Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

CONTACT

VIOLATIONS

HEARINGS

DEFAULTS

APPEALS

PAYMENT

INTERPRETATION SERVICES



CONTACT

Where is the OATH Health Tribunal located?
The OATH Health Tribunal now has five locations, but you must go to the Tribunal location that is listed on your Notice of Violation.

The five hearing locations are:

 

BROOKLYN:

OATH Health Tribunal
9 Bond Street, 6th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Tel: 1-844-628-4692
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

BRONX:

OATH Health Tribunal
3030 3rd Avenue
Bronx, NY 10455

Tel: 1-844-628-4692
Hours: Mon – Weds 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

QUEENS:

OATH Health Tribunal
144-06 94th Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11435

Tel: 1-844-628-4692
Hours: Mon, Weds-Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

MANHATTAN:

OATH Health Tribunal
66 John Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10038


Tel: 1-844-628-4692
Hours: Mon - Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

STATEN ISLAND:

OATH Health Tribunal
350 St Marks Place
Staten Island, NY 10301

Tel: 1-844-628-4692
Hours: Tuesdays 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

What are the nearest subway stops?
If you are coming to the Manhattan Office location the nearest subway station is the Fulton Street station on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, M, & Z lines.

If you are coming to the Brooklyn Office, the nearest subway stations are the Hoyt Street-Schermerhorn Street station on the A, C, & G lines, the Nevins Street station on the 2, 3, & 4, 5, lines, and the DeKalb Avenue station on the N, Q, R & B, D lines.

If  you are coming to the Bronx Office location the nearest subway station is the 3 Avenue-149 Street station on the 2, 5 lines.

If you are coming to the Queens Office location the nearest subway station is the Sutphin Blvd-Archer Ave, JFK Airport station on the E, J & Z lines.

I am in a wheelchair. How can I reach the OATH Health Tribunal?
The closest subway station to the Manhattan office location with elevator access is the 4, 5, and 6 Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Station. The station is located approximately six blocks from 66 John Street. To reach the Manhattan OATH Health Tribunal, you must go south on Broadway to John Street for approximately five blocks and make a left. The Tribunal is then 1 ½ blocks east on the right side of street. 

The closest wheelchair accessible subway station to the Brooklyn office is the DeKalb Avenue Station which has the B, D, & N, Q, R subway lines.

The 3 Avenue-149 Street station on the 2, 5 lines is wheelchair accessible and is the closest station to the OATH Health Tribunal Bronx location.

The Sutphin Blvd-Archer Ave, JFK Airport station on the E, J & Z lines is wheelchair accessible and is the closest station to the OATH Health Tribunal Queens location. 

What are the OATH Health Tribunal’s hours?
In Manhattan: The OATH Health Tribunal is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

In Brooklyn: The OATH Health Tribunal is open from 9:00 am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

In the Bronx: The OATH Health Tribunal is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Wednesday.

In Queens: The OATH Health Tribunal is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

In Staten Island: The OATH Health Tribunal is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, on Tuesday.

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VIOLATIONS

What is a Notice of Violation (NOV)?
An NOV is a written legal notice that charges a person or entity (known as “the respondent”) with violating one of the health laws enforced by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

How can I get a copy of my NOV?
Write to the OATH Health Tribunal to ask for a copy of your NOV. You will need to provide the Docket Number that appeared on your NOV. The OATH Health Tribunal will either (1) mail you a copy, or (2) provide a copy for you to pick up at the OATH Health Tribunal, located at 66 John Street 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038. The first two copies are free. Each additional copy is $0.25.

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HEARINGS

How do I know the date of my hearing?
Your hearing date is included at the top of the front page of the NOV. You will be notified by mail if the OATH Health Tribunal changes your hearing date from the one listed on your NOV.

How can I respond to or contest an NOV?
You can respond to or contest an NOV by mail, online, over the phone  or in-person. You can also request a hearing-by-phone for most cases.

How do I get a hearing-by-phone?
If you are interested in scheduling a hearing by phone, you must call (212) 436-0817 before the hearing date listed on your NOV.

How do I contest my NOV online?

You can submit a written defense and submit it using the OATH Health Tribunal electronic hearing form on the Tribunal website.  The form allows you to write up to 10 pages and attach files such as photos or other documents that you may want the judge to consider along with your written defense. You must submit the online form before the hearing date listed on your ticket. Click here to go to the online form.  

