City Administrative Procedure Act (CAPA)

The City Administrative Procedure Act (“CAPA”) is included in Chapter 45 of the New York City Charter, and requires that agencies follow certain deadlines and filing requirements when issuing new rules or making amendments. 

A copy of the Act is included below.

     § 1041. Definitions. As used herein, the term  

1. "Adjudication" means a proceeding in which the legal rights, dutiesor  privileges  of named parties are required by law to be determined byan agency on a record   and after an opportunity for a hearing.

     2. "Agency" means any one or more of the elected or appointed officersprovided for in this charter and any other official or entity  which  isacting  (1)  under  the  direction  of one or more of such officers, (2)under the direction of one or more other officials who are appointed by,or appointed on the recommendation of, such officers, or (3)  under  thedirection of a board, the majority of whose members are appointed by, orappointed  upon the recommendation of, one or more of such officers, butshall not include the city council.

     3. "Compilation" means the Compilation of city rules  required  to  bepublished under section one thousand forty-five.

     4.  "Law"  means  federal, state and local law, this charter and rulesissued pursuant thereto.

     5. "Rule" means the whole or part of any statement or communication of general applicability that (i) implements or applies law or  policy,  or (ii)  prescribes  the  procedural requirements of an agency including an amendment, suspension, or repeal of any such statement or communication.

 a. "Rule" shall include, but not  be  limited  to,  any  statement  or communication  which  prescribes  (i)  standards which, if violated, may result in a sanction or penalty; (ii) a fee to be charged by or required to be paid to an agency; (iii) standards for the issuance, suspension or revocation of a license or  permit;  (iv)  standards  for  any  product, material, or service which must be met before manufacture, distribution, sale  or  use;  (v) standards for the procurement of goods and services;(vi) standards for the disposition of public property or property  under agency  control;  or  (vii) standards for the granting of loans or other benefits.

b. "Rule" shall not include any (i) statement or  communication  which relates  only to the internal management or personnel of an agency which does not materially affect the rights of or procedures available to  the public; (ii) form, instruction, or statement or communication of general policy,  which  in itself has no legal effect but is merely explanatory;(iii) statement or communication concerning  the  allocation  of  agency resources  or  personnel;  (iv)  statement or communication for guiding, directing or otherwise  regulating  vehicular  and  pedestrian  traffic including  but not limited to any statement or communication controlling parking, standing, stopping or a construction detour,  the  contents  of which is indicated to the public in signs, signals, markings and similar devices,  the  determination  and  installation  of  which  is  based on engineering or other technical considerations not involving  substantial policy  considerations;  (v)  statement  or  communication  effecting  a non-continuous closing of a street; or (vi) statement  or  communication adopted  pursuant  to  sections  fifty-one,  one  hundred ninety-seven-a except pursuant to the first sentence of  subdivision  b  or  the  third sentence  of  subdivision  c  of section one hundred ninety-seven-a, on hundred ninety-seven-c except  pursuant  to  subdivisions  i  and  l  of section   one  hundred  ninety-seven-c,  one  hundred  ninety-nine,  two hundred, two hundred one, two hundred two and seven hundred five of this charter.


§  1042.  Regulatory agenda.

a. Each agency shall publish by the first day of May annually, a regulatory agenda which shall contain:

   1. a brief description of the subject areas in which it is anticipated that rules may be promulgated during the next fiscal year,  including  a description of the  reasons why action by the agency is being considered;

   2. a summary, to the extent known, of the anticipated contents of each such proposed rule, its objectives and legal basis;

   3. a description of the types of individuals and entities likely to be subject to the rule;

   4.  an  identification,  to  the  extent  practicable, of all relevant federal, state, and local laws and  rules,  including  those  which  mayduplicate, overlap or conflict with the proposed rule; and

   5.  an  approximate  schedule  for adopting the proposed rule, and the name and telephone number of an agency official knowledgeable about each subject area involved.

 b. Each agency the single head of which  is  appointed  by  the  mayor shall forward to the mayor its regulatory agenda. The mayor shall review such  regulatory agenda to determine whether regulations contemplated by city  agencies  are  consistent  with  the  policy  objectives  of   the administration.

 c.  Failure  to  include  an  item  in  a  regulatory agenda shall not preclude action thereon. If rulemaking is undertaken  on  a  matter  not included in the regulatory agenda the agency shall include in the notice of  proposed  rulemaking  the  reason  the rule was not anticipated. The inadvertent failure to provide the reason such rule was not included  in the regulatory agenda shall not serve to invalidate the rule.


