Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  1. What is a Notice of Violation?
  2. How do I know when my hearing date is?
  3. Why was my hearing scheduled for a certain day?
  4. How can I change my hearing date?
  5. What happens if I do not show up to my hearing?
  6. How can I prove I am not responsible for the ticket?
  7. Do I need a lawyer?
  8. Can I pay the penalty without attending a hearing?
  9. Do I have to go to ECB to fight my ticket?
  10. I reported a violation. Can I participate in the hearing?
  11. How can I find out information about a ticket?
  12. What do I do when I arrive at ECB for my hearing?
  13. What happens during the hearing?
  14. What happens after the hearing?
  15. If I am found in violation, what happens?
  16. What can I do if I disagree with the Hearing Officer's decision in my case?
  17. What can I do if the ECB enters a default order against me?
  18. Where can I find information to help me understand some of the terms on the ticket or from the hearing?
  19. I am hearing impaired. Will the City provide a sign-language interpreter?
  20. I do not speak English. Will ECB provide an interpreter?
  21. Why am I getting notices to pay my violation when I already paid?
  22. How can I get a copy of my ticket or decision and order? 
  23. Why did I get a ticket?
  24. I received a ticket; what do I do?
  25. When I appear for my hearing will the Issuing Officer be present? How do I get a hearing with the Issuing Officer?
  26. I had a hearing. How do I obtain a transcript of the proceedings?
  27. I am not the person named on the ticket but it is my property. Should I come for a hearing?
  28. My name is on the ticket but I do not own the property. Should I come for a hearing?
  29. How did my name get attached to a NOV for a property I never owned? Why do I keep getting tickets in my name?
  30. How do I remove my name as owner of property I do not own? How do I stop mailings to me for other people's tickets for property I do not own?
  31. I am a new owner and want to clear up outstanding tickets on my property. Can I have a hearing on the tickets issues to the previous owner?
  32. Can I have my hearing on a different day than the scheduled date on the ticket?
  33. Can I appear at any ECB location for a hearing?
  1. What is a Notice of Violation?
    It is a ticket issued to you by a City agency.  ECB does not issue tickets.

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  2. How do I know when my hearing date is?
    The hearing date is written on the ticket. If your ticket does not have a hearing date, call ECB customer service at 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692).

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  3. Why was my hearing scheduled for a certain day?
    The ECB holds hearings on different days. The day the ECB will hear your ticket often depends on the type of violation. Each ECB borough office has its own schedule. For example, the Queens office hears Building Code tickets only on Tuesdays. You should come to your hearing on the date and time stated on the ticket. For certain types of tickets you may have a hearing by mailonline, or by phone. If you do not come to your hearing, you may lose certain rights you have under the law.

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  4. How can I change my hearing date?
    To change the date of your hearing, call the ECB Customer Service line at 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692).  If your ticket lists an ECB office to go to for your hearing, call that ECB office.

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  5. What happens if I do not show up to my hearing?
    If you do not show up to your hearing, ECB will find you in default. This means that you will be found responsible for the violation and you will have to pay an additional fine. A default may lead the City to enter a judgment against you in civil court.
    Learn more about vacating a default

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  6. How can I prove I am not responsible for the ticket?
    If you believe that you are not responsible, or have some other answer to the summons, you must have a hearing. At a hearing you will state under oath (testify to) your story of the facts about the ticket. You may bring other people to testify (witnesses). You may also present papers, photos, and other documents. These other papers should support what you say at your hearing. Examples of evidence you may want to bring are deeds, drawings, maps, licenses, permits, envelopes (to show mailing or receipt dates), and photos.
    Learn more about hearings

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  7. Do I need a lawyer?
    No. But you may have a lawyer present if you wish. Many people choose to speak for themselves or hire non-lawyers to make their case.

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  8. Can I pay the penalty without attending a hearing?
    For some tickets, the answer is yes. Some tickets may be resolved by paying the penalty in person, online, or by mail. Read the front of the ticket to see if you may do this. You should carefully read and follow any instructions on your ticket. Remember that if you pay the penalty, the ECB deems that an admission that you were in violation. For other tickets, you may be required to come to ECB court even if you wish to admit to the violation.
    Pay a violation
    Understand a violation

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  9. Do I have to go to ECB to fight my ticket?
    Depends. For certain tickets you must come to ECB for a live hearing. Some tickets can be conducted by mailonline, or by phone.

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  10. I reported a violation. Can I participate in the hearing?
    If you want to speak at the hearing, you must ask the Hearing Officer that is holding the hearing on the case. In some cases, people affected by the outcome of the case may be able to speak during the hearing. Call the ECB Customer Service at 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692).

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  11. How can I find out information about a ticket?
    Use ECB's TicketFinder to get information about a ticket.  If you need to speak to a ECB representative, please call 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692).  You will need to have the ticket number or the address cited on the ticket.

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  12. What do I do when I arrive at ECB for my hearing?
    When you arrive at ECB, you will need to check-in at the reception window or desk (depending on the borough). At that time, you will be given a Notice of Appearance form to complete. Return your completed form and your ticket to the receptionist. Then wait for a Hearing Officer to call you for your hearing and follow the Hearing Officer into the hearing room.

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  13. What happens during the hearing?
    Once everyone is in the hearing room, the Hearing Officer will turn on the recording device. This may be a tape recorder or a computer. The Hearing Officer will introduce him or herself. He or she will explain how ECB hearings are conducted. The Hearing Officer will take statements from the agency witnesses if any. Then you and any other witnesses will respond. The Hearing Officer will look at any documents (papers, photos, etc.) that the parties or witnesses give to him or her. He or she will hear any legal arguments from you and the agency representative.
    Watch an informational video about responding to a Department of Buildings violation in low or high bandwidth

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  14. What happens after the hearing?
    After the hearing the Hearing Officer will write a Decision & Order. The Decision & Order is then mailed to the parties.