How can I contest my NOV by mail?
You can contest your NOV by sending a letter to the OATH Health Tribunal before the hearing date listed on the NOV. Your letter must clearly state that you want your case adjudicated by mail and include a response to each violation cited. Any violation that you do not address will be treated as if you are admitting the charge. You must also include a copy of the NOV with your letter. Please be aware that if you are denying any of the violations, however, the judge may still require that you appear for an in-person hearing at the OATH Health Tribunal to provide more evidence or for the inspector from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene who wrote you the NOV to testify.

How do I contest my NOV in person?
If you do not respond by mail, online or by phone, you must appear in person or send an authorized representative to the OATH Health Tribunal. You must go on the date, time and office location that is listed on the NOV.

What time should I arrive for my hearing?
If you are contesting your hearing in person, you should come to the OATH Health Tribunal by the time listed on your NOV. Hearings are conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. Accordingly, the earlier you arrive, the sooner your case will be heard.


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How can I reschedule my hearing date?
Send a letter to the OATH Health Tribunal asking for a new hearing date. It must reach the Health Tribunal no later than three days before the hearing date. The OATH Health Tribunal address is 66 John Street, 11th floor, New York, NY 10038.

What happens if I do not appear for my scheduled hearing?
If you do not come to your scheduled hearing, and have not responded in time by mail or requested a hearing-by-phone, the OATH Health Tribunal may find you in violation by default and impose a default penalty that is double the fine you would have otherwise received if you were found in violation after a hearing. You may apply to reopen the case by submitting a written request to the OATH Health Tribunal within 60 days from the date the default decision is mailed. If your application is mailed on time, the OATH Health Tribunal will send you a written notice with a new hearing date.

How can I request that the inspector who issued the NOV be present at the hearing?
You should submit your request by mail so that your letter arrives at the OATH Health Tribunal before the scheduled hearing date. In your letter you should:
State that you want the inspector present at your hearing, and
Ask for a new hearing date (also called an “adjournment”).
You will receive a new hearing date in the mail and the OATH Health Tribunal will notify the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Inspection Bureau to have its inspector appear on the new date. You may also wait until your scheduled hearing and ask the OATH Health Tribunal judge at that time for the appearance of the inspector. However, if you wait until the hearing to request the inspector’s presence, you will probably have to come back for a hearing on another date since it is very unlikely that the inspector will be available without the OATH Health Tribunal giving the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene advance notice of your request.

What do I do when I arrive at the OATH Health Tribunal for my hearing?
When you arrive at the OATH Health Tribunal, you will need to check in at the reception desk and sign the registration sheet. The reception clerk will give you a Notice of Appearance form to complete. You will then be asked to wait until a judge calls you for your hearing. If you intend to ask for an adjournment, notify the clerk at the reception desk when you sign in.

Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to represent you at your hearing, although you may have a lawyer present if you wish. Many people choose to represent themselves. You may also come with a non-attorney to represent you or send an authorized person to represent you in your place. A professional representative must be registered with the OATH Health Tribunal. If you choose to hire a lawyer or professional representative, you must do so at your own expense.


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How can I prove I am not in violation or not responsible?
If you believe that you are not in violation or that you are not responsible, or have another defense, you may tell the judge and present any supporting evidence. If you testify during an in-person hearing or a hearing-by-phone, your testimony will be taken under oath. Alternatively, if you do not personally appear but instead have a representative or attorney appear for you, you may submit a sworn or affirmed notarized statement explaining your defense to the judge. If you request a hearing by mail, you should submit a sworn or affirmed notarized statement explaining your defense to the judge. You may also present testimony from other witnesses and offer supporting documents to the judge at your hearing (whether in-person, by phone, or by mail). Examples of supporting documents include deeds, drawings, maps, licenses, permits, envelopes (to show mailing or receipt dates), and photographs. Please note that any documents sent by mail will not be returned.

What happens during an in-person hearing?
Once everyone — the respondent, the respondent’s representative (if there is one), any witnesses, and the inspector (if requested) — is in the hearing room, the judge will explain how hearings are conducted. The judge will take testimony from you and from anyone else called by you or the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, look at any documents presented, and hear all legal arguments from the parties. If you are representing yourself, the judge will also ask questions to make certain that all the facts of your case have been brought out. All hearings are audio recorded.

