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You Received a Summons, Now What?

Request to Reschedule the Hearing Date
Participate in Your Scheduled Hearing
Admit and Pay Your Summons
Accept a Settlement or Cure a Violation to Avoid a Hearing
Have questions? Get Help
Avoid Defaults and Other Negative Consequences: Sign Up for Text Message Reminders

The person or entity named on the summons as the “Respondent” is responsible for responding to the summons. If you are the named respondent or affiliated with the entity named as the respondent, you must respond to your summons to avoid higher penalties and other negative consequences. You have several options for responding to your summons. You must complete one of these actions before the scheduled hearing date. If you do not, you will be found in violation of the charge by default and may incur higher penalties and/or other negative consequences.


Request to Reschedule the Hearing Date

Each summons can be rescheduled once before the hearing date listed on the summons. To request a rescheduled date, contact the Clerk’s Office by using the Online Reschedule Form.

Participate in Your Scheduled Hearing

Please note that currently all hearings, trials, and other OATH operations are being conducted by telephone, videoconferencing, online, or mail, and OATH will ONLY allow in-person appearances in pre-approved circumstances.

Hearing by Phone:

Your hearing will still occur on your hearing date, but you must contact OATH to schedule your telephone hearing before the hearing date. The easiest way to schedule your hearing by phone is to fill out the Phone Hearing Request Form.  Please submit the request at least three (3) business days before your scheduled hearing.

Hearing in Person:

Request an in person hearing five (5) business days before the hearing date. To request and schedule email livehearings@oath.nyc.gov. You will receive an email with hearing date, time and location information.

Submit Written Defense Online or by Mail:

You may be able to respond to your summons by submitting your defense online or by mail. Please visit the Hearing Online page and the Hearing by Mail pages to learn if your summons is eligible. If so, OATH must receive your written defense submission prior to the scheduled hearing date.

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Admit and Pay Your Summons

If a penalty is noted on your summons and the summons does not state that you must appear, you may wish to pay the penalty and not appear at the hearing. Please note that if a summons states that you must appear, this does not mean that you must appear in person; it means that you must participate in your scheduled hearing, and you can do so with a Hearing by Phone or a Hearing in Person by following the instructions listed above.

If you pay your summons on or before the hearing date without having a hearing, you are admitting to the charge and you waive your right to a hearing. If you want to respond to the summons by admitting and paying your summons, you can pay online, by mail or in person but the payment must be received by OATH on or before the scheduled hearing date. Visit the Clerk’s Office section of the OATH website to learn the different ways to pay your summons.

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Accept a Settlement or Cure a Violation to Avoid a Hearing

Some enforcement agencies may offer you a settlement or give you an opportunity to cure a violation by a certain date to avoid a hearing. This option is not available for all types of summonses. Settlements and cures are offered by the agency that issued you the summons, not OATH, so OATH cannot answer some questions relating to these options, so it is important for you to follow the instructions on your summons or in your settlement offer if you have received one. Please note that the OATH Help Center has created numerous fact sheets for common issues relating to the summons process and many questions about cures and settlements may be answered by reviewing these easy-to-read resources.

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Have questions? Get Help

If you are representing yourself and you would like a one-on-one consultation about your rights and the hearing process or have specific questions you would like answered you can call the OATH Help Center at (212) 436-0845 or email the Center using the Help Center Contact Form.

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Avoid Defaults and Other Negative Consequences: Sign Up for Text Message Reminders

Failure to respond to your summons on or by the scheduled hearing date will result in you being found in violation of the charge by default and you may incur higher penalties and/or other negative consequences.

A simple way to remember your upcoming hearing date is to opt-in to receive text message reminders about your case. To sign-up for this convenient option  *text OATHReminder to 917-451-8829.*

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