Q: Requested to see a judge in small claims but was sent to an arbitrator who I believed was a judge. Now I cannot appeal

Filed a small claims suit (Queens County-NYC) and requested to see a judge as I did not want my case to be tried by an arbitrator. I was then told that it would take a few court dates if I want to only see a judge. That did not deter me and I insisted on seeing judge and was sent home with a new court date. When the new date arrive again I stood up when they called my name and said "By the Court". I was sent to a court room and had my case tried. Now here is the kicker, I was seen by an arbitrator. I was not informed that he was an arbitrator and I assumed, which is reasonable, that I was seen by a judge. Especially, since there was a name tag on display that said Honorable. I lost the case and now cannot appeal. I appealed to the court as I was not seen by a judge but was denied and told my next step is to file an appeal with the Brooklyn Appellate Court. Can anyone point me in the direction of what to do next, e.g. where to file a complaint, etc.


1 Lawyer Answer
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: There is nothing you can do. They make a speech about arbitration and by the court in the beginning, and that speech is the same in every court. No one will believe you.

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