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Hearings Division Rules of Practice

Subchapter F - Miscellaneous

§6-22 Disqualification of Hearing Officers
§6-23 Registered Representatives
§6-24 Pre-hearing Notification of Schedule for Attorneys and Registered Representatives
§6-25 Misconduct
§6-26 Request for a New Hearing Due to Unauthorized Representation
§6-27 Defense Based on Sovereign or Diplomatic Immunity
§6-28 Application to File a Post-Hearing Agreement

§6-22 Disqualification of Hearing Officers

  1. Grounds for Disqualification. A Hearing Officer will not preside over a hearing under the circumstances set forth in subdivisions (D) and (E) of §103 of Appendix A of this title. When a Hearing Officer deems himself or herself disqualified to preside in a particular proceeding, the Hearing Officer will withdraw from the proceeding by notice on the record and will notify the Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee of such withdrawal.
  2. Motion to Disqualify. A party may, for good cause shown, request that the Hearing Officer disqualify himself or herself. The Hearing Officer in the proceeding will rule on such motion.
    1. If the Hearing Officer denies the motion, the party may obtain a brief adjournment in order to promptly apply for review by the Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee.
    2. If the Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee determines that the Hearing Officer should be disqualified, the Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee will appoint another Hearing Officer to continue the case. If a Hearing Officer's denial of the motion to disqualify is upheld by the Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee, the party may raise the issue again on appeal.

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§6-23 Registered Representatives

Requirements. A representative, other than a family member or an attorney admitted to practice in New York State, who represents two or more Respondents before the Tribunal within a calendar year must:

  1. Be at least eighteen (18) years of age;
  2. Register with the Tribunal by completing and submitting a form provided by the Tribunal. The form must include proof acceptable to the Tribunal that identifies the representative, and must also include any other information that the Tribunal may require. Registration must be renewed annually. Failure to register with the Tribunal may result in the Tribunal declining registration in the future;
  3. Notify the Tribunal within ten (10) business days of any change in the information required on the registration form;
  4. Not misrepresent his or her qualifications or service so as to mislead people into believing the representative is an attorney at law or a governmental employee if the representative is not. A representative who is not an attorney admitted to practice must refer to him or herself as "representative" when appearing before the Tribunal;
  5. Exercise due diligence in learning and observing Tribunal rules and preparing paperwork; and
  6. Be subject to discipline, including but not limited to suspension or revocation of the representative's right to appear before the Tribunal, for failing to follow the provisions of this subdivision and any other rules of the Tribunal. A list of representatives who have been suspended or barred from appearing may be made public.

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§6-24 Pre-hearing Notification of Schedule for Attorneys and Registered Representatives

  1. No attorney or registered representative may appear on fifteen (15) or more summonses on a given hearing date unless:
    1. No later than noon two (2) business days before the scheduled hearing date, the Tribunal office in the borough where the cases are scheduled to be heard receives from the attorney or registered representative by email a written list of all scheduled cases;
    2. Notices of Appearance are submitted in advance of the scheduled hearing, as directed by the Tribunal, to the Tribunal office in the borough where cases are scheduled to be heard; and
    3. the attorney or registered representative appears at or before the scheduled hearing time, at the place and date for the scheduled hearing. The timeliness requirements set forth in § 6-09(b)(1) of this chapter, which allows a Respondent or a Respondent’s representative to appear within three (3) hours of the scheduled hearing time, does not apply when an attorney or representative is appearing on fifteen (15) or more summonses on a given hearing date.
  2. Cases may be added to this list on the day of the hearing at the discretion of the Tribunal.

