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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. 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 have a hearing and the Hearing Officer finds you in violation of the charges cited by the enforcement agency, you must pay that penalty, even if you wish to appeal the hearing officer's finding. 

You will need your summons number in order to pay a penalty. You may pay the penalty online, by mail, or in person.

If you did not pay before the hearing and you did not contest your summons by participating in a hearing, then you will be found in violation of the charge by a default and a higher penalty may be imposed.

If you participated in a hearing and a Hearing Officer found you in violation of the charges on the summons, you must pay the penalty imposed. OATH Hearing Officers do not have the discretion to alter or waive a penalty amount because all penalties are set by law.

*WARNING: If you do not pay the imposed penalty, the City may file papers with the Civil Court of New York City and enter a judgment against you. The Department of Finance, the agency responsible for collecting money that is owed to the City, may also start collection activities. If you do not pay any imposed penalties, you may lose your ability to keep or get a City license, permit or registration. The City might also take further legal action against you."

If your case involves an “Environmental Control Board violation” and it is in judgment it may be eligible for a reduced penalty through the City’s FAIRER (Fine and Interest Reduction Enabling Recovery) Program. Visit the Department of Finance’s program website at to learn if you are eligible and how to participate. The program ends on December 20, 2021.