Relates to docketing of adjudications of violations of laws enforced by the New York city department of consumer affairs.
Ayes (7): Martins, Ball, Little, McDonald, Stewart-Cousins, Oppenheimer, Klein
Ayes W/R (1): Ritchie
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the county law and the New York city charter, in relation to the docketing of adjudications of violations of laws enforced by the New York city department of consumer affairs
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill would amend the County Law and the New York City Charter to authorize the docketing of final orders issued by the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs based upon adjudications by the Department's administrative tribunal or the office of administrative trials and hearings. Penalties imposed would be entered in the civil court and enforced in the same manner as a money judgment.
REASONS FOR SUPPORT: DCA's mission is to ensure a fair and vibrant marketplace for businesses and consumers. Law-abiding businesses and consumers alike benefit from, and have every reason to expect, a competitive marketplace, but competition suffers when some businesses don't play by the rules.
The Department of Consumer Affairs' (DCA) Administrative Tribunal has the authority to assess fines against businesses that violate the City's rules that protect a competitive marketplace. Some businesses readily comply with the law, others come into compliance and pay the fines, and still others ignore the law entirely. Existing law does not, however, allow DCA to docket unpaid fines issued by its Administrative Tribunal as money judgments, without court proceedings. Currently, fines can be collected only by means of costly and time-consuming collection efforts and Civil Court proceedings. As a result, licensees may choose to abandon their licenses to evade fines, while non-licensees ignore their obligation to pay. This deprives DCA of the most effective enforcement mechanism, and the City of much-needed revenue.
By authorizing the Department to directly docket the fines issued by its Administrative Tribunal, this legislation will give teeth to the City's laws and rules protecting a competitive and fair marketplace. Docketing authority will strengthen government's ability to apply laws equally for all businesses, and streamline the City's efforts to collect fines that have been duly assessed.
Accordingly, the Mayor urges the earliest possible favorable consideration of this proposal by the Legislature.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5521 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 27, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. KLEIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government AN ACT to amend the county law and the New York city charter, in relation to the docketing of adjudications of violations of laws enforced by the New York city department of consumer affairs THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 918 of the county law, as sepa- rately amended by chapters 419 and 473 of the laws of 1988, is amended to read as follows: 4. Any other laws to the contrary notwithstanding, the county clerk in each of the counties within the city of New York is authorized and empowered to maintain separate judgment docket volumes containing the printed transcript or transcripts, in strict alphabetical order of judg- ment made, entered and docketed in the civil court of the city of New York against individuals, corporations, and other entities on behalf of the parking violations bureau, the environmental control board, the taxi and limousine commission, THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS and the commissioner of jurors of the city of New York. These volumes may be maintained in the form of computer print outs which shall contain the date of judgment, the name and address of the judgment debtor or debtors, the amount of the judgment and other information which the county clerk may deem necessary to sufficiently describe the parties to the action or proceeding or nature or the manner of the entry of the judgment. Provided, however, with respect to judgments on behalf of the parking violations bureau the county clerk may, in his OR HER discretion, in lieu of such volumes, maintain the aforementioned data in a micrographic or computer retrievable format. With respect to judg- ments on behalf of the parking violations bureau such volumes or other format shall be maintained pursuant to this subdivision for only thoseEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11260-01-1 S. 5521 2
