Compliance (Enforcement) - Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. I have received an Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings/Environmental Control Board (OATH/ECB) Violation but I don’t know when my hearing date is.
  2. An OATH/ECB violation/summons was issued to my property. I can't attend on the scheduled hearing date. What should I do?
  3. How many times can I adjourn an Environmental Control Board Hearing?
  4. I have been receiving notices from OATH/ECB that I owe money for a violation that I didn’t know about, or a default notice. What does that mean, and what should I do?
  5. An OATH/ECB violation/summons was issued to my property. Do I need a lawyer at the hearing?
  6. An OATH/ECB violation/summons was issued to my property. What are my options for dealing with this violation?
  7. An OATH/ECB violation/summons was issued to my property. How do I know if I am eligible for the "cure" option?
  8. How can I avoid paying a penalty for this OATH/ECB violation/summons?
  9. What is a stipulation?
  10. How can I limit the imposition of daily penalties for illegal conversion violations pursuant to §26-126 (1)(e)(1)?
  11. Where can I pay the amount I owe for this OATH/ECB violation/summons?
  12. I paid my penalty, but the Department of Buildings still shows the violation is "open".
  13. What do I need to Certify Correction?
  14. I received a violation/summons stating restore premises to prior legal condition or legalize or obtain a permit. What should I do?
  15. An ECB violation was issued to my property. How do I legalize the illegal condition?
  16. I have a violation on my sidewalk. How do I correct it?
  17. I have a question about padlock enforcement how do I get more information?
  18. I have a question about sign enforcement how do I get more information?
  19. How can I get a violation on Waterfront property correct?


1. I have received an Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings/Environmental Control Board (OATH/ECB) Violation but I don't know when my hearing date is?

Use the Buildings Information System and enter your Notice of Violation/Summons number, or the address where the violating condition is located. You may also contact the Administrative Enforcement Unit at 212-393-2405. Select 'Option 1' when prompted.

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2. An OATH/ECB violation/summons was issued to my property. I can't attend on the scheduled hearing date. What should I do?

You may request that the hearing be rescheduled by contacting OATH Hearings Division/Environmental Control Board (OATH/ECB) at 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692). Requests may also be submitted online at http://www.nyc.gov/html/oath/html/ecb/ecb-reschedule-form.shtml.

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3. How many times can I adjourn an Environmental Control Board Hearing?

Contact the OATH/Environmental Control Board at 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692) for its policies on adjournments.

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4. Ihave  been receiving notices from OATH/ECB that I owe money for a violation that I didn't know about, or a default notice. What does that mean, and what should I do?

Failure to attend a scheduled hearing will result in default. This means the respondent is found in violation (guilty) and the maximum penalty is usually imposed. You can contact the OATH Hearing Division/Environmental Control Board (OATH/ECB) at 1-844-OATH-NYC (1-844-628-4692).  Requests may also be submitted online at http://www.nyc.gov/html/oath/html/health-tribunal/reopen-default.shtml

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5. An OATH/ECB violation/summons was issued to my property. Do I need a lawyer at the hearing?

You may have a lawyer represent you, but a lawyer is not required.

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6. An OATH/ECB violation/summons was issued to my property. What are my options for dealing with this violation?

If the violation is noted as hazardous or is a second offense, you must attend the scheduled hearing or admit and pay the violation. If the violation is non-hazardous you may:

a.  Contest the violation/summons and attend the hearing;
b.  Cure (correct) the violation by submitting an acceptable Certificate of Correction before the cure date; or
c.  File a stipulation (only if you receive a stipulation offer in the mail from OATH/ECB).

All violations/summonses require that you certify correction to the Department, unless the violation is dismissed as a result of a hearing held at OATH/ECB.

If you received an illegal conversion violation (section 27-118.1 of the Administrative Code) you must attend the hearing. However, to stop the accumulation of daily penalties, you may submit a Certificate of Correction form up to 45 days from the date the Notice of Violation/summons was issued and before the hearing date, whichever occurs first. If the Certificate of Correction is approved, present the approval letter at the hearing as proof of correction.

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7. An OATHECB violation/summons was issued to my property. How do I know if I am eligible for the "cure" option?

