Resolving an OATH Summons or Violation


COVID-19 Update: There will be no in-person review of Certificates of Correction. See the March 2020 Service Notice for drop off and mail-in procedures.


What is an OATH Summons/Violation?

The New York City Construction Codes (Construction Codes) require owners to build and maintain their properties in a safe condition. DOB inspectors issue OATH summonses/violations when a property or construction does not comply with the Construction Codes, the New York City Zoning Resolution (ZR), or other applicable laws and rules.

An OATH Summons may require a respondent to appear at a hearing. If a hearing is required, attend the scheduled hearing at the OATH Hearings Division (Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings).

NOTE: OATH is the City's central independent administrative law court. The OATH Hearings Division is responsible for holding hearings on summonses issued by DOB. OATH is not part of DOB and does not issue summonses/violations.

The Department's Administrative Enforcement Unit (AEU) enforces compliance with the NYC Construction Codes, the NYC Electrical Code and the NYC Zoning Resolution, through the prosecution and processing of Notices of Violation adjudicated before the NYC OATH Hearings Division.


3 Classes of OATH Summonses/Violations

Immediately Hazardous Summons (Class 1)

Immediately Hazardous Summons (Class 1) are those where the violating condition(s) poses a threat that severely affects life, health, safety, property, the public interest, or a significant number of persons so as to warrant immediate corrective action, or are those specified as such by the NYC Construction Codes.

 

Class 1 summonses must be corrected immediately and a Certificate of Correction must be filed with DOB to prove the violating condition(s) have been corrected. Immediately Hazardous (Class 1) Summonses that are not corrected and certified as corrected in a timely manner, face additional DOB civil penalties of at least $1,500 and re-inspections every 60 days.

Upon re-inspection, if it is determined the condition remains or an acceptable Certificate of Correction has not been filed with DOB, additional summonses may be issued. To avoid the $1,500 civil penalty and further re-inspections of the condition, certify the summons as corrected with the Department's Administrative Enforcement Unit (AEU).

Major Violations (Class 2)

Major Violations (Class 2) are those where the violating condition(s) affect life, health, safety, property, or the public interest but do not require immediate corrective action, or those specified as such by the Construction Codes.

Lesser Violations (Class 3)

Lesser Violations (Class 3) are those where the violating condition(s) has a lesser affect than an Immediately Hazardous (Class 1) or Major (Class 2) violation on life, health, safety, property, or the public interest. To determine whether your summons is an Immediately Hazardous (Class 1), Major (Class 2) or Lesser (Class 3) Violation, refer to the OATH Summons or Notice of Violation received or consult the DOB Penalty Schedule.


I received an OATH summons/violation, what happens next?

Unless the summons/violation has been dismissed as a result of a hearing held at OATH, a Certification of Correction must be submitted to AEU.

  • Obtain the required permits to correct the violating condition(s).
  • Correct all violating condition(s) and pay all applicable DOB civil penalties.
  • Certify the summons/violation as corrected with AEU.
    NOTE: Certificates of Correction (AEU2) can be submitted any time after the summons/violation is issued, except summonses issued for filing a Certificate of Correction containing materially false statement(s). In such a case, you must attend your hearing before you can certify correction with DOB.

     

  • If a hearing is required, attend the scheduled hearing at the OATH Hearings Division.

Do I need to attend a hearing?

Curing the Summons: Zero Penalty, No Hearing

If the DOB Penalty Schedule indicates a summons is eligible for a CURE, the summons may be cured. To do so, correct all violating condition(s) and submit an acceptable Certificate of Correction on or before the CURE Date. If approved, you do not have to attend the hearing or pay a penalty. To determine CURE eligibility, see the DOB Penalty Schedule (1 RCNY 102-01).

Stipulation (Pre-Hearing): Reduced Penalty Imposed

For certain summonses/violations, DOB will offer a stipulation agreement that allows a respondent to admit guilt in exchange for additional time to correct the violating condition(s). If the summons/violation is certified as corrected by the stipulation compliance due date, the respondent is not required to attend the hearing and a reduced penalty is imposed by OATH.

