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Hearings Division Rules of Practice

Subchapter E - Defaults

§6-20 Defaults

  1. A Respondent who fails to appear or to make a request to reschedule as required by these rules will be deemed to have defaulted.
  2. Upon such default, without further notice to the Respondent and without a hearing being held, all facts alleged in the summons will be deemed admitted, the Respondent will be found in violation and the penalties authorized by applicable laws, rules and regulations will be applied.
  3. Decisions rendered because of a default will take effect immediately.
  4. The Tribunal will notify the Respondent of the issuance of a default decision by mailing a copy of the decision or by providing a copy to the Respondent or the Respondent's representative who appears personally at the Tribunal and requests a copy.
  5. The Respondent may make a motion in writing requesting that a default be vacated pursuant to §6-21 of this chapter.

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§6-21 Request for a New Hearing after a Failure to Appear (Motion to Vacate a Default)

  1. Form of Motion. A motion to vacate a default is a request by a Respondent for a new hearing after the Respondent did not appear. The Respondent must make this motion by application to the Tribunal on a form approved by the Tribunal. The motion must be dated, contain a current mailing address for the Respondent; explain how and when the Respondent learned of the violation and be certified to under the penalties of perjury. If the motion is made by an attorney or other representative, the motion must explain the relationship between the Respondent and the person making the motion.
  2. A first motion to vacate a default by a Respondent that is submitted within sixty (60) days of the mailing or hand delivery date of the default decision will be granted. A motion to vacate a default that is submitted by mail must be postmarked within sixty (60) days of the mailing or hand delivery date of the default decision.
  3. A motion to vacate a default that is submitted after sixty (60) days of the date of the mailing or hand delivery date of the default decision must be filed within one (1) year of the date of the default decision and be accompanied by a statement setting forth a reasonable excuse for the Respondent's failure to appear and any documents to support the motion to vacate the default. The Hearing Officer will determine whether a new hearing will be granted.
  4. Reasons for Failing to Appear. In determining whether a Respondent has shown a reasonable excuse for failing to appear at a hearing, the Hearing Officer will consider:
    1. Whether the summons was properly served pursuant to applicable law.
    2. Whether the Respondent was properly named, including but not limited to:
      1. Whether the Respondent was cited generally as "Owner" or "Agent" on all copies of the summons served on the Respondent; or
      2. Whether the Respondent was an improper party when the summons was issued, such as:
        1. An individual who was deceased or legally incompetent on the hearing date upon which the Respondent did not appear; or
        2. For a premises-related violation, the Respondent was not the owner, agent, lessee, tenant occupant or person in charge of or in control of the place of occurrence on the date of the offense.
      A decision to grant a motion to vacate a default is not a final decision on the issues of whether the Respondent was properly served or a proper party on the date of the offense.
    3. Whether circumstances that could not be reasonably foreseen prevented the Respondent from attending the hearing.
    4. Whether the Respondent had an emergency or condition requiring immediate medical attention.
    5. Whether the matter had been previously adjourned by the Respondent.
    6. Whether the Respondent attempted to attend the hearing with reasonable diligence.
    7. Whether the Respondent's inability to attend the hearing was due to facts that were beyond the Respondent's control.
    8. Whether the Respondent's failure to appear at the hearing can be attributed to the Respondent's failure to maintain current contact information on file with the applicable licensing agency.
    9. Whether the Respondent has previously failed to appear in relation to the same summons.
    10. Any other fact that the Tribunal considers to be relevant to the motion to vacate.
  5. If a motion to vacate a default has been previously granted, and a new default decision has been issued, a motion to vacate the second default decision in relation to the same summons will not be granted. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee will have the discretion, in exceptional circumstances and in order to avoid injustice, to grant a request for a new hearing.
  6. Except as otherwise stated in §5-03 of the Title, the Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee will have the discretion, in exceptional circumstances and in order to avoid injustice, to consider a motion to vacate a default filed more than one (1) year from the date of the default decision.
  7. If a motion to vacate a default is granted, the Tribunal will send a notice to the Respondent at the Respondent's address provided on the motion. If the Respondent is deceased or legally incompetent, a notice will be sent to Respondent's representative at the address provided by the representative on the motion. Notice will also be sent to the Petitioner upon request. If the Respondent is unable to appear on the hearing date scheduled after such motion is granted, the Respondent may request that the hearing be rescheduled one (1) final time.
  8. If a motion to vacate a default is granted and the Respondent has already made a full or partial payment, no request of a refund will be considered until after the hearing is completed and a decision issued.
  9. A denial of a motion to vacate a default is the Tribunal's final determination and is not subject to review or appeal at the Tribunal. Judicial review of the denial may be sought pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules.

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