The Village of West Haverstraw

Justice Court

Village Justice: Richard S. Pakola, Esq.

r-_pakolaJudge Richard S. Pakola attended the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a B.A. He received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York, graduating on the Dean’s List, and an LL.M. from the George Washington University School of Law, Washington D.C., with Highest Honors.

He served as a U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG), where he practiced in a wide variety of legal areas, to include criminal prosecution and defense, information law and environmental law.

After leaving the Air Force, he worked a prominent law firm in New City, New York, specializing in criminal defense. He is currently a Deputy Town Attorney with the Town of Orangetown and “of counsel” with the Law Office of William F. Smith, specializing in municipal and surrogate’s practice.

He was elected Village Justice in West Haverstraw in 2016.

Associate Village Justice: Roselina Serrano, Esq.roselina-serrano-village-of-west-haverstraw-02-08-17

Judge Roselina Serrano earned her B.A. degree, cum laude, from the University at Albany, State University of New York. She received her J.D. degree from the Florida Coastal School of Law, where she was a Dean’s Scholar. After graduating law school, Judge Serrano was an associate of a New City law firm where she practiced various types of law. Currently, Judge Serrano is a partner in the firm of the Law Offices of Doyaga and Serrano, P.C. in New City, New York where she specializes in Bankruptcy Law, Foreclosure Litigation and Loan Modifications.

She was appointed Associate Justice of West Haverstraw in 2017.

Court Clerk: Laura Bidewy-Zitofsky

Associate Court Clerk: Judith Shephard

Office hours are: 8:30 am. to 4:30 pm.

The Court accepts credit cards: Visa, Discover, and Mastercard. Court payments can be made online at nCourt. Convenience fees for online transactions will be applied.

 2017 Court Calendars

Justice Pakola

Associate Justice Serrano

The Village of West Haverstraw Justice Court handles both criminal and civil matters. The Court’s duties include:

Criminal arraignments of all crimes and violations occurring within the Village of West Haverstraw.

Trials for misdemeanors and violations occurring within the Village of West Haverstraw.

Parking violations and violations of the West Haverstraw Village Code including building code violations.

Civil jurisdiction: $ 3,000.00

Small Claim jurisdiction: $ 3,000.00

Counter Claim: $3,000.00

Landlord Tenant matters: location of subject property MUST be within the Village of West Haverstraw. There is no monetary jurisdiction.

Small Claims

If your claim is for $ 3,000.00 or less and the defendant resides or has a place of business in the Village of West Haverstraw, you may avail yourself of the Village of West Haverstraw Justice Court. The cost of filing a Small Claim is as follows:

$ 15.00: filing fee to the court for claims up to and including $ 1,000.00

$ 20.00: filing fee to the court for claims up to and including $ 3,000.00

Fees are payable at the time of filing. The Court accepts certified checks, money orders, cash and credit cards (Mastercard/Visa/Discover).

Small Claims and other civil actions are heard approximately every other Tuesday. Check with the Court Clerk for precise court schedule.

If your claim is settled prior to the hearing date, BOTH parties must notify the Court in writing. If your claim proceeds, you MUST be prepared at the time of the hearing to PROVE your claim. This means that you should have your evidence with you when you appear in court. When you come to court you should bring two (2) extra copies of your documents for both the Court and your adversary.

If you plan on using paid receipts as evidence: BRING THEM TO COURT with copies for the court AND your adversary.

If you plan on using estimates as evidence: bring at least two (2) written estimates with copies for the court AND your adversary.

The court will send out a summons and complaint on your behalf via the United States Post Office. If service by mail is unsuccessful, it will be the responsibility of the plaintiff to have the papers served via a third party with proof of the original affidavit of service.

Vehicle and Traffic

Vehicle and traffic matters are heard four times a year.

Traffic infractions pleas (non-criminal) should be answered by mail or dropped off at the Court in Village Hall. You should enter your pleas in the appropriate box on the summons and send it into the court by the dated indicated on the summons. This applies only to traffic violations. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you MUST appear in court on the date indicated on your appearance ticket.

If you are pleading guilty you will be sent a fine letter. Fines may be paid by cash, money order, certified check, bank check or credit card (Mastercard/Visa/Discover) ONLY. If you are pleading guilty by mail, you may plead guilty with an explanation which will be taken into consideration by the Court.

If you pled not guilty, you will receive notice of the conference date in the mail.

Adjournment requests are discouraged, however, if you must request an adjournment, they must be submitted in writing and RECEIVED by the court one week prior to the conference date. The court’s fax number is (845) 947-1560.

The court will notify you in writing IF an adjournment has been granted.

If you fail to appear on your scheduled conference date, your license will be suspended.

Parking Tickets

Parking tickets pleas should be mailed to the court. You should enter your plea in the appropriate box on the summons and send it into the court by the date indicated on the summons.

If you are pleading guilty you will be sent a fine letter. Fines may be paid by cash, money order, certified check, bank check or credit card (Mastercard/Visa/Discover) ONLY. If you are pleading guilty by mail, you may plead guilty with an explanation which will be taken into consideration by the Court.

If you plead “not guilty”, you will receive notice of the conference date in the mail one month prior to the scheduled date.

Adjournment requests are discouraged, however, if you must request an adjournment, they must be submitted in writing one week prior and RECEIVED by the court prior to the conference date. The court’s fax number is (845) 947-1560.

The court will notify you in writing IF an adjournment has been granted.