Default: Maximum Penalty Imposed

Summonses/violations require a response. Possible responses are:

  • admit to the violation by curing the summons; or
  • admit to the violation by accepting a stipulation agreement; or
  • admit to the violation by paying the penalty prior to the scheduled hearing; or
  • attend the scheduled hearing to dispute the summons.
    NOTE: Those who do not cure, stipulate, pay the penalty or attend the hearing face higher default penalties, up to $25,000, depending on the violation.

Steps to Correct an OATH Summons

All violating condition(s) must be corrected and certified as corrected with the NYC Department of Buildings. To certify correction, you must submit the following documents to AEU either in-person or by mail to 280 Broadway, 1st Floor, New York, NY 10007

  • an original Certificate of Correction affidavit (AEU2 or AEU3321 Form) completed by one of the following individuals: respondent named on the summons, officer of the named corporation, property owner, managing agent of place of occurrence, partner of named respondent partnership; contractor or other agent
  • notarized statement attesting to how the violating condition(s) were corrected (AEU20 Form)
  • proof of correction: permits, receipts, photographs, inspection results, etc.; and
  • proof of payment of any applicable DOB civil penalties.

To get forms and for questions about summonses/violations contact the AEU's Customer Service Team:

280 Broadway, 1st Floor
New York, NY 10007
(212) 393-2405
aeucustomerservice@buildings.nyc.gov


Do daily penalties apply for all summonses/violations?

No. Summonses/violations issued for illegal conversions are subject to additional daily penalties.  To limit the imposition of additional daily penalties ($1,000/day), certify correction as soon as possible. Daily penalties continue to accrue until the summons is certified as corrected. These penalties are imposed by OATH. The maximum allowable penalty is $45,000.


Do I need to pay DOB Civil Penalties?

Work Without a Permit

If a summons/violation was issued for Work Without a Permit, DOB civil penalties apply. These penalties must be paid or waived before a Certificate of Correction will be approved. Proof of payment or an approved waiver must be submitted with the Certificate of Correction application.

NOTE: Work Without a Permit civil penalties must be paid in the DOB borough office where the summons/violation was issued.


Immediately Hazardous (Class 1) Summonses

Class 1 summonses must be corrected immediately and a Certificate of Correction must be filed with AEU to prove the violating condition(s) have been corrected. Immediately Hazardous (Class 1) Summonses that are not corrected and certified as corrected in a timely manner, face additional DOB civil penalties of $1,500 and re-inspections every 60 days.

Upon re-inspection, if it is determined the condition remains or an acceptable Certificate of Correction has not been filed with DOB, additional summonses may be issued.

To avoid the $1,500 civil penalty and further re-inspections of the condition, certify the summons as corrected with AEU.


When to Certify Correction to AEU

DOB accepts a Certificate of Correction (AEU2 Form) any time after the summons is issued, except summonses issued for filing a Certificate of Correction containing materially false statement(s). In such a case, you must attend your hearing before you can certify correction with DOB.


Tips & Additional Information

  • Comply with the Construction Codes, Zoning Resolution, and other applicable rules and laws.
  • Always obtain permits when necessary.
  • Work within the scope of your permit. Hire registered/licensed design professionals.
  • Hire registered/licensed contractors. Perform regular or scheduled maintenance on buildings.
  • Comply with required inspection and reporting requirements for façades, boilers, and elevators.
  • Named respondents, property owners and those possessing a DOB identification card may file two (2) Certificates of Correction in-person for same day AEU review and response. Tickets must be obtained before 2:30pm.
  • Stay current with new requirements by signing up for the Department’s monthly newsletter, Buildings News.
  • AEU participates in DOB's weekly Customer Service Night. Property owners and respondents named on the summons may visit our 280 Broadway office to ask questions about a summons and/or have a Certificate of Correction application reviewed. No appointment required.

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