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  15. If I am found in violation, what happens?
    You must pay the fine. You must also follow any additional directions. For example, you might be ordered to correct the problems stated in the ticket.

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  16. What can I do if I disagree with the ALJ's decision?
    If you disagree with the Hearing Officer's decision, you are allowed to file an appeal.

    To file an appeal, you must complete and submit  an Appeals Request Form (available online or at any ECB location) to the Environmental Control Board within 30 days of the mail date of the Decision and Order. The appeals request can be mailed, delivered in person or submitted online at www.nyc.gov/oath. You must serve the issuing agency with a copy of your appeals request and make payment to ECB (or apply for a hardship waiver) of the imposed amount.

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  17. What can I do if the ECB enters a default order against me?
    If you receive a default order and penalty from ECB, you may:

    1. Admit the violation and pay the penalty, including any late penalties that may have been added, or
    2. ask for a hearing after your failure to appear.
    To request a hearing after a failure to appear follow the instructions printed on the back of your  Default Order or please visit the Defaults Section of this website for more information.

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  18. Where can I find information to help me understand some of the terms on the ticket or from the hearing?
    This site has a glossary of legal terms commonly used at ECB. 

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  19. I am hearing impaired. Will the City provide a sign-language interpreter?
    Yes. Call the ECB Customer Service line at 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692) before your hearing if you need a sign language interpreter.  Once we have notified you of the new hearing date, it is important that you come to ECB on the right date and at the right time. The interpreters will not wait for you if you are late.

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  20. I do not speak English. Will ECB provide an interpreter?
    Yes. In any hearing the Hearing Officercan get an interpreter over the phone. When you check in, tell the receptionist you need an interpreter and the language you speak. When you go into the hearing room, tell the Hearing Officer that you need an interpreter. If you do not ask for an interpreter but then you decide during the hearing that you need one, tell the Hearing Officer.

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  21. Why am I getting notices to pay my violation when I already paid?
    ECB may have sent you a notice to pay before we received your payment. To see if ECB got your payment, you may:
    1. Use ECB's TicketFinder to find your violation and the balance due;
    2. Call ECB Customer Service at 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692);
    3. Visit the Department of Finance ePayment Center 

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  22. How can I get a copy of my ticket or decision and order?
    You can use ECB's Ticket Finder to find information about tickets. If the information you are looking for is not available using the Ticket Finder, you can call the ECB Customer Service at 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692) or 311 to get a copy of your ticket or decision and order. You must provide your ticket violation number when you call. After the ECB processes your request, it will either (1) mail you a copy; or (2) let you pick up a copy at ECB. The first two copies are free. Each extra copy is $0.25.

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  23. Why did I get a ticket?
    You received a ticket because a city agency claims that you violated a rule or law. ECB does not issue tickets.

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  24. I received a ticket; what do I do?
    You can admit the violation and pay the fine or you can have a hearing to fight the ticket.
    How to respond to a violation

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  25. When I appear for my hearing will the Issuing Officer be present? How do I get a hearing with the Issuing Officer?
    Issuing Officers are not usually present at the hearings. If either party wants the Issuing Officer at the hearing, that party must ask the Hearing Officer and tell the Hearing Officer why the Issuing Officer is needed. The Hearing Officer will then make a decision.

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  26. I had a hearing. How do I obtain a transcript of the proceedings?
    ECB does not provide written transcripts. ECB can supply a copy of the audio recording from the hearing. To get a copy of the audio recording you must fill out a “Request for Audio Hearing Recording” form in person or call Customer Service at 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692) to obtain a blank form. A small fee will apply.

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  27. I am not the person named on the ticket but it is my property. Should I come for a hearing?
    You may need to appear for a hearing to explain why you think the ticket was issued incorrectly.

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  28. My name is on the ticket but I do not own the property. Should I come for a hearing?
    If you are the person named on the ticket, you or your authorized representative must appear at the hearing. If you do not appear at the hearing when required, you will be found in violation. You may also have to pay a higher fine.
    How to respond to a violation

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  29. How did my name get attached to a NOV for a property I never owned? Why do I keep getting tickets in my name?
    In order to clear the matter you must appear at the hearing.

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  30. How do I remove my name as owner of property I do not own? How do I stop mailings to me for other people's tickets for property I do not own?
    You should contact the Department of Finance with questions about property records and ownership.

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  31. I am a new owner and want to clear up outstanding tickets on my property. Can I have a hearing on the tickets issues to the previous owner?
    Depends. If the ticket was issued to the previous owner before you owned the property, you cannot have a hearing.

    If the ticket was issue to the previous owner while you owned the property, you can have a hearing.

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  32. Can I have my hearing on a different day than the scheduled date on the ticket?
    This depends on the type of violation you received. For further information call Customer Service at 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692).

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  33. Can I appear at any ECB location for a hearing?
    Many violations must be heard in the borough where they were issued. For further information call Customer Service at 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692).

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Resources
ECB Calendar
ECB Legal Resources
ECB Decisions

Ticket-Issuing Agencies
Business Integrity Commission (BIC)
Department of Buildings (DOB)
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Fire Department (FDNY)
Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)
Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications
(DoITT)

Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)
Department of Parks
& Recreation (DPR)

Police Department (NYPD)
Department of Sanitation
(DSNY)

Department of Small Business Services (SBS)
Department of Transportation (DOT)