Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

CONTACT

NOTICES/SUMMONSES

HEARINGS/DECISIONS

DEFAULTS

APPEALS

PAYMENT

INTERPRETATION SERVICES



CONTACT

Where is the OATH Hearings Division located?
The OATH Hearings Division now has five locations, but you must go to the OATH Hearings Center that is listed on your Notice of Violation, Notice of Hearing or Summons.

The five hearing locations are:

 

BROOKLYN:

OATH Hearings Center
9 Bond Street, 6th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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

BRONX:

OATH Hearings Center
3030 3rd Avenue
Bronx, NY 10455

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

QUEENS:

OATH Hearings Center
144-06 94th Avenue
Jamaica, NY 11435

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

MANHATTAN:

OATH Hearings Center
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 Hearings Center
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 Hearings Division?
The closest subway station to the Manhattan office location with elevator access is Fulton Street subway station. 

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 Hearings Center hours?
In Manhattan: The OATH Hearings Center is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

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

In the Bronx: The OATH Hearings Center is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Thursday.

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

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

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NOTICES/SUMMONSES

What is a Notice of Violation (NOV), Notice of Hearing or Summons?
A Notice of Violation (NOV), Notice of Hearing or a Summons is a written legal notice that charges a person or entity (known as “the respondent”) with violating one of the laws of the City of New York.

How can I get a copy of my Notice of Violation, Notice of Hearing or Summons?
Write to the OATH Hearings Division to ask for a copy of your Notice of Violation, Notice of Hearing or Summons. You will need to provide the Summons or Notice number that appeared on your Summons. The OATH Hearings Division will either (1) mail you a copy, or (2) provide a copy for you to pick up at the OATH Hearings Division, located at 66 John Street 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038.

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HEARINGS/DECISIONS

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

How can I respond to or contest an NOV, Notice of Hearing or Summons?
You can contest a Notice or Summons by mail, online, over the phone  or in-person.

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 Notice or Summons.

How do I contest my Notice or Summons online?
You can submit a written defense to the OATH Hearings Division using an electronic hearing form on the OATH Hearings Division 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 OATH Hearing Officer to consider along with your written defense. You must submit the online form before the hearing date listed on your Notice or Summons. Click here to go to the online form.  

How can I contest my Notice or Summons by mail?
Send a letter to the OATH Hearings Center before the hearing date listed on the Notice or Summons. Your letter must clearly state that you want your case adjudicated by mail and include a response to each of the alleged violations cited on the Notice or Summons. Any charge that you do not address will be treated as if you are admitting the charge. You must also include a copy of the Notice or Summons with your letter. Note: In some instances, if you are contesting alleged violations by mail, the OATH Hearing Officer may still require that you appear for an in-person hearing at the OATH Hearings Division to provide more evidence or for the inspector from the enforcement agency to testify.

How do I contest my Notice or Summons 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 Hearings Division. 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 Heaings Division by the time listed on your Notice or Summons. Hearings are conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. The earlier you arrive, the sooner your case will be heard.


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How can I reschedule my hearing date?
You can request to reschedule your hearing by submitting an online request to the OATH Hearings Division using this online form. You can also send a letter to the OATH Hearings Division asking for a new hearing date. Please note that your letter must reach the Hearings Division no later than the date of the scheduled hearing.

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, online or requested a hearing-by-phone, an OATH Hearings Officer may write a decision that finds you in violation by default and a higher penalty may be imposed. You may apply to reopen the case by submitting a written request to the OATH Hearings Division within 60 days from the date the default decision is mailed. You must use the OATH Hearings Division request form to submit your request. If your application is received on time, the OATH Hearings Division will send you a written notice with a new hearing date. You can find the request form here.

How can I request that the inspector who issued the Notice or Summons be present at the hearing?
You should submit your request by mail so that your letter arrives at the OATH Hearings Division 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 Hearings Division will notify the summons-issuing agency to have its inspector appear on the new date. You may also wait until your scheduled hearing and ask the OATH Hearing Officer 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.

What do I do when I arrive at the OATH Hearings Division for my hearing?
When you arrive at the OATH Hearings Division, 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 an OATH Hearing Officer 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 Hearings Division. 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 OATH Hearing Officer 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 OATH Hearing Officer. If you request a hearing by mail, you should submit a sworn or affirmed notarized statement explaining your defense to the OATH Hearing Officer. You may also present testimony from other witnesses and offer supporting documents to the OATH Hearing Officer at your hearing (whether in-person, by phone, or online). 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 OATH Hearing Officer will explain how hearings are conducted. The OATH Hearing Officer will take testimony from you and from anyone else called by you or the enforcement agency, look at any documents presented, and hear all legal arguments from the parties. If you are representing yourself, the OATH Hearing Officer 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 enforcement agency or the person or business named on the Notice or Summons. However, all OATH 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 OATH Hearing Officer will write a decision. You will be asked to go to the waiting room while the OATH Hearing Officer prepares the decision. A clerk at the reception desk will call your name and give you a copy of the Hearing Officer's decision when it is ready. In rare instances, the OATH Hearing Officer may need additional time to prepare the decision. When this happens, the Hearing Officer 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 OATH Hearing Officer's decision?
If you are not satisfied with the OATH Hearing Officer's decision, you are entitled to file an appeal. You must submit your appeal by using the online form found on OATH’s website or by sending in the form by mail. Visit the appeals section of this website for more information about filing an appeal.

