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Hearings FAQ

Hearings / Decisions

Remote Hearings (Hearings by Phone, Online, Mail or Video/Webcam)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Missed Hearings

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Appealing a Hearing Officer's Decision


Hearings / Decisions

 

Are OATH hearings open to the public?

Yes, any member of the public may observe a hearing.

 

How do I know when my hearing date is?

The date and time of your hearing should be on the summons.  If your summons does not have a hearing date or if you are unsure of your hearing date, call OATH Hearings Division at 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692).

 

I received a letter with a hearing date that is different from the date on the summons. What should I do?

Come to the hearing indicated on the most recent notice you received. If you are unsure of when to appear, call OATH Hearings Division at 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692).

Can I change my hearing to a different date?

If you need to change the date of your hearing, submit the online reschedule request form or call OATH Hearings Division at 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692) before the scheduled hearing date. Each party may only make one (1) request to reschedule.

 

Where do I go for my hearing?

Check the summons for the specific location of your hearing. If you do not know where to go for your hearing, call OATH Hearings Division at 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692).

 

Can I pay the penalty without attending a hearing?

Only if your summons says that you can. If you have any questions, call OATH Hearings Division at 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692).

 

If I received a settlement offer from an enforcement agency, what can I do?

OATH does not participate in settlements. You should contact the agency that issued the summons for information regarding the settlement offer.

 

Can I contest my summons without appearing in person at a hearing?

Some types of summonses may be contested by mail, online, webcam, or phone.  If your summons says, "Must Appear," then you must appear in person for your hearing.
For further information, visit the Hearings Division section of this website or call OATH Hearings Division at 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692).

 

What happens if I do not appear for my hearing?

If you do not appear for your hearing, you will be in default.  This means that you will automatically be found in violation, and the default penalty will be imposed.  The default penalty is sometimes higher than the penalty that would have been imposed if you had lost at a hearing. Learn about missed hearings.

 

Do I need a lawyer at my hearing?

You are not required to have a lawyer, but you may bring one at your own expense.  Respondents may also represent themselves, bring someone to help them, or hire a non-lawyer representative.

 

If I reported a violation, can I participate in the hearing?

If you are not the respondent but want to participate in the hearing, you must ask the Hearing Officer conducting the case whether you will be permitted to speak.  People who are affected by the outcome of the case may sometimes be allowed to testify during the hearing.

 

How can I prove that I am not responsible for the charges listed in the summons?

OATH cannot provide legal advice on what evidence will be sufficient to prove that you are not responsible for the charges in the summons.

You must submit any evidence, documentation, witnesses or other forms of proof at your scheduled hearing date.

For a Hearing by Mail or Hearing Online, you must provide all your evidence by attaching any documents, photographs, or other evidence to your submitted written defense.

For a Hearing by Phone or Video (webcam) Hearing, call the Remote Hearings Unit at 212-436-0817.

 

What do I need to submit at my hearing? 

The hearing is your chance to present your side of the case.  You should be prepared with everything you need to prove your case, including any witnesses, legal or official records, photographs, or other documents.  The Hearing Officer can only review evidence or witness statements that are presented during the hearing.

 

What happens when I arrive at OATH for my hearing?

You should first check in at the reception area.  You will be asked to sign in or complete and return a Notice of Appearance form.
If you are eligible and wish to perform Community Service instead of paying a penalty, you may request Community Service from the Hearing Officer at the hearing.

What happens during the hearing?

The Hearing Officer will hear your side of the case, including any documents or witnesses you want to present.  If the enforcement agency sends a representative, the Hearing Officer will also hear its side of the case.  The Hearing Officer will write a decision that will be served on you, either personally or by mail.

 

What happens after the hearing?

After the hearing, the Hearing Officer will issue a decision, which will be provided to both parties.

 

Will I get my decision immediately?

Some decisions are issued on the same day that the case is heard.  Other decisions are mailed to both parties on a later date.

 

What happens if I am found in violation?

You must follow the directions that the decision orders, which may include paying the penalty imposed, completing Community Service as directed, and/or fixing the condition indicated on the summons.

 

How can I check on the status of a case?

To find out when a summons is scheduled for hearing, call OATH Hearings Division at 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692) and provide the summons number.

 

When I appear for the hearing will the person who issued the summons (Issuing Officer or Inspector) be present? How do I request a hearing with the Issuing Officer?

For certain cases, the issuing officer will be present at the hearing.  However for the majority of cases, the issuing officer is not required to attend the hearing and is not present.  If either party wants the issuing officer at the hearing, the party must ask the Hearing Officer and tell the Hearing Officer why the issuing officer is needed.  If the Hearing Officer decides that the issuing officer is needed, the Hearing Officer will adjourn the case to another day for the appearance of the issuing officer.

 

How can I get a copy of the decision?

Call OATH Hearings Division at 844-OATH-NYC (844-628-4692) to request a copy.
If you are not the respondent or the respondent's representative on a case, but want to get a copy of a decision, you may make a request under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).  All FOIL requests should be submitted through the Open Records Portal.  You can expect to receive an acknowledgement of receipt of the request within 5 days of submission and a response from OATH within 30 business days.

 

How can I get a copy of my hearing recording?

To get a copy of the audio recording you must fill out and submit to OATH a "Request for Audio Hearing Recordings" form (available at any OATH Hearings Division location).  There is no charge if the audio file is emailed. A fee of $3.00 will be charged for the audio recording if requested by mail or 25 cents per CD if picked up in person. 

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Remote Hearings (Hearings by Phone, Online, Mail or Video/Webcam)

 

Can I fight my summons by appearing by phone?

It depends on the type of summons.

All summonses issued by the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene can have a Hearing by Phone.

No summons issued for alleged Vehicle for Hire violations is eligible for a Hearing by Phone.

For all other summonses, visit the Hearings by Phone page on the OATH website to determine whether you can have a hearing by phone.

 

How do I schedule a Hearing by Phone?

To schedule a hearing by phone, call the Remote Hearings Unit at 212-436-0817 before the hearing date.

 

Can I fight my summons online?

It depends on the type of summons.

All summonses issued by the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene can have an Online Hearing.

No summons issued for alleged Vehicle for Hire violations is eligible for an Online Hearing. 

For all other summonses, visit the Hearings Online page on the OATH website to determine whether you can have an Online Hearing.

 

How do I fight my summons online?

If you are eligible to contest your summons by One-Click (online), you may submit your defense using a simple online form found on the OATH website.  The form allows you to type a defense and attach up to three electronic files to support your case.  The online form must be submitted ON or BEFORE the scheduled hearing date.

 

Can I fight my summons by having a Video (webcam) Hearing?

It depends on the type of summons.

All summonses issued by the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene can have a Hearing by webcam.

No summons issued for alleged Vehicle for Hire violations is eligible for a Hearing by webcam.

For all other summonses, visit the Video (webcam) Hearing page on the OATH website to determine whether you can have a hearing by webcam.

 

How can I schedule a Video (webcam) Hearing)?

To schedule a Video (webcam) Hearing, call the Remote Hearings Unit at 212-436-0817 before the hearing date.

 

Can I fight my summons by mail?

It depends on the type of summons.

All summonses issued by the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene can have a Hearing by Mail.

No summons issued for alleged Vehicle for Hire violations is eligible for a Hearing by Mail

For all other summonses, visit the Hearings by Mail page on the OATH website to determine whether you can have a hearing by Mail.

 

How do I fight by summons by mail?

If you are eligible to contest your summons by mail, you may send a written defense to the following address:

OATH Remote Hearings Unit
66 John Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10038

Your submission must be signed and notarized and must be received before the scheduled hearing date.

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