FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
OATH Resource Fair Coming to Central Library on October 30, 2019
QUEENS, NEW YORK - On Wednesday October 30, 2019 the NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), which is the City’s independent administrative law court and where nearly every City agency files summonses for hearings, will partner with Council Member I. Daneek Miller and the Queens Public Library to have staff present at the Queens Public Library’s Central Library, located at 89-11 Merrick Blvd, Jamaica, New York. Staff will be at the library on October 30, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
OATH will be there to answer any questions people have about what to do if they receive a summons from a City agency, such as the Sanitation Department, Health Department, Buildings Department, Fire Department, Parks Department, NYPD, among many others City agencies that issue summonses to individuals, property owners and small business owners.
OATH staff will be able to provide the following services through this new outreach initiative: check to determine if someone or a property has any outstanding summons; check the status of summonses; help people understand the rules about how a summons can and should be responded to when one is received; help people submit online defenses to summonses that are eligible to be responded to remotely; help people reschedule upcoming hearings or request new hearings if summonses were previously ignored; and explain what may be required after a hearing has been held.
"Libraries are highly trusted institutions that offer safe spaces for people to ask questions and receive reliable information,” said Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “We are pleased to partner with the City’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings and Council Member Daneek Miller to bring valuable resources to our customers, providing them with the tools they need to interact more effectively with City government.”
“We are excited to be partnering with OATH and the Queens Public Library to help homeowners and small businesses navigate the nuances of government,” said Councilman I. Daneek Miller. “We have always sought to provide as much support as possible to our constituents, who may not always know how to navigate the system and risk being penalized with additional fines. Homeowners in our district deserve an enhanced quality of life and small businesses deserve access to the tools they need to thrive.”
“New Yorkers and small businesses deserve a level playing field when contesting City-issued summonses. OATH Resource is a new initiative meant to bring government to where people work and live. The initiative provides New York City’s small businesses and residents with a convenient place to go in their local neighborhood to get the information they need to handle summonses correctly and to find out if they have any unresolved summonses that have been issued to them, their property or their business. Knowledge is power and the first step to fighting City summonses is understanding the process and what to do if and when a summons is received," said OATH Deputy Commissioner for Public Affairs, Marisa Senigo.
“The library is a tremendous resource for all of us. When a Queens resident visits the Central Queens Public Library to get information and borrow books on October 30, 2019 they can learn about what to do when they get a summons from a city enforcement agency by finding OATH Resource near the library’s non-fiction and reference sections,” said OATH Deputy Commissioner John Castelli.
The NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) is the City’s independent administrative law court where nearly all City enforcement agencies such as the Departments of Sanitation, Buildings, Health and Mental Hygiene, Parks, Environmental Protection, Fire, NYPD, Consumer Affairs, and the Taxi and Limousine Commission, among many others, file their summonses for hearings. OATH, however, is not the court that is responsible for holding hearings on parking tickets or traffic tickets.
Last year, OATH received nearly 870,000 summonses from NYC enforcement agencies and held more than 330,000 hearings. 47% of all summonses that were fought at OATH hearings were dismissed.
OATH offers recipients of summonses convenient hearings options such as Hearings Online, Hearings by Phone, Hearings by Webcam and Hearings by Mail. It also offers free translation services for all hearings as well as for all document and form submissions. Additionally, OATH has Help Centers at all hearing locations where self-represented respondents can go to get help understanding what a summons is charging them with and the possible penalties associated with the summons; the OATH hearing process; or get help accessing information or records that they believe will help their case.
About Queens Public Library
Queens Public Library is one of the largest and busiest public library systems in the United States, dedicated to serving the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in the country. An independent, non-profit organization founded in 1896, Queens Public Library offers free access to a collection of more than 5 million books and other materials in multiple languages, technology and digital resources, and more than 87,500 educational, cultural, and civic programs a year. It consists of 66 locations, including branch libraries, a Central Library, seven adult learning centers, a technology lab, two universal pre-kindergartens, and two teen centers.