OATH Final Rule - Community Service

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Agency:

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED in the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings in accordance with Sections 1049(4)(g) and 1043(b) of the New York City Charter. OATH promulgates a new Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York, which describes OATH’s community service program mandated by New York City Charter Section 1049(4). 

 

The proposed rule was published in The City Record on March 31, 2017, and a public hearing was held on May 1, 2017. No members of the public attended the public hearing and OATH did not receive any written comments concerning this rule.

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

The Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) promulgates a new Chapter 7 of Title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York, describing OATH’s community service program, mandated by New York City Charter Section 1049(4). 

 

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 NYC 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 and certain violations of rules of the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).

 

Local Law 73 added subdivision 4 of section 1049 to the NYC Charter.  This subdivision requires that an OATH Hearing Officer offer a respondent who has been accused of committing a specified violation of the Administrative Code or of DPR’s rules the option to perform community service instead of paying a monetary civil penalty. Local Law 73 defines community service broadly to include attendance at programs that are either in-person or web-based, which are designed to benefit, improve, or educate either the community or the respondent. Section 1049(4)(b) provides a list of “Specified Violations” that are eligible for community service.  The Charter also provides guidelines as to the amount of community service to be performed in lieu of payment of the monetary civil penalty.  Section 1049(4)(g) grants OATH the authority to promulgate rules necessary for carrying out the Charter requirements concerning community service.  Specifically, OATH is required to promulgate rules that specify the correspondence between the amount of community service offered and the amount of civil penalties imposed.  OATH has structured several community service program offerings, each of which has a set number of hours that correlate to the benchmark set forth in Local Law 73 of 2016.

 

This rule describes OATH’s community service program and the procedures a respondent must follow to request and complete community service. Chapter 7 contains the following:

 

  • A definitions section, which defines terms such as Community Service, Community Service Provider, and Specified Violations;
  • A chart of Specified Violations for which community service is an option, including the applicable monetary penalty and the corresponding number of community service hours;
  • The procedures a respondent must follow to choose the community service option;
  • The procedure and requirements to timely complete community service or request an extension to complete community service;
  • The consequences for failure to timely complete community service; and
  • The procedure for appealing a decision after a respondent has chosen the community service option.

 

OATH made the following changes to Section 7-02 of the proposed rule:

  • Revised the chart to conform the relevant summons citations, descriptions and penalty amounts to the Department of Parks and Recreation penalty schedule, which is being promulgated simultaneously with this rule. 
  • Changed the heading in the chart from “Monetary Penalty” to “Citation Monetary Penalty.”
  • Removed from the chart the violations of “Unauthorized music or noise for advertising/commercial purposes” and “Commercial cinematic production without required permit” based on Section 1049(4) of the NYC Charter, which states that Specified Violations do not include violations arising during the course of conducting any commercial activity or violations arising from an activity carried out for a commercial purpose.