Penalty Schedule of Adjudicatory Hearings Rule (Repeal and Restate Chapter 7 of Title 24 of the RCNY)

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Comment By: 
Monday, August 6, 2018
Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

Statutory Authority

The repeal and restatement of Chapter 7 of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York and repeal of   Title 25 of the Rules of the City of New York is authorized by §§555(b)(2), 556, 558(b) and (e), and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”) and §3.11 of the New York City Health Code.

    • Section 556 of the Charter authorizes the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) to regulate all matters affecting health in the City of New York. 

    • Section 555(b)(2) of the Charter authorizes the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene to assess penalties for health-related regulations.

    • Section 558 of the Charter authorizes the Board of Health to set civil penalties for the enforcement of the Health Code.

    • Section 1043 of the Charter gives the Department rulemaking powers.


Background of Proposed Rule

    1. Repeal and restate Chapter 7 of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York

Historically, civil violations of the Health Code were adjudicated at a tribunal established by the Board of Health pursuant to §558(e) of the New York City Charter.  On November 2, 2010, however, New York City voters approved an amendment to the Charter authorizing the Mayor to consolidate certain administrative tribunals into the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) by Executive Order.

On July 3, 2011, the Department’s Administrative Tribunal established by the Board of Health was transferred to OATH by Executive Order No. 148 (June 8, 2011) (the “Executive Order”) and renamed the Health Tribunal at OATH. Subsequently, in 2015, the Tribunal became part of the OATH Hearings Division, which now hears and adjudicates violations issued by other City agencies as well as the Department.   

After the Department’s Administrative Tribunal was transferred into OATH, on December 13, 2011 the Board of Health repealed Article 7 (“Administrative Tribunal”) of the Health Code, which contained provisions for conduct of the Administrative Tribunal.  OATH has its own rules of procedure for the Health Tribunal at OATH, which are found in Chapter 6 of Title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York. Subdivision (b) of Health Code §3.12 (“Administrative Tribunal and Environmental Control Board proceedings”) now confers jurisdiction on the Health Tribunal at OATH  and the Environmental Control Board (“ECB”) to hear all violations of the Health Code or any other State or local law or regulation that the Department enforces by seeking fines and monetary penalties. The same subdivision also provides that any such proceeding will be adjudicated in accordance with applicable procedures of the Health Tribunal at OATH or ECB. 

Chapter 7 of the Department’s rules pre-dates the transfer of the Administrative Tribunal to OATH and the Board of Health’s repeal of Article 7 of the Health Code.  Accordingly, Chapter 7 still refers to the Department’s former Administrative Tribunal and must be amended to accurately reflect that OATH’s Hearings Division now adjudicates all cases where the Department is seeking monetary penalties for violations of the Health Code.  

Chapter 7 also authorizes the Commissioner to delegate authority to OATH to hear cases and make findings of fact and recommendations in due process or “show cause” hearings.  These adjudications request reports and recommendations to the Commissioner of Health regarding such matters as permit and license revocations and employee misconduct and discipline and will continue to be held at the OATH Trials Division, and thus this authorization will remain in the restated Chapter 7.  

Because the changes to Chapter 7 are so extensive, the Chapter is being repealed and restated. 

   2. Codify violation penalties

Section 6-02 of OATH’s rules requires that it impose fines and other penalties in accordance with applicable law. Penalties for the violations adjudicated in ECB have been established in ECB’s (and now OATH’s) rules for many years. 

The Health Code establishes penalty ranges for violations adjudicated in the OATH Hearings Division.  OATH hearing officers continue to exercise discretion in deciding penalty amounts to be imposed for violations they sustain, provided the amounts are within the range prescribed by the Health Code.

OATH, however, is requesting that all City agencies establish by rule fixed penalties for the violations they are adjudicating in its Hearings Division.  OATH has also indicated that it will be repealing the penalty schedules in its rules for ECB cases and that agencies should also adopt by rule penalties for violations being adjudicated in that tribunal.

In 2014, the Department amended Chapter 23 of Title 24 to establish penalties for violations issued to food service establishments.  The Department is now proposing to amend Chapter 7 to set penalties for other violations of the Health Code, Department rules and other applicable law enforced by various Department programs. The new fixed penalties include those for violations currently adjudicated at the OATH Hearings Division.  Food service establishment penalties will remain in Chapter 23. Mobile food vending penalties are not included in this Chapter, but the Department expects to incorporate them in a new appendix to Chapter 6 of these rules.

To further promote compliance and prompt correction of hazardous conditions, the penalties proposed by the Department are heightened for some repeat offenses, considered continuous for others and in the case of standing water violations, the penalties reflect the magnitude of the violation.  These terms are defined in the rules and specified in the violation descriptions.  Sustained repeat violations citing rats, rat signs, rat harborage and conditions conducive to rats carry minimum, maximum and accelerated penalties in accordance with §17-133.1 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York. 

Penalties for violations of repealed Health Code and other provisions of law contained in current ECB rules have been excluded from the proposed penalty table, including those for violations of Article 153 and §§139.05, 139.07 and 181.03. Also excluded are penalties for violations that are already specified in a provision of the Health Code or Administrative Code, or in a particular Department rule or other applicable law.

   3. Repeal Title 25 of the Rules of the City of New York

In the November 2001 general election, New York City voters approved an amendment of the Charter to establish a “Department of Public Health” (later changed to the “Department of Health and Mental Hygiene”) combining the former Departments of Health (DOH) and Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Alcoholism Services (DMHMRAS). All employees of both agencies became employees of the combined DOHMH.  The only existing provision in Title 25 of the Rules of the City of New York of the former DMHMRAS is §1-01 (Conduct of Adjudicatory Hearings) of Chapter 1 (Adjudications), relating to employee fitness and disciplinary hearings. Title 25 is no longer necessary because of the merger of the two agencies, and the Department proposes to repeal it.



Public Hearing

Proposal to repeal and restate Chapter 7 (Adjudicatory Hearings) of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York regarding penalty schedule.

Public Hearing Date: 
Monday, August 6, 2018 - 2:00pm

Svetlana Burdeynik, (347) 396-6078,

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Gotham Center
42-09 28th Street, 3rd Floor, Room 3-32
Queens, NY 11101