OATH Final Rule amending Chapter 7 concerning its community service program

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Agency:

City of New York

Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings 

Notice of Promulgation of Rule

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED in the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) in accordance with Sections 1049 and 1043 of the New York City Charter that OATH amends chapter 7 of title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York, concerning the community service program established by OATH pursuant to subdivision 4 of section 1049 of the New York City Charter.

The proposed rule was published in The City Record on March 20, 2019, and a public hearing was held on April 23, 2019. No one attended or testified at the public hearing concerning this rule and OATH did not receive any written comments.

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Final Rule

The Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) amends section 7-01, subdivisions (a) and (b) of section 7-02, section 7-03, and section 7-05 of Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York, concerning OATH’s community service program established by section 1049(4) of the New York City Charter (City Charter).  In addition, OATH renumbers sections 7-06 and 7-07 as sections 7-07 and 7-08, respectively, and adds a new section 7-06 to such Chapter.  

OATH began offering community service to eligible respondents in June 2017 as part of the Criminal Justice Reform Act (Local Law 73 for the year 2016).  The New York City Council passed the Criminal Justice Reform Act (CJRA) to create the opportunity for civil enforcement of low-level, non-violent offenses. This legislation was enacted on June 13, 2016. As part of the CJRA, Local Law 73 added new provisions to section 1049 of the City Charter that require OATH Hearing Officers to offer an option to perform community service in lieu of paying a monetary civil penalty for certain specified violations of the Administrative Code of the City of New York and certain violations of rules of the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). A respondent is eligible to complete community service if they have either admitted to a specified violation before a hearing or if a specified violation was sustained against them after a hearing. A table of specified violations can be found in § 7-02 below. 

Currently, respondents may only complete community service in-person, including a one-hour e-learning (learning which is conducted on a computer) course administered at an OATH Hearings Division location. Commencing in the summer of 2019, respondents will have the option to fulfill a one- or two-hour community service requirement by completing an online Community Service course from any computer. The amendments describe the procedures by which respondents may now complete community service either before or after a hearing, including the process by which respondents can admit to a Specified Violation by completing the online Community Service course, on or before the hearing date.

The amendments to section 7-01 remove the definition of “community service provider” since OATH is now managing the community service program. The amendments to section 7-02 clarify that a respondent may now admit to a specified violation before the hearing date without appearing before a hearing officer.

The amendments also relocate the provisions that govern community service extensions from subdivisions (c) and (d) of section 7-05 to a new section 7-06, and clarify that extensions do not apply to respondents who wish to admit to the Specified Violation by completing the online Community Service course. Due to the creation of a new section 7-06, former sections 7-06 and 7-07 are renumbered.