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Request Advisory Opinions

Section 107 of the Rules of Conduct for Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers for the City of New York allows administrative law judges and hearing officers to request advisory opinions regarding the Rules.



Who may request an advisory opinion?

A City administrative law judge or hearing officer covered by the Rules may request an advisory opinion. (For a definition of those covered, see section 100 (B) & (C) of the Rules). An advisory opinion may also be requested by the supervisor of an administrative law judge, the head of a City tribunal or the head of an agency.

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How do I request an advisory opinion?

A request for an advisory opinion should be addressed to the Chief Administrative Law Judge of the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), who will provide a copy of the request to the Administrative Justice Coordinator. A request for an advisory opinion may be submitted:

1) By Email to:

Acting Chief Administrative Law Judge Tynia D. Richard

2) By letter to:

Acting Chief Administrative Law Judge Tynia D. Richard
New York City Office of 
Administrative Trials and Hearings
100 Church Street, 12 Floor
New York, NY 10007

3) By telephone to:

Acting Chief Administrative Law Judge Tynia D. Richard, c/o Hon. Ray Kramer, Director, the Administrative Judicial Institute at OATH at 212-933-3060.

If your request is time sensitive, you may make the request by telephone, although you may be asked to submit additional information in writing. A record of the telephone request will be made.

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What form should my request take?

There is no specific form required for requesting an advisory opinion. Your request, however, should provide your name and contact information, the tribunal(s) where you preside, and be sufficiently detailed so as to allow for an informed response, including reference to any provisions in the rules that you believe bear upon the issue.

Under the rules, an advisory opinion shall be based on "such facts as are presented in the request or subsequently submitted in a written, signed document." Section 107(A). The failure to accurately present all material facts in a request for an advisory opinion may nullify the effect of the opinion.

If additional information is needed in order to properly respond to your request, you will be so notified and asked to promptly submit it.

If your request is "time sensitive," meaning that you need a response immediately or by a specific time and date, you must specify as much in your request and state the reason(s) why the request is time sensitive.

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How and when is an advisory opinion issued?

Advisory opinions are issued jointly by the Chief Administrative Law Judge and the Administrative Justice Coordinator, after review of the request and in consultation with one another and any Advisory Committee they may appoint.

An advisory opinion will be issued in writing as promptly as possible after receipt of the request. If a "time sensitive" request is submitted by telephone and requires an immediate response, an advisory opinion may be provided over the telephone, with a written confirmation of the request and response to follow.

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What is the effect of an advisory opinion?

An advisory opinion, as its name suggests, is an "opinion" by the Chief Administrative Law Judge and Administrative Justice Coordinator, meant to serve as a guide to the requestor, as to whether certain conduct or action, or failure to take certain action, would violate the Rules of Conduct. Under the Rules, an advisory opinion may only be issued with respect to future conduct or action to be taken by a City administrative law judge. Section 107 (A).

A City administrative law judge will not be sanctioned for engaging in certain conduct or taking certain action, or failing to take certain action, if he or she reasonably relied on an advisory opinion addressing such conduct or action, so as long as no material facts were omitted or misstated in the request.

An advisory opinion may be amended, upon notice to the subject administrative law judge, but the amendment, like the initial opinion, will only apply to future conduct or action by the administrative law judge.

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Is my request for an advisory opinion and/or the response confidential?

Regardless of the manner in which a request for an advisory opinion is submitted, a record of all such requests will be maintained by the Chief Administrative Law Judge through the Administrative Judicial Institute at OATH. Requests for advisory opinions and identifying information will not be made public except as required by law.

A copy of all advisory opinions issued will be maintained by the Chief Administrative Law Judge through the Administrative Judicial Institute. Advisory opinions may be made public, but only with identifying information removed as to the subject City administrative law judge or any other involved party.

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What is the Ethics Advisory Committee?

The Rules of Conduct provide that the Administrative Justice Coordinator and the Chief Administrative Law Judge at OATH may jointly appoint an Advisory Committee made up of members of the bar especially knowledgeable about matters of ethics, administrative law or the operations of City tribunals. The committee may advise the Administrative Justice Coordinator and the Chief Administrative Law Judge in the preparation of advisory opinions and/or in response to any question they may have regarding the application of the Rules of Conduct.

As of the date of this posting, an advisory committee has not yet been appointed.

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For further information, contact:
Hon. Ray Kramer, Director
The Administrative Judicial Institute (AJI) at the
Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings
100 Church Street, 12th Floor
New York, New York 10007
(212) 436-0869
Email

or

David Goldin, Esq.
Administrative Justice Coordinator
Office of the Administrative Justice Coordinator 
100 Gold Street, 2nd Floor
New York, New York 10038
(212) 788-9394
Email