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New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings

Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings
Court overview
FormedJuly 25, 1979 (1979-07-25)
JurisdictionNew York City
Headquarters100 Church St.,
New York, NY 10007
Court executive
  • Fidel F. Del Valle, Chief Administrative Law Judge
Key document
Websitenyc.gov/oath

The New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) is an administrative court of the New York City government. It is a non-mayoral executive agency and is not part of the state Unified Court System.

Administrative trials neither preclude, nor are precluded by, criminal charges by the state and/or civil lawsuits by complainants against the respondent individuals and businesses.

Structure and jurisdiction

OATH adjudicates for all city agencies unless otherwise provided for by executive order, rule, law or pursuant to collective bargaining agreements.[1] OATH is composed of the:[2][3][4]

The Environmental Control Board (ECB) is composed of thirteen members: the chairperson is the OATH Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), six are commissioners of city agencies, six are citizens who are experts in the fields of water pollution control, business, real estate and noise but includes two general citizen representatives.[7] Although the ECB is empowered to impose penalties under the New York City Charter and has promulgated penalty schedules, the ECB is in the process of repealing all penalty schedules in its rules so that they can be relocated to the rules of the enforcement agencies with primary rulemaking and policymaking jurisdiction with the expertise to adopt appropriate penalties to address violations, and help clarify to the public that OATH ECB is a neutral third party that hears and tries cases brought by other City agencies and is not an enforcement agency.[8][9]

Procedure

Unlike state criminal courts (such as the New York City Criminal Court), OATH does not guarantee a right to counsel,[10] a fine is the most serious outcome, and a failure to appear results in a default judgment not an arrest warrant.[11] When an individual or business is fined and does not attend a hearing of the Environmental Control Board (ECB) or pay within the required time period, the ECB adds a penalty and oversees interest.[12]

Related courts

OATH adjudicates for all city agencies unless otherwise provided for by executive order, rule, law or pursuant to collective bargaining agreements.[1] However, except as to issues involving employee discipline, OATH hearings are the exception rather than the rule.[13] In 2003, New York City had roughly 61 city agencies employing an estimated 500 lawyers as administrative law judges and/or hearing officers/examiners.[13] Non-OATH tribunals that also operate in New York City include:

The New York City Criminal Court and New York City Civil Court are part of the New York State Unified Court System.

History

OATH was created by Mayor Ed Koch with Executive Order 32 on July 25, 1979, and by an amendment to the New York City Charter at the general election on November 8, 1988. The Board of Standards and Appeals was consolidated with OATH by an amendment to the charter effective July 1, 1991.[15] The Environmental Control Board was moved from the authority of the Department of Environmental Protection to OATH effective November 23, 2008.[16] Fidel Del Valle was appointed as commissioner and chief judge of OATH by mayor de Blasio in 2014.[17] Executive Order 18 of June 23, 2016 transferred all adjudications of the DCA Tribunal to OATH effective August 22, 2016.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b c New York City Charter § 1048; "There shall be an office of administrative trials and hearings which shall conduct adjudicatory hearings for all agencies of the city unless otherwise provided for by executive order, rule, law or pursuant to collective bargaining agreements. The office shall be directed by the chief administrative law judge, who shall be an attorney admitted to practice for at least five years in the state of New York. The chief administrative law judge shall be appointed by the mayor."
  2. ^ a b c Cohen, Sherry M.; Weiss, Joanna (2009). "Know Your Audience: How NYC Tribunals Have Addressed Self-Represented Litigants and Increased Access to Justice". J. Nat'l Ass'n Admin. L. Judiciary. 29 (2): 487–493.
  3. ^ New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. "Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings". Retrieved 2016-02-07.
  4. ^ New York City Charter § 659(a); "There shall be an independent board of standards and appeals located within the office of administrative trials and hearings. The board of standards and appeals shall consist of five members to be termed commissioners to be appointed by the mayor each for a term of six years."
  5. ^ Calder, Rich (August 9, 2016). "City summonses on the rise despite de Blasio promises". New York Post.
  6. ^ a b OATH Final Rule - Amendment Related to DCA Adjudications. The City Record, August 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "Environmental Control Board". Center for New York City Law. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  8. ^ OATH ECB Proposed Repeal of the Noise Code Penalty Schedule
  9. ^ OATH ECB Proposed Repeal of Parks' Penalty Schedule
  10. ^ Goldensohn, Rosa (15 January 2016). "Another downside to the council's 'broken windows' fix emerges". Crain's New York Business.
  11. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt; Goodman, J. David (15 July 2015). "Public Urination in New York Becomes Test Case for Policing". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Max, Ben (December 22, 2016). "Amnesty Program Clears $150 Million Owed to City". Gotham Gazette.
  13. ^ a b New York County Lawyers' Association Task Force on Judicial Selection Subcommittee on Administrative Law Judge Reform (2005). Administrative Law Judge Reform Report (PDF). New York County Lawyers' Association.
  14. ^ a b Zimmerman, Joseph F. (2008). The Government and Politics of New York State (2nd ed.). SUNY Press. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-7914-7435-8.
  15. ^ Local law 49 of 1991
  16. ^ Local Law 35 of 2008, passed July 23, 2008, signed August 12, 2008, filed November 3, 2008
  17. ^ Rubinstein, Dana (October 22, 2014). "De Blasio appoints another taxi industry favorite". Capital New York.

External links