If you are eligible for the cure option, there will be a cure date written on the face of the violation/summons form. To avoid a hearing and penalty, you must submit an acceptable Certificate of Correction, including proof of correction, to the Administrative Enforcement Unit on or before the cure date indicated on the face of the violation/summons by electing to ’cure‘ a violation/summons, you are admitting to the charges.

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8. How can I avoid paying a penalty for this OATH/ECB violation/summons?

If your violation/summons is eligible for the "cure" option, you must correct the violating condition and submit an acceptable Certificate of Correction, including proof of correction, to the Administrative Enforcement Unit on or before the cure date indicated on the face of the violation/summons. By electing to ’CURE” a violation/summons, you are admitting to the charges.

If the violation/summons is cured in that manner, the hearing and penalty are waived. If you do not cure your violation, or are not allowed to do so, you must attend your hearing or admit and pay the violation/summons. If you are found in violation, the penalty amount depends on the conditions cited in the violation.

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9. What is a stipulation?

A stipulation is an agreement between you and the Department of Buildings in which you admit the violation/summons, receive additional time to correct the violating condition(s) and receive a reduced penalty, usually half of the hearing penalty. Depending on the offense, you may receive a stipulation offer in the mail, which explains the terms and conditions of the stipulation. If you accept the stipulation offer and meet its terms and conditions, you do not need to attend the hearing.

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10. How can I limit the imposition of daily penalties for illegal conversion violations pursuant to §26-126 (1)(e)(1)?

To stop the accumulation of daily penalties, you may submit an acceptable Certificate of Correction up to 45 days from the date the Notice of Violation was issued and before the hearing date, whichever occurs first, to stop accumulation of the per day penalties. If the Certificate of Correction is approved, present the approval letter at the hearing as proof of correction.

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11. Where can I pay the amount I owe for this OATH/ECB violation/summons?

At the OATH/Environmental Control Board hearing tribunal located in the borough where the hearing is scheduled.

NOTE:  OATH/ECB hearing tribunal locations are located on the face of Notices of Violation and on the back of Summonses.

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12. I paid my penalty, but the Department of Buildings still shows the violation is open.

In order to close a violation/summons, you must file an acceptable Certificate of Correction with the Department's Administrative Enforcement Unit. The violation/summons remains open until you submit acceptable proof (e.g. photographs, sworn statements, etc.) of correction.

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13. What do I need to Certify Correction?

To certify to the Department that you have corrected the violating condition(s) in the Notice of Violation/Summons, you must file a Certificate of Correction Form, a statement attesting to the actions taken to correct the violating condition(s), proof of payment of any applicable civil penalties and supporting documentation (includes permits, photographs, bills, receipts, etc.) to  the Administrative Enforcement Unit. A violation/summons that is not dismissed by OATH/ECB will continue to appear as open on Department of Buildings records until you submit acceptable proof that the violating condition(s) for which you were cited are corrected, even if penalties imposed by OATH/ECB have been paid.

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14. I received a violation/summons stating "restore premises to prior legal condition" or "legalize" or "obtain a permit." What should I do?

Consult with a New York State Professional Engineer or Registered Architect to find out if the violating condition can be legalized by filing an application with the Department or contact the Department in the borough where the premises located to ask how to correct the violating condition by removing the illegal work.

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15. An ECB violation was issued to my property. How do I legalize the illegal condition?

Correct the violating condition. This may require filing an application with the Department to do construction or other regulated work. File an acceptable Certificate of Correction Form with the proof that you have corrected the violating condition with the Administrative Enforcement Unit.

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16. I have a violation on my sidewalk. How do I correct it?

If this question relates to a new building, major alteration or curb cut, contact the Department of Buildings in the borough where the premises is located and ask for the Builders Pavement liaison. In all other situations, contact the Department of Transportation by calling 311.

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17. I have a question about padlock enforcement how do I get more information?

Check out the Padlocks section and review the Padlock FAQ.

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18. I have a question about sign enforcement how do I get more information?

Check out the Signs section and review the Signs FAQ.

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19. How can I get a violation on Waterfront property correct?

Contact the Waterfront Unit.