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New York City agencies can issue summonses for violations of quality-of-life laws and other City rules and regulations. 

The Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) is an administrative court that holds hearings involving these summonses. OATH is independent and distinct from the enforcement agencies that issue the summonses.

OATH does not hold hearings for:

  • Parking tickets
  • Camera violations
  • Traffic violations
  • Criminal violations

Responding to an OATH Summons

You must respond to an OATH summons by the hearing date. All the information you need is provided on the ticket.

To avoid being found in violation by default, you must respond by doing one of the following:

  1. Admit to the charges and pay the penalty by the hearing date on the summons (not available to summonses that say you must appear)
  2. Take action to participate in a hearing:

*Not all summonses are eligible for this option

You must schedule your phone or in-person hearing with OATH in advance, even though there is a hearing date and time on the summons.

OATH does not accept phone calls to request a phone or in-person hearing. Requests are only accepted electronically.

Phone Hearing

If you want a hearing by phone, you must schedule the hearing by completing the Request Phone Hearing for Upcoming Hearing Form.

OATH must get the request for your phone hearing at least 3 business days before your scheduled hearing date.

In-Person Hearing

You may request an in-person hearing by emailing at least 5 business days before the scheduled hearing date.

You can reschedule the hearing date listed on your summons once. OATH must get the request before the scheduled hearing date.

All reschedule requests can be submitted online. You can only reschedule a hearing once.

Reschedule a hearing.

For most summonses, you can get the status of your case and a link to download a copy of your summons using OATH's Ticket Finder. You need either the summons number or your name and address.

The summons includes:

  • The date, time, location, and description of the alleged violation
  • The date, time, and location of your hearing
  • If you must appear at a hearing or if you are eligible to pay the summons without attending a hearing

You can also get payment information and hearing recordings.

Use OATH's Ticket Finder.

If you do not respond to a summons or do not appear at a hearing by the scheduled hearing date, you will get a decision finding you in violation by default.

You have two options:

  1. Pay the summons
  2. Request a new hearing

If you want a hearing, you have 75 days to submit your first request for a new hearing and have your request be automatically granted and a new hearing date sent in the mail. You must use this Default Reopen Request Form to submit the request.

Default Judgments

If you fail to attend a hearing, you will have a default judgment entered against you. Along with the base penalty amount, you will be charged a default penalty. Interest will also accrue.

You may be eligible for a settlement program to have half of the default penalty waived. Visit the City-Issued Summons Payment page to learn more.

If you disagree with OATH’s decision, you can appeal. In most cases, you must pay the fine before you can appeal. If you win your appeal, you’ll be issued a refund.

You can file an appeal online or by mail.

OATH must receive your appeal request within 30 days of the date of the decision or within 35 days of the mailing date if the decision was mailed to you. You must also provide a copy of your appeal to the Agency that issued the summons.

Learn more about appeals.

City Agency Appeals

If you win your case and the violation is dismissed after the hearing is held, the City enforcement Agency that prosecuted the case has the right to appeal that decision.

The Agency must notify you and give you a chance to respond to their appeal. Responses must be submitted by mail or online before the deadline. You can schedule an appointment with the OATH Help Center to get help with filing a response to the City’s appeal.

If you received a summons in your name for a property you don’t own, you must fight the summons at a hearing to try to get it dismissed.

The OATH Help Center can help you with scheduling and preparing for your hearing. Email at least one week before your hearing date for assistance.

Your email should include:

  • Summons number
  • Contact information

The following City Agencies issue summonses for violations that are heard by OATH:

  • Buildings Department (DOB)
  • Business Integrity Commission (BIC)
  • Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)
  • Environmental Protection (DEP)
  • Fire Department (FDNY)
  • Health Department (DOHMH)
  • Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)
  • Parks and Recreation (DPR)
  • Police Department (NYPD)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ)
  • Sanitation Department (DSNY)
  • Small Business Services (SBS)
  • Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC)
  • Technology and Innovation (OTI)
  • Transportation (DOT)

If you are self-represented, you can help with:

  • Understanding your summons
  • Scheduling or rescheduling a hearing, including online technical issues
  • Preparing for a hearing
  • Appeals


Get hearing resources.

Contact the OATH Help Center.

By Email

Email at least one week before your hearing date for help.

Your email should include your:

  • Summons number
  • Contact information

Small businesses that are self-represented can contact the Small Business Unit of the Help Center at

By Phone

  • Agency: Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings
  • Division: OATH Help Center
  • Phone Number: (212) 436-0845
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM
  • Leave a voicemail and a representative will return your call the following business day.

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