individuals, corporations, and other entities having vehicles registered in the counties within the city of New York. S 2. Paragraph 2 of subdivision (g) of section 2203 of the New York city charter, as added by section 15 of question 2 of local law number 60 of the city of New York for the year 2010, is amended to read as follows: (2) All such proceedings shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation. The commissioner shall prescribe the form and wording of notices of violation. The notice of violation or copy thereof when filled in and served shall constitute notice of the violation charged, and, if sworn to or affirmed, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein. THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION SHALL CONTAIN INFORMATION ADVISING THE PERSON CHARGED OF THE MANNER AND THE TIME IN WHICH SUCH PERSON MAY EITHER ADMIT OR DENY THE VIOLATION CHARGED IN THE NOTICE. SUCH NOTICE OF VIOLATION SHALL ALSO CONTAIN A WARNING TO ADVISE THE PERSON CHARGED THAT FAILURE TO PLEAD IN THE MANNER AND TIME STATED IN THE NOTICE MAY RESULT IN A DEFAULT DECISION AND ORDER BEING ENTERED AGAINST SUCH PERSON. THE ORIGINAL OR A COPY OF THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION SHALL BE FILED AND RETAINED BY THE DEPARTMENT AND SHALL BE DEEMED A RECORD KEPT IN THE ORDINARY COURSE OF BUSINESS. S 3. Paragraphs 3 and 4 of subdivision (g) of section 2203 of the New York city charter are renumbered paragraphs 9 and 10 and six new para- graphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are added to read as follows: (3) WHERE A RESPONDENT HAS FAILED TO PLEAD WITHIN THE TIME ALLOWED BY THE RULES OF THE COMMISSIONER OR HAS FAILED TO APPEAR ON A DESIGNATED HEARING DATE OR A SUBSEQUENT DATE FOLLOWING AN ADJOURNMENT, SUCH FAILURE TO PLEAD OR APPEAR SHALL BE DEEMED, FOR ALL PURPOSES, TO BE AN ADMISSION OF LIABILITY AND SHALL BE GROUNDS FOR RENDERING A DEFAULT DECISION AND ORDER IMPOSING A PENALTY IN THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT PRESCRIBED UNDER LAW FOR THE VIOLATION CHARGED. (4) ANY FINAL ORDER IMPOSING A CIVIL PENALTY, WHETHER THE ADJUDICATION WAS HAD BY HEARING OR UPON DEFAULT OR OTHERWISE, SHALL CONSTITUTE A JUDGMENT THAT MAY BE ENTERED IN THE CIVIL COURT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK OR ANY OTHER PLACE PROVIDED FOR THE ENTRY OF CIVIL JUDGMENTS WITHIN THE STATE, AND MAY BE ENFORCED WITHOUT COURT PROCEEDINGS IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE ENFORCEMENT OF MONEY JUDGMENTS ENTERED IN CIVIL ACTIONS. ENTRY OF A JUDGMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL NOT LIMIT THE APPLI- CATION OF ANY OTHER REMEDIES OR PENALTIES PROVIDED FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS OR RULES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE DEPARTMENT. (5) NOTWITHSTANDING THE FOREGOING PROVISION, BEFORE A JUDGMENT BASED UPON A DEFAULT MAY BE SO ENTERED THE DEPARTMENT MUST HAVE NOTIFIED THE RESPONDENT BY FIRST CLASS MAIL IN SUCH FORM AS THE COMMISSIONER MAY DIRECT: (I) OF THE DEFAULT DECISION AND ORDER AND THE PENALTY IMPOSED; (II) THAT A JUDGMENT WILL BE ENTERED IN THE CIVIL COURT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK OR ANY OTHER PLACE PROVIDED FOR THE ENTRY OF CIVIL JUDGMENTS WITHIN THE STATE OF NEW YORK; AND (III) THAT ENTRY OF SUCH JUDGMENT MAY BE AVOIDED BY REQUESTING A STAY OF DEFAULT FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN AND EITHER REQUESTING A HEARING OR ENTERING A PLEA PURSUANT TO THE RULES OF THE COMMISSIONER WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF THE MAILING OF SUCH NOTICE. (6) A JUDGMENT ENTERED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH FOUR OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL REMAIN IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT FOR EIGHT YEARS. (7) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOT ENTER ANY FINAL DECISION OR ORDER PURSU- ANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH FOUR OF THIS SUBDIVISION UNLESS THE NOTICE OF VIOLATION SHALL HAVE BEEN SERVED IN THE SAME MANNER AS IS PRESCRIBED FOR SERVICE OF PROCESS BY ARTICLE THREE OF THE CIVIL PRACTICES. 5521 3
LAW AND RULES OR ARTICLE THREE OF THE BUSINESS CORPORATION LAW OR AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH EIGHT OF THIS SUBDIVISION. (8)(I) SERVICE OF A NOTICE OF VIOLATION MAY BE MADE BY DELIVERING SUCH NOTICE TO A PERSON EMPLOYED BY THE RESPONDENT ON OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE PREMISES WHERE THE VIOLATION OCCURRED OR TO A PERSON EMPLOYED BY THE RESPONDENT AT THE PREMISES AT WHICH THE RESPONDENT ACTUALLY CONDUCTS THE BUSINESS THE OPERATION OF WHICH GAVE RISE TO THE VIOLATION. (II) SERVICE OF A NOTICE OF VIOLATION THAT ALLEGES A VIOLATION BY A LICENSEE OF ANY LAW OR RULES OF THE COMMISSIONER MAY BE MADE BY DELIVER- ING SUCH NOTICE TO A PERSON EMPLOYED BY THE RESPONDENT AT THE PREMISES AT WHICH THE RESPONDENT ACTUALLY CONDUCTS THE BUSINESS THE OPERATION OF WHICH GAVE RISE TO THE VIOLATION. (III) SUCH NOTICE MAY ONLY BE DELIVERED PURSUANT TO SUBPARAGRAPH (I) OF THIS PARAGRAPH WHERE A REASONABLE ATTEMPT HAS BEEN MADE TO DELIVER SUCH NOTICE TO A PERSON IN SUCH PREMISES UPON WHOM SERVICE MAY BE MADE AS PROVIDED FOR BY ARTICLE THREE OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES OR ARTICLE THREE OF THE BUSINESS CORPORATION LAW. (IV) WHEN A COPY OF SUCH NOTICE HAS BEEN DELIVERED PURSUANT TO SUBPAR- AGRAPH (I) OR (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, A COPY SHALL BE MAILED TO THE RESPONDENT AT SUCH RESPONDENT'S LAST KNOWN RESIDENCE OR BUSINESS ADDRESS OR TO AN ADDRESS CONTAINED IN THE FILES OF THE DEPARTMENT COMPILED AND MAINTAINED FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE CHARTER OR ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OR OTHER LAW OVER WHICH THE DEPARTMENT HAS JURISDICTION. (V) PROOF OF SERVICE MADE PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE FILED WITH THE COMMISSIONER WITHIN TWENTY DAYS OF SERVICE IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED; SERVICE SHALL BE COMPLETE TEN DAYS AFTER SUCH FILING. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.