SCARP FILING TOWN DEADLINES
Effective March 31, 2014, the electronic filing of litigation documents in Suffolk County Supreme Court through the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System (“NYSCEF”) will become mandatory for all Small Claims Assessment Review Petition (SCARP) filings. On and after that date, the Suffolk County Clerk’s Office will not accept hard (paper) copy documents. Individual homeowners representing themselves MAY file electronically OR in hard copy.
A Small Claims Assessment Review Petition allows owner occupants of residential property to file a court case should the tax grievance be turned down by your Town's Board of Assessment Review. Each Town Assessor establishes the deadline to file a Small Claims Assessment Review Petition.
It is important to note that each town has a different filing deadline. Therefore, contact your Town Assessor to confirm the filing deadline in your town.
Who may file?
Any person aggrieved by an assessment of a one, two or three family, owner-occupied residential structure used exclusively for residential purposes, who has filed a written complaint with the Board of Assessment Review in regard to that assessment. Condominiums are not eligible for small claims review, EXCEPT condominiums, which have been designated in the "homestead" class in any approved assessing unit, are eligible.
You may complete the petition yourself, or have a representative do it for you. If you choose to have a representative file for you, you must complete the "Designation of Representative" section of the petition.
What assessment can be reviewed?
The only assessment that can be reviewed is that on the current final assessment roll completed and filed by your Assessor. The right to review is based upon the timely filing of a written petition. A separate petition must be filed for each separately Assessed parcel. You may not request an assessment lower than you requested before the Board of Assessment Review. The assessment of a property having an equalized value of $450,000 or less may be reviewed without further limitation. If the equalized value of the property exceeds $450,000, the total assessment reduction requested may not exceed 25 percent of the assessed value.
How to file a Small Claims Assessment Review Petition (SCARP)
Complete, print and sign the Small Claims Assessment Review Petition form (you are required to mail paper copies) use links listed below.
Small Claims Assessment Review Petition form
Formatting Requirements (Field Descriptions)
View a Sample Petition Key
- Scan the signed form into a .pdf file.
- Visit www.nycourts.gov/efile to create an account, and setup your User ID.
- Select Create an Account
- Under “If you are representing yourself without an attorney” click the “Unrepresented Litigants” link.
- Click the “E-Filing Basics” link and click “Create Account”
- Read the instructions and click on the “Create Account to Start a New Case” link. Even if you have E-Filed in the past, you must create a new account for each case filed.
- Click “Create Account to Start a New Case”.
- Read each page carefully in the application and fill out the required information fully, completely and accurately.
- Login using your User ID and password.
- Click “Start a New Case”, choose Suffolk County Supreme Court from the menu and complete all other required information (homeowner is the Plaintiff/Petitioner, town/village is the Defendant/Respondent). **Make sure you choose the correct “municipality” as the defendant from the dropdown menu.
- The Commencement Document is SCAR Petition. Attach the saved pdf. file created earlier.
- A.) Document #1 must be SCAR Petition (must be filled in and signed) YOUR PDF SHOULD ONLY BE THE 4 PAGES OF THE SCAR Petition.
- B.) Any documents in support of your Petition must be uploaded separately as exhibits... Example: Appraisal would be exhibit A, Comps would be exhibit B, etc.
- C.) IF AFTER RECEIVING YOUR SCAR # YOU REALIZE YOU HAVE MADE AN ERROR IN YOUR PETITION, you may upload an AMENDED version, using the document title of: SCAR PETITION (AMENDED)
Filing Fee is $30.00 payable with either Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards.
If you are an Authorized Agent filing on behalf of multiple homeowners
Ensure that you have a complete and fully executed Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) Petition for each homeowner/property.
If you do not already have a NYSCEF User ID and Password to file as an authorized agent, contact the E-filing Resource Center at (646) 386-3033 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain an application..
What happens after filing?
Suffolk County Clerk’s Office personnel will review your Small Claims Assessment Review Petition and assign an Index Number. You will receive an e-mail notification that your Index Number has been assigned (By the end of the next business day) and you will be able to access a File Stamped copy of your SCAR Petition immediately in NYSCEF.
What to do next:
You must keep the original in a safe place until the conclusion of all proceedings, including appeals. The court or the respondent may ask for it to be produced.
You must mail a copy of your completed and signed Small Claims Assessment Review Petition within ten days of Electronic Filing to the following:
Mail one (1) copy to the Clerk of your school district.
Mail one (1) copy to your Town Assessor.
Mail one (1) copy to the Suffolk County Comptroller, 330 Center Drive, Riverhead, NY 11901
An additional copy is required for Incorporated Villages (refer to Completion instructions).
The County Clerk's Office is not involved in scheduling the hearing or providing you with the decision. A copy of your decision will be sent to you directly from Supreme Court.
If you are eligible to opt-out of e filing pursuant to Section 202.5-bb of the Uniform Rules for the Trial Courts, complete the Notice of opt out form as well as the Notice of Hard Copy Submission and submit your Small Claims Assessment Petition (SCARP) to the Suffolk County Clerk’s Office in hardcopy, with the required $30.00 fee.
“PLEASE NOTE that unrepresented property owners filing in hardcopy on their own behalf do not have to submit either of the Notices but must submit the required fee.”