In New York City, certain agencies issue summonses for the violation of rules and regulations.
You can go to court over a summons, but there are also other ways to resolve an OATH violation and you must respond by the hearing date with legal representation, if you wish.
The Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) is an administrative court. An OATH summons may charge you with making excess noise, loitering, improper garbage disposal, a dirty or blocked sidewalk or a health code violation. You must correct the violation and submit documents that confirm you are now in compliance:
- A Certificate of Correction affidavit
- Proof of correction, such as a receipt, photograph or permit
- A notarized statement as to how you corrected the violation
- Proof of payment of applicable penalties
You do not have to attend a hearing if you admit guilt for the violation beforehand. By taking prompt action, you could reduce or eliminate your penalty. Under the “admit option,” you can submit payment to OATH for the standard penalty. You could also “cure” the violation and submit a Certificate of Correction prior to the cure date. For other violations, you can enter into a stipulation with the appropriate department and receive additional time to correct the violation. In these cases, you would not need to attend a hearing.
If you want to contest the violation, there are various types of outcomes:
- Dismissal: No penalty imposed
- In violation: You will receive a penalty, but have the right to appeal
- Mitigation: If you admit guilt and show that you have corrected the condition, you can expect a reduced penalty
- Default: If you do not attend the hearing, the penalty imposed will be five times higher than the standard penalty
With the right preparation, you may be able to resolve your summons smoothly.