§  1043.  Rulemaking. 

a. Authority. Each agency is empowered to adopt rules necessary to carry out the powers and duties delegated to it by or pursuant to federal, state or local law. No agency shall  adopt  a  rule except pursuant to this section. Each such rule shall be simply written, using ordinary language where possible.

 b.  Notice. 1. Each agency shall publish the full text of the proposed rule in the City Record at least thirty days prior to the date set for a public hearing to be held pursuant to the requirements of subdivision  e of  this  section  or  the  final  date for receipt of written comments, whichever is earlier. A proposed rule amending an  existing  rule  shall contain  in brackets any part to be deleted and shall have underlined or italicized any new part to  be  added.  A  proposed  rule  repealing  an existing  rule  shall contain in brackets the rule to be repealed, or if the full text of the rule was published in the Compilation  required  to be published pursuant to section one thousand forty-five, shall give the citation  of the rule to be repealed and a summary of its contents. Such published notice shall include  a  draft  statement  of  the  basis  and purpose  of  the  proposed  rule, the statutory authority, including the particular sections and subdivisions upon which the action is based, the time and place of public hearing, if any, to be held or the reason  that a  public  hearing  will  not be held, and the final date for receipt of written  comments.  If  the  proposed  rule  was  not  included  in  the regulatory  agenda,  such  notice shall also include the reason the rule was not anticipated,  as  required  in  subdivision  c  of  section  one thousand forty-two of this chapter.

 2.   Copies   of   the  full  text  of  the  proposed  rule  shall  be electronically transmitted to the office of the speaker of the  council, the  council's office of legislative documents, the corporation counsel, each council member, the chairs of all community boards, the news  media and  civic  organizations  no  later  than the date the proposed rule is transmitted to the City Record for publication pursuant to paragraph one of subdivision b of this section; provided that an  inadvertent  failure to fully comply with the notice requirements of this paragraph shall not serve to invalidate any rule.

 3. (a) News media, for the purposes of this subdivision, shall include (i)  all  radio  and television stations broadcasting in the city of New York, all newspapers  published  in  the  city  of  New  York  having  a city-wide  or  borough-wide  circulation, and any newspaper of any labor union or trade association representing an  industry  affected  by  such rule,  and  (ii)  any  community newspaper or any other publication that requests such notification on an annual basis.

(b) Civic organizations, for the purposes of this  subdivision,  shall include  any  city-wide or borough-wide organization or any labor union, trade association or other group that requests such notification  on  an annual basis.

 4.  In addition to the requirements set forth in paragraph one of this subdivision, each agency shall provide information regarding the  public hearing  to  be  held  with  regard  to  a  proposed rule in a prominent location on such agency's website at least seven days prior to the  date set  for such hearing. Each agency shall further provide, in a prominent location on such agency's website, a link to the NYC Rules online portal or any successor city website or page that is substantially  similar  in form or function. Each agency shall, to the greatest extent practicable, and  in  addition  to the electronic transmissions required by paragraph two  of  this  subdivision,  publicize  upcoming  public  hearings   via electronic  means  that  are  likely  to reach interested members of the public. This paragraph shall not be construed to create a private  right of  action to enforce its provisions. Inadvertent failure to comply with this paragraph shall not result in the invalidation of any rule.

c. Review of statutory authority. The corporation counsel shall review the  proposed  rule  to  determine  whether  it  is within the authority delegated by law to the agency proposing the rule.  If  the  corporation counsel  determines  that  the  proposed rule is not within the agency's delegated authority, the corporation counsel shall notify the agency  in writing prior to the publication of the final rule in the City Record.

