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BenchNOTES Newsletter

BenchNOTES - March 2014

Last Month's OATH Decisions

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Appeal from denial of marriage license is granted.

Respondent requested a review of the Office of the City Clerk's denial of her application for a marriage license and a determination that she was not a party to a 1998 marriage in her name. In support of her appeal, respondent presented affidavits stating that she has never been married and evidence to prove that there were irregularities in the 1998 marriage application and license.    Office of the City Clerk v. Diaz, OATH Index No. 1298/14 (Mar. 18, 2014), adopted, City Clerk's Dec. (Mar. 26, 2014).

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Enforcement agent failed to report missing chemical spray can.

An enforcement agent was charged with failing to report a missing chemical spray canister and baton, and making false statements about what happened to them. Noting that respondent persistently refused to provide a truthful explanation for the loss, ALJ John B. Spooner recommended termination of employment as "integrity is vital" to respondent's job duties as a peace officer, which include providing truthful and accurate testimony at hearings.   Business Integrity Comm'n v. Cekic, OATH Index No. 1186/14 (Mar. 6, 2014), adopted, Comm'r Dec. (Mar. 13, 2014).

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Vehicle Retention

ALJ orders return of seized car.

The Police Department sought to retain respondent's vehicle seized in connection with his arrest for driving while under the influence of alcohol. Respondent sought return of the car on the ground that the Department failed to serve him with notice of his right to a retention hearing.   Police Dep't v. Jones, OATH Index No. 1690/14, mem. dec. (Mar. 21, 2014).

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Human Rights

ALJ found employer sexually harassed worker.

The Commission on Human Rights, on behalf of the complainant, alleged that a meter reading company and its owner discriminated against the complainant on the basis of gender and constructively discharged her from employment. Comm'n on Human Rights ex rel. Cardenas v. Automatic Meter Reading Corp., OATH Index No. 1240/13 (Mar. 14, 2014).

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Prevailing Wage

Failure to pay prevailing wages not willful.

ALJ Spooner found that a contractor violated the prevailing wage law when it underpaid two workers who performed carpentry work on a project to construct a modular clean room at Elmhurst Hospital for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation ("HHC"). Office of the Comptroller v. Superior Press and Automation, Inc., OATH Index No. 1057/14 (Mar. 5, 2014).

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Real Property

ALJ recommends dismissal of Loft Law coverage application.

A sublessee had filed an application with the Loft Board for protected status under the Loft Law on the theory that the prime lessee was an illusory tenant. Matter was referred to OATH for conference and possible trial.    Matter of Bosquez, OATH Index No. 376/14 (Mar. 4, 2014).

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