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If a penalty is noted on your summons and the summons does not state that you must appear, you may wish to pay the penalty and not appear at the hearing. If you pay your summons on or before the hearing date without having a hearing, you are admitting to the charge and you waive your right to a hearing.

If you have a hearing and the Hearing Officer finds you in violation of the charges cited by the enforcement agency, you must pay that penalty, even if you wish to appeal the hearing officer's finding. 

You will need your summons number in order to pay a penalty. You may pay the penalty online, by mail, or in person.

If you did not pay before the hearing and you did not contest your summons by participating in a hearing, then you will be found in violation of the charge by a default and a higher penalty may be imposed.

If you participated in a hearing and a Hearing Officer found you in violation of the charges on the summons, you must pay the penalty imposed. OATH Hearing Officers do not have the discretion to alter or waive a penalty amount because all penalties are set by law.

WARNING: If you do not pay the imposed penalty, the City may file papers with the Civil Court of New York City and enter a judgment against you. The Department of Finance, the agency responsible for collecting money that is owed to the City, may also start collection activities. If you do not pay any imposed penalties, you may lose your ability to keep or get a City license, permit or registration. The City might also take further legal action against you."

Updates on Citizen Award Payments:

Please note that eligible award requests that were submitted to OATH before March 13, 2024, have now been forwarded to the Comptroller for final processing unless (a) the award request is not yet eligible because the underlying penalty has not been paid, (b) the award request is deficient and/or is missing necessary documentation, or (c) the requestor has not submitted a valid vendor code. Inquiries regarding award requests submitted before the above date may be directed to, noting the date of the request in the subject line.

Award requests submitted on or after the above date are currently being processed by OATH. Further details may not be available for award requests submitted on or after the above date, so kindly limit any inquiries regarding the status of such award requests. 

Avoid Scams! Please note that all emails that come from OATH have the email address of Any other communications that come from other email addresses like ones that have a or other commercial email address are not from OATH and should not be considered a communication from OATH. If you were contacted by someone misrepresenting themselves as an OATH employee, please contact the Clerk’s Office by email.