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Erie County Surrogate’s Court Information and Insights

Erie County Surrogate’s Court Address

Erie County Hall
92 Franklin Street – 2nd floor
Buffalo, NY 14202

Main Phone: 716-845-2560

Fax: 716-845-7565

Erie County Surrogate’s Court Phone Number Directory

Department Phone Number
Main Number Phone: 716-845-2560
Fax: 716-845-7565
General Information Phone: 716-845-2599
Fax: 716-845-7566
Guardianship Department  Phone: 716-845-2124
Fax: 716-845-7567
Adoption Department  716-845-2564
Court Records 716-845-2583
Part 36 Clerk  716-845-2565

Directions to Erie County Surrogate’s Court

Enter your starting address:

Car: Take Route 190 to the Buffalo Skyway, turn to Church Street.

Rail: Buffalo, New York Exchange Street station.

Light Rail: Church Street Station.

Transportation: Metro Rail, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, VIA Rail.

Hours of Work for Erie County Surrogate’s Court

Monday-Friday, 9:00 Am to 5:00 PM.

But keep in mind that many clerks leave early at the end of the day, and can be on a break during lunch time. Also, trying to file things in the end of the day is not a good idea, especially on Friday.

The court is closed on all state holidays.

Judge of Erie County Surrogate’s Court

Erie County Surrogate Court Judge Acea M. Mosey

Honorable Acea M. Mosey.

Phone: 716-845-2560 

amosey@nycourts.gov

Judge Mosey has been the Erie County Surrogate’s Court judge since the year 2017. She has previously served the people of Erie County as the Commissioner of the Water Authority and as a practicing estate attorney.

Judge Mosey has a staff of clerks who help her analyze cases and conduct pre-trial, scheduling and settlement conferences.

Chief Clerk
Kathleen A. Downing, Esq.
Phone: 716-845-2568
Fax: 716-845-7565
kdowning@nycourts.gov

Chief Court Attorney

Joseph A. Shifflett, Esq.
Phone: 716-845-9454
Fax: 716-845-7564
jshiffle@nycourts.gov 
Deputy Chief Clerk
Jamila A. Lee, Esq.
Phone: 716-845-2572
Fax: 716-845-7565
jalee@nycourts.gov

Erie County Surrogate’s Court E-Filing

E-Filing Training handout material

NYS Courts Electronic Filing (NYSCEF) website 

Erie County County Surrogate’s Court Departments

Erie County Surrogate Court deals through its various departments with the following matters:

Erie County Probate – Erie County Surrogate’s Court handles estate proceedings involving a will. That’s why some people call it “Erie Probate Court.” Most probate proceedings are uncontested – the person who brings in the will (the proponent) submits the will, has their New York estate lawyer fill out the appropriate paperwork and files the original will in Erie Surrogate’s Court, together with a petition, original death certificate, funeral bill and accompanying affidavits and notices. The court will set a date for the hearing on the probate of the will, and if no one appears then the court will grant the probate. If someone does appear, then the estate is contested and the examinations of the attesting witnesses and the attorney-draftsman of the will are scheduled and the cases goes on a contested track.

Erie County Estate Administration – Erie County Surrogate Court handles estates where the person who died did not have a will. The person who is the closest relative of the deceased is appointed as the administrator of their estate. If the decedent is survived by a spouse, the spouse is usually appointed as the administrator. If no spouse, then children. And so on.

Erie County Cashier Department deals with Certificates, Certifications, and Record Searches.

Erie County Guardianship – Erie County Surrogate’s Court handles Guardianships. There are two kinds of guardianships – those involving a mentally disabled (special needs) minor (those guardianships are known as 17-a), and guardianships of older adults who have become mentally incompetent due to some sort of illness (this is known as Mental Health Law Article 81 guardianships)

Erie County Adoptions – Erie County Surrogate’s Court also handles adoptions, whether of regular adoptions, step parent and family adoptions and adoptions from foreign countries, involving both infants and older children.

Erie County Accountings – Erie County Surrogate Court handles accountings filed by executors and administrators of estates and trustees of trusts. Accountings are usually compelled by beneficiaries interested in the trust or an estate, through a Miscellaneous proceeding.

Record Room – Erie County Surrogate’s Court records are available on the computers located in the the record room and in the computer. It is not possible to access those records online through the internet.

Erie County Inventory of Assets Department – deals with an inventory of assets, which is to be filed no later than 9 months of the date letters issued to fiduciary.

Erie County Miscellaneous Proceedings – Erie County Surrogate’s Court Miscellaneous department handles Affidavits of Service and Applications to Open Safe Deposit Boxes and Sealed Apartments. It also handles other proceedings, such determining kinship in an estate that has distant relatives, advice and direction, compel fiduciary to account, compel the production of a will or a trust, proceedings by an Erie fiduciary to discover property, proceeding to remove executor, proceeding to remove administrator, proceeding to remove trustee, proceeding by fiduciary of estate to discover property, etc. Fees for those proceedings can be found here.

Updates from the Court

Update from Erie County Surrogate’s Court
May 18, 2017

Update from Erie County Surrogate’s Court
April 17, 2017

If you need representation in the Erie County Surrogate’s Court, call Albert Goodwin, Esq., New York estate, guardianship, wills, trust and probate lawyer, at (212) 233-1233. He can possibly take on select Erie County estate cases.

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