 d.  1.  The  law department and the mayor's office of operations shall review each proposed rule prior to publication of such proposed rule  in the  City  Record.  At  the conclusion of its review, the law department shall state whether  each  proposed  rule:  (i)  is  drafted  so  as  to accomplish the purpose of the authorizing provisions of law; (ii) is not in conflict with other applicable rules; (iii) to the extent practicable and  appropriate,  is  narrowly drawn to achieve its stated purpose; and (iv) to the extent practicable and appropriate, contains a statement  of basis  and purpose that provides a clear explanation of the rule and the requirements imposed by the rule. As part of  its  review,  the  mayor's office  of  operations  shall  analyze each proposed rule and state: (a) whether such rule is understandable and written in plain  language;  (b) how  the  drafting  process  of  the rule, to the extent practicable and appropriate, included analysis sufficient  to  minimize  the  compliance costs for the discrete regulated community or communities, to the extent one  exists,  consistent  with achieving the stated purpose of the rule; and (c) why, in the event such rule  involves  the  establishment  of  a violation,  modification of a violation or modification of the penalties associated with a violation without also including  a  cure  period,  or other  opportunity  for  ameliorative  action  by  the  party or parties subject to enforcement,  such  cure  period  or  other  opportunity  for ameliorative  action  was  not  included. Provided, however, that if the proposed rule solely establishes or modifies the amount  of  a  monetary penalty  or penalties then the law department statement required by this paragraph shall not be required  and  the  analysis  of  the  office  of operations  may  be  limited  to  the reason or reasons a cure period or other opportunity for ameliorative action was not included.

 2. After completing the review as set forth in paragraph one  of  this subdivision,  the  law  department  and the mayor's office of operations shall certify that they have performed such review, and  shall  promptly transmit  a copy of such certification, including the analysis performed by the mayor's office of operations, to the relevant agency. Such agency shall annex such certification and analysis to  the  full  text  of  the proposed  rule  as  published in the City Record. Such certification and analysis shall also be made  available  to  the  public  on  the  city's website  and  transmitted to the speaker of the city council at the time of publication. In no event shall  a  proposed  rule  be  submitted  for initial publication in the City Record unless the law department and the mayor's   office  of  operations  have  issued  such  certification  and analysis.

 3. This subdivision shall not be construed to create a  private  right of  action to enforce its provisions. Inadvertent failure to comply withthis subdivision shall not result in the invalidation of any rule.

 4. This subdivision shall not apply to rules that: (i) are promulgatedpursuant to the emergency procedures set forth in subdivision i of  thissection;   (ii)   are   solely   concerned  with  the  establishment  ormodification of the amount of a monetary penalty or penalties,  and  theunderlying  violation or a modification of the penalties associated withsuch violation has previously been analyzed in accordance with paragraphone  of  this  subdivision;  (iii)are  solely   concerned   with   theestablishment  or  modification  of  the amount of a fee or fees or (iv)implement particular mandates or standards set forth  in  newly  enactedfederal,  state,  or  local laws, regulations or other requirements with only  minor,  if any, exercise of agency discretion in interpreting such mandates or standards.  If  an  analysis  of  a  proposed  rule  is  not performed  pursuant to the exceptions noted in this paragraph, such factshall be noted and the note annexed to the full  text  of  the  proposed rule as published in the City Record.

 e. Opportunity for and consideration of agency and public comment. Theagency  shall  provide  the  public  an  opportunity  to  comment on theproposed rule (i) through outreach to the discrete  regulated  communityor  communities,  if  one exists, provided that this clause shall not beconstrued  to  create  a  private  right  of  action  to  enforce   thisrequirement;   (ii)  through  submission  of  written  data,  views,  orarguments, and (iii) at a public hearing unless it is determined by  theagency  in  writing,  which shall be published in the notice of proposedrulemaking in the City Record, that such a public hearing on a  proposedrule  would  serve no public purpose. All written comments and a summaryof oral comments concerning a proposed rule received from the public  orany  agency  shall  be  placed  in  a  public record and be made readilyavailable to the public as soon as practicable and in any event within areasonable time, not to be delayed because of the continued pendency  ofconsideration  of the proposed rule. After consideration of the relevantcomments presented, the agency  may  adopt  a  final  rule  pursuant  tosubdivision  f  of  this section; except that, other than a rule adoptedpursuant to subdivision i of  this  section,  no  final  rule  shall  beadopted  by such board or commission unless its final language is postedin a prominent location on  such  agency's  website  and  electronicallytransmitted  to  each  member of such board or commission at least threecalendar days, exclusive of Sundays,  prior  to  such  rule's  adoption;provided,  however,  that  revisions  may be made to a final rule postedonline and sent electronically in conformity with  this  subdivision  atany  time  prior to the vote on such rule if such revisions are approvedby all members of such board or commission by  unanimous  consent.  Suchfinal rule may include revisions of the proposed rule, and such adoptionof  revisions  based  on  the consideration of relevant agency or publiccomments shall not require further notice and comment pursuant  to  thissection. This paragraph shall not be construed to create a private rightof  action to enforce its provisions. Inadvertent failure to comply withthis paragraph shall not result in the invalidation of any rule.

