Adjudicatory Proceedings and Penalties
Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments
Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rules
Chapter 6 of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York, entitled “Administrative Hearings,” contains the procedural rules of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ (“Department”) administrative tribunal. By Executive Order No. 18, dated June 23, 2016, the Mayor transferred adjudications within the jurisdiction of the Department’s administrative tribunal to the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (“OATH”).
Beginning on August 22, 2016 or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, OATH will adjudicate all pending and future violations issued by the Department. Chapter 1 and Chapter 6 of Title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York contain the procedural rules that govern OATH’s administrative tribunals.
These rules repeal the procedural rules that governed the Department’s administrative tribunal, clarify provisions in the Executive Order and provide guidance to those who want to settle their violations before appearing at OATH. Specifically, these rules:
- Outline the Department’s delegation to OATH of certain adjudicatory authority granted to the Department’s Commissioner;
- Clarify when OATH will issue a recommended decision and the Department’s process for receiving arguments prior to issuing a written decision;
- Provide guidance on how to respond to a pleading letter to settle a violation prior to hearing;
- Clarify the methodology for submitting a proof of cure to the Department and outlining the specific violations for which an opportunity to cure is available;
- Require those entering into settlement agreements to comply with their terms;
- Establish that a settlement agreement constitutes a plea of guilty to the charges in the Notice of Violation, unless otherwise provided;
- Establish that a settlement agreement has the force of an order and that failure to comply will subject a respondent to a civil penalty of up to $500;
- Establish that a failure to comply with an order of the Commissioner will subject the respondent to sanctions, including a civil penalty of up to $500 or suspension or revocation of its licenses;
- Set fixed penalties for violations issued by the Department to promote consistency and fairness in decision making and provide predictability for those whose Notices of Violations are decided at OATH; and
- Explain the Department’s rulemaking procedures for public hearings.