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§6-25 Misconduct

  1. Prohibited Conduct. A party, witness, representative or attorney must not:
    1. Engage in abusive, disorderly or delaying behavior, a breach of the peace or any other disturbance which directly or indirectly tends to disrupt, obstruct or interrupt the proceedings at the Tribunal;
    2. Engage in any disruptive verbal conduct, action or gesture that a reasonable person would believe shows contempt or disrespect for the proceedings or that a reasonable person would believe to be intimidating;
    3. Willfully disregard the authority of the Hearing Officer or other Tribunal employee. This may include refusing to comply with the Hearing Officer's directions or behaving in a disorderly, delaying or obstructionist manner;
    4. Leave a hearing in progress without the permission of the Hearing Officer;
    5. Attempt to influence or offer or agree to attempt to influence any Hearing Officer or employee of the Tribunal by the use of threats, accusations, duress or coercion, a promise of advantage, or the bestowing or offer of any gift, favor or thing of value;
    6. Enter any area other than a public waiting area unless accompanied or authorized by a Tribunal employee. Upon conclusion of a hearing, a party, witness, representative or attorney must promptly exit non-public areas;
    7. Request any Tribunal clerical staff to perform tasks that are illegal, unreasonable or outside the scope of the employee's job duties;
    8. Operate any Tribunal computer terminal or other equipment at any time unless given express authorization or the equipment has been designated for use by the public;
    9. Submit a document, or present testimony or other evidence to the Tribunal which he or she knows, or reasonably should have known, to be false, fraudulent or misleading;
    10. Induce or encourage anyone to make a false statement to the Tribunal;
    11. Solicit clients, or cause the solicitation of client by another person on Tribunal premises;
    12. Make or cause to be made a stenographic, electronic, audio, audio-visual or other verbatim or photographic reproduction of any hearing or other proceeding, whether such hearing or other proceeding is conducted in person, by telephone, or other remote methods, except upon application to the Hearing Officer. This does not include copies of documents submitted to the Tribunal during a hearing including written or electronic statements and exhibits. Except as otherwise provided by law, such application must be addressed to the Hearing Officer, who may deny the application or grant it in full, in part, or upon such conditions as the Hearing Officer deems necessary to preserve the decorum of the proceedings and to protect the interests of the parties, witnesses and any other concerned persons.
  2. Prohibited Communication
    1. All parties must be present when communications with Tribunal personnel, including a Hearing Officer, occur, except as necessary for case processing and unless otherwise permitted by these rules, on consent or in an emergency.
    2. All persons are prohibited from initiating communication with a Hearing Officer or other employee before or after a hearing or before or after a decision on motion, in order to attempt to influence the outcome of a hearing or decision on motion.
  3. Penalties for Misconduct
    1. Failure to abide by these rules constitutes misconduct. The Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee may, for good cause, suspend or bar from appearing before the Tribunal an attorney or representative who fails to abide by these rules. The suspension may be either for a specified period of time or indefinitely until the attorney or representative demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee that the basis for the suspension no longer exists.
    2. However, the Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee may not act until after the attorney or representative is given notice and a reasonable opportunity to appear before the Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee to rebut the claims against him or her. The Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee, depending upon the nature of the conduct, will determine whether said appearance will be in person or by a remote method.
    This section in no way limits the powers of a Hearing Officer as set out in §6-13 of this chapter.
  4. Discipline on Other Grounds
    1. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (c) of this section, the Chief Administrative Law Judge may summarily suspend or bar a representative upon a determination that the representative lacks honesty and integrity and that the lack of honesty and integrity will adversely affect his or her practice before the Tribunal.
    2. Any action pursuant to this subdivision will be on notice to the representative. After the summary suspension or bar, the representative will be given an opportunity to be heard in a proceeding prescribed by the Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee. Factors to be considered in determining whether a representative lacks honesty and integrity include, but are not limited to, considering whether the representative has made false, misleading or inappropriate statements to parties or Tribunal staff.
  5. Judicial Review. The decision of the Chief Administrative Law Judge or his or her designee under subdivision (c) or (d) of this section constitutes a final determination. Judicial review of the decision may be sought pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules.

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§6-26 Request for a New Hearing Due to Unauthorized Representation

Notwithstanding any other provision of these rules, a party may, within three (3) years after a decision pursuant to a hearing has become final, move to vacate the decision on the grounds that the person who appeared on the party's behalf at the hearing was not authorized to do so. Upon a determination that the person who appeared was not authorized to represent the party, the Tribunal may vacate the decision and schedule a new hearing. In exceptional circumstances and in order to avoid injustice, the Tribunal will have the discretion to grant a motion to vacate a decision after the three (3) year period has lapsed.

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§6-27 Defense Based on Sovereign or Diplomatic Immunity

  1. A Respondent may present a defense based on sovereign or diplomatic immunity:
    1. in a written submission received no later than seven (7) business days before the hearing date stated on the summons, in which the Respondent may admit or deny the violation charged and the Tribunal will assign the matter to a Hearing Officer; or
    2. at a hearing orally or in writing, but only if an attorney or authorized representative of the Petitioner is present at the hearing or if the Respondent at that time consents to an adjournment of the hearing; or
    3. in a response submitted in any case in which adjudication by remote method is allowed pursuant to §6-10.
  2. Upon presentation of a defense based on sovereign or diplomatic immunity, the Hearing Officer must issue an order:
    1. adjourning the hearing for no less than thirty (30) and no more than sixty (60) days;
    2. setting forth in detail the violations alleged in the summons; and
    3. giving notice to the City entity charged with serving as the official liaison with foreign governments ("liaison") that the Respondent has presented a defense based on sovereign or diplomatic immunity, in which event the Tribunal will promptly serve such order to such liaison.
  3. After an adjournment is granted under subdivision (b), either party may request to extend the time period of the adjournment. The Hearing Officer must grant such request if it is accompanied by a written submission from the liaison indicating more time is necessary for the parties to resolve the matter.
    1. At a hearing held following an adjournment granted pursuant to subdivision (b), the Hearing Officer must issue a determination whether or not the Respondent is entitled to sovereign or diplomatic immunity.
    2. If the Hearing Officer determines that the Respondent is entitled to sovereign or diplomatic immunity, he or she must dismiss the summons without a determination of the Respondent's liability.
    3. If the Hearing Officer rejects the defense of sovereign or diplomatic immunity, a hearing on the violation must be conducted pursuant to the rules governing hearings in this Chapter.

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§6-28 Application to File a Post-Hearing Agreement

A written application to file a post-hearing agreement must be made jointly and with the consent of all the parties to a matter. Such applications must be made to the designated Deputy Commissioner of OATH, or his or her designee as approved by the Chief Administrative Law Judge. The post-hearing agreement will not amend the Hearing Officer's final written decision and when filed, will become part of the record.

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