I reported a violation. Can I participate in the hearing?
You may not participate in the hearing unless you are called as a witness by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or the person or business named on the NOV. However, all OATH Health Tribunal hearings are open for members of the public to observe. The number of people allowed to observe a hearing is limited by the availability of space in the hearing room.

What happens after the hearing?
Once all testimony, evidence, and arguments have been presented, the judge will write a decision. You will be asked to go to the waiting room while the judge prepares the decision. A clerk at the reception desk will call your name and give you a copy of the judge’s decision when it is ready. In rare instances, the judge may need additional time to prepare the decision. When this happens, the judge will tell you that you should not wait and that the decision will be mailed to you at a later date.

What can I do if I disagree with the judge’s decision?
If you are not satisfied with the judge’s decision, you are entitled to file an appeal. You can submit your appeal by using the online form found on the Health Tribunal section of OATH’s website at www.nyc.gov/oath, or by sending in the form by mail. Visit the OATH Health Tribunal website for more information about filing an appeal.

How can I get a copy of the decision in my case?
Write to the OATH Health Tribunal to ask for a copy of your decision. You will need to provide the Docket Number that appeared on your NOV. After your request has been processed, the OATH Health Tribunal will either (1) mail you a copy; or (2) provide a copy for you to pick up at the OATH Health Tribunal, 66 John Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038. The first two copies are free. Each additional copy is $0.25.

How can I check on the status of a violation if I am not the respondent?
To find out when an NOV is scheduled to be heard, you may call the OATH Health Tribunal at 1-844-628-4692. If you are not the respondent but wish to obtain a copy of a decision issued in a case already heard at the OATH Health Tribunal, you must file a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with the OATH Health Tribunal, 66 John Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038. You will be charged $0.25 per sheet of paper requested.

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DEFAULTS

What is a default?
A default is entered when a respondent fails to appear at the OATH Health Tribunal for the scheduled hearing or fails to respond to a Notice of Violation within the time period permitted. The penalty for a default is double the fine you would have otherwise received if you were found in violation after a hearing.

Why do I have a default?
A default is entered when a respondent fails to appear at the OATH Health Tribunal for the scheduled hearing or otherwise answer a Notice of Violation within the time period permitted.

What can I do if a default decision is entered against me?
If you receive a default decision and penalty from the OATH Health Tribunal, you may either:
1. Pay the penalty, or
2. Request a new hearing and clear the default by following the instructions that were sent with the default decision. If your request is received within 60 days of the date the default decision was mailed (and it is your first request), your request will be automatically granted. If your request is received more than 60 days after the date of the default decision, you must include a statement setting forth good cause for why you failed to appear at the OATH Health Tribunal for the scheduled hearing or failed to answer the NOV within the time period permitted.

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APPEALS

What is an appeal?
If you are not satisfied with a decision, you are entitled to file an appeal with the OATH Health Tribunal. An appeal is not a new hearing. Only the facts heard at the original hearing will be considered. In order to appeal a decision, you must use the OATH Health Tribunal Appeal Application form, found on the OATH website at www.nyc.gov/oath. The appeal can be submitted electronically through the online form or mailed to the OATH Health Tribunal. Please note that the easiest way to submit an appeal is online and that there are extra steps if you decide to file your appeal by mail. The appeals unit may either affirm, reverse, or modify the decision being appealed.

How do I appeal a decision?
In order to appeal, you must do the following:
Pay all fines imposed within 30 days of the judge's decision,
AND
Submit your appeal using the OATH Health Tribunal Appeals Application form, found on the OATH website. You can find an informational brochure with instructions about the appeals process on the OATH website at www.nyc.gov/oath.

Why was my appeal rejected?
An appeal will be rejected if (1) you do not pay the imposed fines before filing your appeal, (2) you do not use the OATH Health Tribunal Appeal Application form, or (3) your appeal is received by the OATH Health Tribunal more than 30 days after the original decision date.

What happens if the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene appeals a decision?
If the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene files an appeal, you will have the right to tell the OATH Health Tribunal Appeals Unit why you think the original decision was correct. In order to respond to an appeal, you must use the response form found on the OATH website at http://www.nyc.gov/html/oath/html/dohmh/hmh_filing_appeal.shtml. You may file the form online or by mail. The form must be received by the Health Tribunal within 30 days of the agency filing its appeal.

