Cure Period for Signage Violations
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule
The City Council enacted Local Law 153 of 2013 to establish opportunities to cure first-time violations of specified laws and rules set forth in the City’s Administrative Code and the Rules of the City of New York rather than to impose fines for violations of those laws and rules. Section 16 of Local Law 153 requires the Department of Consumer Affairs (the Department) to promulgate rules establishing opportunities to cure the first violation of twenty-four described signage requirements set forth in Title 6 of the City’s Rules. The proposed rule establishes opportunities to cure first-time violations of the specified mandates described in section 16.
The proposed rule amends 6 RCNY § 6-31, entitled “Pre-Hearing Disposition of Violations,” by adding a new subsection “d.” New subsection “d,” entitled “Opportunities to Cure,” implements the mandate of section 16 of Local Law 153. It creates the opportunity for a business that receives, for the first-time, a violation of one of twenty-four specified “signage mandates” to avoid a civil penalty by providing satisfactory proof that the violation has been cured.
A first-time violator seeking to avoid the civil penalty must submit proof that he or she cured the violation within thirty days of receiving a notice of violation and before the commencement of the adjudication of the violation. The rule requires the business to submit a self-certification on a form approved by the Department stating the manner of the cure and the date on which it occurred. The Department may seek additional information reasonably necessary to prove that the violation was cured within thirty days. A submission of proof of a cure by a business will constitute its admission of liability for all purposes.
Under the proposed rule, a business may submit proof of the cure in person, by mail or electronically. The Department will offer the opportunity to cure as part of every offer of settlement made by the Department to a person who has received, for the first time, a notice of violation of a specified signage mandate.
The proposed rule requires the Department to notify a business when the proof of cure it has submitted is not satisfactory. A business may seek review by the Department’s administrative tribunal of a determination that the proof is not satisfactory within fifteen days of receiving written notice that the proof is not satisfactory.
Paragraph 6 of new subsection “d” sets forth the specific signage mandates in Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York for which opportunities to cure first time violations will be available. They are as follows:
- 6 RCNY § 1-03(a), requiring the posting of a sign stating that individuals may complain to the Department about a licensed business;
- 6 RCNY § 1-03(b), requiring sidewalk cafes to post a sign stating the maximum number of tables and chairs licensed for such sidewalk café;
- 6 RCNY § 2-24, requiring amusement arcades and gaming cafes to post a sign describing age restrictions during certain hours of operation;
- 6 RCNY § 2-57(f), prohibiting sidewalk cafes from posting signage or advertising except for a sign affixed to the valance of an awning with the name of the establishment in lettering not exceeding eight (8) inches in height on a twelve (12) inch valance in a single horizontal line;
- 6 RCNY § 2-131(s)(4), requiring laundries to distinguish in their advertising between services offered at different prices;
- 6 RCNY § 2-131(u), requiring an automatic or coin-operated laundry to post a sign on non-functioning machines;
- 6 RCNY § 2-131(v)(1), requiring a laundry to post a notice that complaints and claims for refunds may be made to a certain person or person;
- 6 RCNY § 2-131(v)(5), requiring that the information in the sign required by 6 RCNY § 131(v) be in both English and Spanish;
- 6 RCNY § 2-161(g)(1), requiring that parking lots and garages have separate entrances and exits, with the main entrance clearly designated with illuminated signs marked “entrance” and “exit”;
- 6 RCNY § 2-161(g)(2)(v), requiring that parking lot and garage auxiliary signs contain equally sized letters and numbers;
- 6 RCNY § 2-161(g)(2)(vi), requiring that parking lots and garages post a sign stating:
(a) the business hours;
(b) the licensed capacity;
(c) the minimum number of bicycle parking spaces;
- 6 RCNY § 2-161(g)(3)(i), requiring that the parking garage and lot sign required by 6 RCNY § 2-161(g)(2) is illuminated, clearly visible and readable;
- 6 RCNY § 2-161(h)(1), requiring the posting of a sign that the garage is at full capacity for car parking;
- 6 RCNY § 2-161(h)(2), requiring the posting of a sign that the garage is at full capacity for bicycle parking;
- 6 RCNY § 2-161(u), requiring that parking lots and garages with waivers under section 20-327.1 of subchapter 17 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York post a sign that bicycle parking is not required by law;
- 6 RCNY § 2-211(h), requiring a sightseeing bus post a sign on the windshield and near the entrance door of such bus that designates the departure time and destination of such bus;
- 6 RCNY § 2-253(a)(3) and (4), requiring that electronic or home appliance service dealers post a notice in the department or area where electronic and home appliances are accepted for repair stating that customers are entitled to written estimates for repairs and other customer rights, and that the regulations of the Department relating to television, radio and audio servicing are available for review from the service dealer upon request;
- 6 RCNY § 2-275(c), requiring dealers of products for the disabled to post a sign summarizing provisions of the New York City Products for the Disabled Law;
- 6 RCNY § 3-12, requiring labeling declarations required by subchapter A of Chapter 3 of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York to be written in the English language;
- 6 RCNY § 3-24(f)(2), requiring stores with weighing and measuring devices for customer use to post a sign informing customer that they may reweigh products using such weighing or measuring device or devices;
- 6 RCNY § 5-24, requiring that a business that accepts credit cards post a list of limitations that such business puts on credit card usage at or near the entrance of the business and in all advertising indicating that credit cards are accepted;
- 6 RCNY § 5-37, requiring the posting of refund policies;
- 6 RCNY § 5-40(e), prohibiting a sign stating that a business is not liable for its negligence if such a statement is invalid under law;
- 6 RCNY § 5-46(d), requiring a motor vehicle rental business to post a sign not less than twelve (12) inches by eighteen (18) inches in dimension with lettering not less than one (1) inch high providing information about how to complain to the Department and setting forth consumers’ rights under the Consumer Protection Law;
- 6 RCNY § 5-66(c), requiring that tax preparers post a sign:
(a) stating his or her name, address, telephone number and qualifications;
(b) stating that the preparer and taxpayer must sign every tax return;
(c) stating how his or her fees are calculated;
(d) stating that he or she or his or her agency will not represent the taxpayer in an audit, if true; and
(e) stating that he or she is not licensed by the state board of public accounting or the New York state bar, or both, if true; and
- 6 RCNY § 5-195, requiring signage at businesses that sell beverages for off-premises consumption in beverage containers that are covered by title ten of article twenty-seven of the Environmental Conservation Law of the State of New York to be placed with a certain distance of cash registers or to be visible to consumers from any specific vantage point.
The Department of Consumer Affairs’ authority for these rules is found in section 2203 of the New York City Charter and sections 20-104(b) of the New York City Administrative Code.