If you received a summons, settlement letter, or other legal Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)—formerly the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)—correspondence, do NOT ignore it. Read answers below to resolve DCWP issues as soon as possible.
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What is a Summons?
A Summons is an order for you to appear at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). It is usually issued by a DCWP inspector during an on-site business inspection or by DCWP General Counsel (e.g., your business could not resolve a consumer complaint through mediation).
What are my options if I received a Summons?
In most cases, you can settle a case without a hearing by accepting the conditions of an Offer of Settlement letter. Read Frequently Asked Questions – Settlements.
If you would like to dispute the Summons, you can appear at the hearing. The Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) hears DCWP cases. You can find more information about OATH, including its procedural rules and how to reschedule a hearing, at nyc.gov/oath. Note: At least five business days before your hearing date, you can submit a discovery request to DCWP, and we will respond before the hearing date. Submit your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your Summons/Notice number.
How do I request an Offer of Settlement?
You can request an Offer of Settlement, if applicable, by using your cell phone! Read flyer for instructions.
Read Frequently Asked Questions – Settlements Note that some Offers of Settlement will include information about curable violations (i.e., certain first-time violations that you can settle without penalty if you correct the violation within 30 days of the inspection and plead guilty). Read Curable Violations FAQs, including a full list of curable violations and ways to submit a Cure Certification.
After receiving an Offer of Settlement, you can:
What is the Cure Law?
Under the Cure Law, a business has the opportunity to certify that it has cured (correct) without a fine certain first-time violations. Read Curable Violations FAQs, including a full list of curable violations and ways to submit a Cure Certification.
How do I submit a Discovery Request?
At least five business days before your hearing date, you can submit a discovery request to DCWP, and we will respond before the hearing date. Submit your request to email@example.com. Please include your Summons/Notice number.
What are the Penalty Schedules?
View DCWP Penalty Schedules in the Rules of the City of New York, Title 6, Chapter 6, Subchapter B.
What if I disagree with a Recommended Decision?
Certain charges issued by DCWP will result in a Recommended Decision from the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). If you disagree with the Recommended Decision, you may submit a written argument why OATH’s recommendation should not be followed by DCWP. You must submit the argument to DCWP within 30 days of OATH’s Recommended Decision. Note: DCWP will consider your written argument and will issue a final decision that either affirms, reverses, or modifies OATH’s recommendation.
What is a Consent Order?
A Consent Order is an agreement between you/your business and DCWP to settle charges made against you/your business. It may include fine payments and use of certain forms, signs & templates.
Note: For Consent Orders with DCWP’s Office of Labor Policy and Standards (OLPS), online payment is available two business days AFTER the order has been signed by both parties. Civil penalties must be paid by the deadline in the Consent Order. For further assistance, email ComplianceMonitoring@dcwp.nyc.gov.
What is a Request for Stay of Default?
If DCWP intends to enter and docket a judgment against you in New York State Court based on a decision and order issued against you, you may request a “stay” so DCWP will stop or suspend entering and docketing a judgment against you. Download Request for Stay of Default form.