What happens during an appeal?
All appeals are heard by the OATH Health Tribunal Appeals Unit. Because an appeal is not a new hearing, the Appeals Unit will not hear new testimony or consider evidence that was not presented to the judge at the original hearing. The Appeals Unit will look at your Notice of Violation, consider all the evidence submitted at your original hearing, and read the original decision. After reviewing the record from the original hearing, as well as the arguments made on your Appeal Application, the Appeals Unit will make a decision to affirm, reverse, or modify the original decision.

What happens after an appeal is considered?
The Appeals Unit will make a decision on the appeal within approximately 90 days and mail you a copy of the decision. If you win all or part of your appeal, the OATH Health Tribunal will refund the fines that you paid for violations that were reversed.

How do I challenge an OATH Health Tribunal appeal decision?
If you want to challenge a decision issued by the Appeals Unit, you can do so in New York State Supreme Court in a special proceeding under Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules. You are eligible to file an appeal in State Court only after you have appealed to and received a decision from the OATH Health Tribunal Appeals Unit.

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PAYMENT

How can I pay my penalty?
If you receive a decision finding you in violation and imposing a penalty or penalties, there are three different ways you can pay:

Pay Online
  • Payments can be made online through the Health Department’s licensing center.
  • You may use your credit card or debit card to pay online.
  • You will need the Docket Number from your Notice of Violation (NOV) to make an online payment.
  • The Health Department charges a convenience fee for making payments online through its licensing center.
Pay by Mail
  • Write your check or money order payable to: "OATH Health Tribunal"
  • You must include your Docket Number from the NOV on the front of the check or money order.
  • If the payment is for more than one NOV, include all Docket Numbers. 

Mail your payment to:

NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings
Health Tribunal
PO Box 4199, Church Street Station
New York, NY 10261-4199
 

Pay in Person
  • Payments can be made in person at the OATH Health Tribunal in Manhattan.
  • You may pay at the Manhattan location by using a credit card, debit card, check or money order.  
  • You may pay at the other OATH Health Tribunal office locations by using a credit or debit card.  
  • You will need the Docket Number from your Notice of Violation (NOV) to make a payment in person.

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Cash is not accepted at the OATH Health Tribunal. You will need to have your NOV or the Docket Number on the NOV with you to make a payment.

Are partial payments accepted?
Yes, but you must pay the full amount on time.

What happens if I fail to make the payment on time?
If you do not pay on time, you may be subject to the following:
Additional penalties and late fees ($50.00 after 30 days and an additional $50.00 after 60 days);
Referral of your account to a collection agency;
Entering of a judgment against you in New York State Supreme Court;
Non-renewal of any license or permit issued by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene;
Additional consequences, such as liens and denial of future City permits or licenses.

Why am I getting notices to pay a fine when I already paid?
There are a couple of reasons that this might occur. One reason may be that the OATH Health Tribunal’s computer system automatically generated a payment notice before your payment was fully processed. A second reason may be that an incorrect docket number was included on your payment. Another reason may be that the payment did not go through on your credit card or from your bank account. To determine if your payment was received and properly applied to your account, call the Public Information line at 1-844-628-4692 or visit any OATH Health Tribunal
 location.

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INTERPRETATION SERVICES

Where can I find information to help me understand some of the terms on the NOV of from the hearing?
The Health Tribunal section on OATH’s website provides a glossary of legal terms that are commonly used. Please visit www.nyc.gov/oath. Click “Health Tribunal” on the left side panel and then click on “Glossary of Legal Terms.”

I am hearing impaired. Will the City provide a sign language interpreter?
The City provides interpreters for hearing-impaired respondents. Call New York City’s Information TTY Line at 212-504-4115 before your hearing if you need a sign language interpreter.

I do not speak or understand English well. Will the OATH Health Tribunal have interpreters that speak my language?
The City provides access to interpreters for all hearings conducted at OATH. Tell the receptionist when you check in that you want an interpreter and one will be made available to you.

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Resources
Health Tribunal Decisions

Enforcement/Inspection Agencies
NYC Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene