decree of divorce, dissolution of marriage or death certificate is required. If there have been multiple previous marriages, this applies for each marriage. Note: If any of the documents listed are not written in English, the document must be translated by a certified translator. A number of translation services are listed in the yellow pages.
- The fee for the license is $40.
- There is a 24 hour waiting period after the license is issued in which you may not get married. The license is then valid for sixty days beginning the day after the license is issued.
Reporting of Wild Animals
Chapter 680 of the Laws of 2002 enacted General Municipal Law 209-cc, requires the annual reporting of the presence of wild animals. The law states that each person owing, possessing, or harboring a wild animal as set forth in 209-cc must report its presence to the Town Clerk’s office on or before April 1 of each year. The town clerk will forward a copy of the completed report form to each state police troop, local police and fire department and ambulance/emergency services having jurisdiction over the hamlet where the wild animal resides. A copy of this law and form to report the Presence of Wild Animals is available at the Town Clerk’s office or can be found on this website under Resources/Forms & Applications under the heading Town Clerk.