How can I get a copy of the decision in my case?
Write to the OATH Hearings Division to ask for a copy of your decision. You will need to provide the Notice or Summons Number that appeared on your Notice or Summons. After your request has been processed, the OATH Hearings Division will either (1) mail you a copy; or (2) provide a copy for you to pick up at the OATH Hearings Center located at, 66 John Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038.

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 Hearings Division 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 Hearings Division, you must file a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with OATH. You may send your request to 100 Church Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10007. You may also submit your request online, by choosing “FOIL request” in the “Message Topic” dropdown on our online web form. You will be charged $0.25 per sheet of paper requested.

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DEFAULTS

What is a default?
A default is a decision that finds the respondent in violation of the charge(s) when the respondent does not contest his/her Notice or Summons on or before the scheduled hearing date.

Why do I have a default?
A default is entered when a respondent fails to appear at the OATH Hearings Division for the scheduled OATH hearing or otherwise answer a Notice of Violation, Notice of Hearing or summons 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 Hearings Division, 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 (or 65 days if the 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 (or more than 65 days if the decision was mailed), you must include a statement setting forth a reasonable excuse for why you failed to appear or respond to the Notice or Summons 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 Hearings Division. 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 Hearings Division Appeal Application form, found here on the OATH website. The appeal can be submitted electronically through the online form or mailed to the OATH Hearings Division. 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, remand, or modify the decision being appealed.

How do I appeal a decision?
In order to appeal, you must do the following:

  1. Pay all fines imposed within 30 days of the OATH Hearing Officer's decision. If the decision was mailed to you, then you have 35 days to pay the imposed penalty. If you cannot pay the penalty due to financial hardship you may request a waiver of payment; however, you must provide documentation that shows that the request is being made due to your lack of ability to pay the fine at the current time.
  2. Submit your appeal using the OATH Hearings Division Appeals Application form, found on the OATH website and available at all OATH Hearings Centers.
  3. Send the appeal to both OATH Hearings Division and the enforcement agency responsible for enforcing the charges on the Notice or Summons.
  4. Make sure that the appeal application is received within 30 days of the date the decision was issued or within 35 days if the decision was sent to you.

You can find an informational brochure with instructions about the appeals process on the OATH website.

Why was my appeal rejected?
An appeal will be rejected if:

  1. You do not pay the imposed fines before filing your appeal, or a waiver of payment due to financial hardship is not granted by the OATH Hearings Division.
  2. You do not use the OATH Hearings Division Appeal Application form.
  3. You did not serve a copy of the appeal on both OATH and the enforcement agency responsible for the violation.
  4. Your appeal is received by the OATH Hearings Division more than 30 days after the original decision date (or more than 35 days if the decision was mailed to you) and you did not request an extension of time to appeal.

What happens if the enforcement agency appeals a decision?
If the enforcement agency files an appeal, you have the right to tell the OATH Hearings Division 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 Appeals section of this website. You may file the form online or by mail. The form must be received by the OATH Hearings Division within 30 days of your being served with the appeals application or 35 days if you were served by mail.

What happens during an appeal?
All appeals are decided by the OATH Hearings Division 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 OATH Hearing Officer at the original hearing. The Appeals Unit will look at your Notice of Violation, Notice of Hearing or Summons, consider all the evidence submitted at your original hearing, and read the original hearing decision. After reviewing the record from the original hearing, as well as the arguments made on your Appeal Application, and a response form, if one was submitted, the Appeals Unit will make a decision to affirm, reverse, remand 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 Hearings Division will refund the fines that you paid for violations that were reversed. If the enforcement agency wins an appeal, you will have to pay any penalties imposed.

How do I challenge an OATH Hearings Division appeal decision?
If you want to challenge a decision rendered 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 Hearings Division 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 City's licensing center.
  • You may use your credit card or debit card to pay online.
  • You will need the Summons or Notice Number from your Notice or Summons to make an online payment.
  • The City charges a convenience fee for making payments online through its licensing center.
Pay by Mail
  • Write your check or money order payable to: "OATH Hearings Division"
  • You must include the Summons or Notice Number from your Notice or Summons on the front of the check or money order.
  • If the payment is for more than one Notice or Summons, you must include all Summons or Notice Numbers.

Mail your payment to:

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

Pay in Person
  • Payments can be made in person at the OATH Hearings Centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
  • You may pay at the Manhattan and Brooklyn locations by using a credit card, debit card, check or money order.  
  • You will need the Notice or Summons number(s) to make a payment in person.
  • If you pay using a credit or debit card, a convenience feel will be charged.
  • Cash is not accepted at OATH Hearings Centers. You will need to have your Notice or Summons number(s) with you to make a payment.

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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:

  • The City of New York may refer your account to a collection agency;
  • The City of New York may enter a judgment against you in New York State Supreme Court;
  • The City of New York may not renew any license or permit issued by the enforcement agency that issued the Notice or Summons;
  • There may also be 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 Hearings Division computer system automatically generated a payment notice before your payment was fully processed.
  • A second reason may be that an incorrect Notice or Summons 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 Hearings Center location.

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    INTERPRETATION SERVICES

    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 Hearings Division have interpreters that speak my language?
    OATH provides access to interpreters for all hearings which it conducts, free of charge. Tell the person at the reception counter when you check in that you want an interpreter and one will be made available to you.

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    Resources
    Summary of New Rules at the OATH Hearings Division

    OATH Rules and Procedures

    Health and Restaurant Decisions

    Enforcement/Inspection Agencies
    NYC Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene