New York City has adopted numerous laws and regulations to enhance the quality of life for its citizens and visitors. For example, the use and development of private property is governed by code requirements addressed to building construction, fire prevention, housing maintenance, zoning, and landmark preservation. For purposes of protecting consumers and promoting the public health and safety, the City regulates the conduct of many types of businesses; examples include restaurants and cabarets, taxicab and car services, plumbing and electrical companies, parking lots and garages, and commercial carters, to name just a few. The City also regulates the use of the public streets and sidewalks with provisions of law addressed to various activities including vehicular traffic and parking, food and general vending, parades and assemblies, street fairs, newsstands, sidewalk cafes, and pay telephones.
The Administrative Law Division handles court proceedings brought by and against the numerous City agencies that are responsible for administering and enforcing these laws and regulations. Some of these actions include challenges to the provisions of law themselves, while most dispute the application of a particular legal requirement in a specific context. In addition, the Division brings some civil actions to obtain compliance with regulatory requirements, and prosecutes code violators in Criminal Court to punish their non-compliance and ultimately bring about code compliance.