Follow New Procedures for OATH/ECB Hearings
If you’ve received a summons regarding a notice of violation from any city agency, you must follow certain procedures to respond. NYC’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings/Environmental Control Board (OATH) is the administrative tribunal that conducts hearings on notices of violation issued by city agencies. It’s responsible for summonses formerly heard by the Environmental Control Board (ECB).
OATH has adjusted its policies in light of NYC’s gradual reopening. Chief Administrative Law Judge Joni Kettler recently issued an administrative order detailing the changes. Here’s what you need to know.
Physical Offices Remain Closed
OATH operations are being conducted by telephone, videoconferencing, online, or mail. OATH will allow in-person appearances only in limited, pre-approved circumstances. You may enter the office only if OATH has approved your or your representative’s request for an in-person appearance due to an inability to participate by telephone or online, and your hearing is scheduled for that day.
All approved in-person appearances in Hearings Division proceedings will take place at 66 John Street, 10th Floor, and all approved in-person appearances in Trials Division proceedings will take place at 100 Church Street, 12th Floor, in Manhattan.
Requests for an in-person hearing must be made before the scheduled hearing date and can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You must give the reason why it’s not possible to participate by telephone.
An in-person hearing request may be approved if the OATH Hearings Division determines that there’s a compelling need for an in-person proceeding and the proceeding can be conducted while providing sufficient social distancing and other public health protections to comply with state and local government public health guidelines. If a request for an in-person hearing is granted, the OATH Hearings Division will coordinate with the parties on scheduling.
Hearings are no longer automatically rescheduled. The policy, due to the COVID-19 emergency, of automatic rescheduling and suspension of defaults ended on July 1, 2020. Nonetheless, the OATH Hearings Division may accommodate requests to adjourn and requests to reschedule, in addition to the request to reschedule permitted pursuant to 48 RCNY §6-05, in instances where a party indicates an inability to participate by telephone due to the COVID-19 emergency.
Motions to Vacate
If you had a hearing after July 1 that was unattended, you can file a motion to vacate the default judgment up to 75 days from the date of the scheduled hearing. Requests for a new hearing made within this 75-day period will be automatically granted, with a new hearing date sent in the mail.
Extensions for Appeals
The extension to file appeals for any decisions or responses to appeals served on or after Feb. 19, 2020, is still in place, with 60 days if the decision was issued in person, and 65 days if it was mailed. Further requests for extension will be granted for good cause shown.
Schedule Hearings by Telephone, Mail, or Online
The same email addresses exist for scheduling hearings by telephone, the primary method for hearings at the moment. To schedule your hearing by telephone, or to reschedule your hearing date, email the hearing location where your hearing is scheduled to occur, on or before your scheduled hearing date.
- Bronx: RemoteBronx@oath.nyc.gov
- Brooklyn: RemoteBKLYN@oath.nyc.gov
- Manhattan: RemoteManhattan@oath.nyc.gov
- Queens: RemoteLIC@oath.nyc.gov
- Staten Island: RemoteSI@oath.nyc.gov
In your email, you must include the following four pieces of information:
- All summons numbers for the summonses you want to have a hearing by phone;
- Respondent’s name, as it appears on the summons(es);
- If you are not the respondent named on the summons, indicate your relationship to the respondent; and
- A valid phone number where you can be contacted to schedule your Hearing by Phone.
For questions about your hearing or payment or scheduling issues, you can email email@example.com. To speak to an OATH staff member for help, call (844) OATH-NYC (628-4692) and leave a voicemail to receive a call back. And if you would like a one-on-one consultation about your rights and the hearing process, call the OATH Help Center at (212) 436-0845 or email Manhelpcenter@oath.nyc.gov.
You can also respond to a summons online or by mail, if your summons is eligible. You can enter your summons number to check for online eligibility at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/oath/hearings/hearing-online.page and, to check for mail eligibility, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/oath/hearings/hearing-by-mail.page.