Penalty Schedule Updates for DOS, DOB
OATH is New York City’s central independent administrative law court; it’s not part of the state court system. The OATH Hearings Division is the division of OATH that’s responsible for holding hearings on summonses issued by a variety of agencies for alleged quality of life violations. These types of hearings were traditionally called Environmental Control Board (ECB) hearings.
Each NYC agency, such as the Department of Buildings (DOB) and the Department of Sanitation (DOS), has a penalty schedule that outlines different infractions and their respective fines. While these penalty schedules previously existed under OATH’s section of the Rules of the City of New York (RCNY), they have been moved to each individual agency’s chapter. This was done to make the penalty sheets easier to find and to remove OATH/ECB’s need to approve proposed or amended penalties, which will streamline agency rule-making.
For the DOB, new language for Section 102-01, Title 1 of RCNY, referencing reduced penalties for defaulted DOB violations has been introduced. As of May 10, there is now a new rule about cutting fines in half for corrected DOB-ECB violations that were in default. Named respondents on defaulted violations who (a) submit an acceptable Certificate of Correction, which is then (b) forwarded to the ECB by the DOB will pay a 50 percent reduced penalty. This does not apply to daily penalties for specific violations or to civil penalties.
The DOS is also publishing a new ECB penalty schedule. Similar to prior penalty schedules, repeat sanitation violations carry higher fines. In this case, different infractions are grouped into one of two categories marked by asterisks in the penalty schedule for classifying repeats. One asterisk violations are more location-specific such as dirty sidewalk, dirty area, failure to clean 18 inches into street; and two asterisk violations are individual offenses such as littering and spitting:
- One Asterisk—Repeat violations must be the same infraction incurred by the same named respondent, within 12 months of the dates of 12 or more violations issued to that same respondent, and the repeat violation must be at the same location as the previous 12 violations;
- Two Asterisks—These violations are second or third violations of the same code of law as the previous violation (or second), and must occur within 12 months of the date of the last violation issued to the same respondent.
The sanitation penalty schedule can be found at http://rules.cityofnewyork.us/content/dsny-final-rule-relating-penalties-littering-offenses.