f. Effective date. 1. No rule shall be effective until(a) the rule is filed by the agency with the corporation  counsel  forpublication in the Compilation,(b)  the  rule  and a statement of basis and purpose is transmitted tothe council for its information, and(c) the rule and a statement of basis and purpose have been  publishedin  the City Record and thirty days have elapsed after such publication.The  requirement  that  thirty  days  shall  first  elapse  after   suchpublication  shall not apply where a finding that a substantial need forthe earlier implementation of a program or policy has been made  by  theagency  in  writing  and  has  been  approved  by the mayor prior to theeffective date of the rule and such finding and approval is contained inthe notice.

 2. A rule shall be void if it is not published in the next  supplementto  the  Compilation  in which its publication is practicable; provided,however, that in the case of an inadvertent failure to publish a rule insuch supplement, the rule shall become effective as of the date  of  itspublication,  if  it  is  published  within  six  months of the date thecorporation  counsel  receives  notice  of  its  omission;  and  furtherprovided  that  any  judicial  or  administrative  action or proceeding,whether criminal or civil, commenced under or by virtue of any provisionof  a  rule  voided  pursuant  to this section and pending prior to suchvoidance, may be prosecuted and defended to final  effect  in  the  samemanner as they might if such rule had not been so voided.

 g.  Petition  for rules. Any person may petition an agency to considerthe adoption of any rule. Within sixty days after the  submission  of  apetition, the agency shall either deny such petition in writing, statingthe  reasons  for  denial,  or  state the agency's intention to initiaterulemaking,  by  a  specified  date,  concerning  the  subject  of  suchpetition.  Each  agency  shall  prescribe  by  rule  the  procedure  forsubmission, consideration and disposition of such petitions. In the caseof a board, commission or other body that is  not  headed  by  a  singleperson,  such  rules of procedure may authorize such body to delegate toits chair the authority to reject such petitions. Such decision shall bewithin the discretion of the agency and shall not be subject to judicialreview.

 h. Maintenance of comments. Each agency shall establish a  system  formaintaining  and  making  available  for  public  inspection all writtencomments received in response to each notice of rulemaking.

 i. Emergency procedures. 1. Notwithstanding  any  other  provision  ofthis section, an agency may adopt a rule prior to the notice and commentotherwise  required  by  this  section if the immediate effectiveness ofsuch rule is necessary to address an imminent threat to health,  safety,property  or  a necessary service. A finding of such imminent threat andthe specific reasons for the finding must be  made  in  writing  by  theagency adopting such rule and shall be approved by the mayor before suchrule  may be made effective. In the event that an elected official otherthan the mayor has the authority to promulgate rules, such official  maymake  such  findings  without  prior  mayoral  approval.  The  rule  andaccompanying finding  shall  be  made  public  forthwith  and  shall  bepublished in the City Record as soon as practicable. Agencies shall alsoelectronically  transmit  all  emergency  rules adopted pursuant to thisparagraph to the office of the speaker of  the  council,  the  council'soffice  of  legislative documents, the corporation counsel, each councilmember, the chairs of all community boards, the  news  media  and  civicorganizations, as such term is defined in subdivision b of this section,no  later  than the date the emergency rules are transmitted to the CityRecord for publication pursuant to this paragraph.

 2. A rule adopted on an emergency basis shall not remain in effect forlonger than sixty days  unless  the  agency  has  initiated  notice  andcomment  otherwise required by this section within such sixty day periodand publishes with such notice a statement that  an  extension  of  suchrule  on an emergency basis is necessary for an additional sixty days toafford an opportunity for notice and comment and to adopt a  final  ruleas required by this section; provided that no further such finding of anemergency  may  be  made  with  respect  to  the same or a substantiallysimilar rule.