QUEENS, NY – Borough President Melinda Katz, U.S. Representative Grace Meng, State Senator Toby Stavisky, State Assemblymember Ron Kim, City Councilmember Peter Koo, Queens Community Board 7, the NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) and local community organizations today announced an upcoming public forum on Thursday, June 8 in Downtown Flushing on what to do when a resident or business owner is issued a summons from a New York City enforcement agency.
The June 8 forum will be held from 6:00 – 9:00 PM at the Hyatt Place Hotel, 133-42 39th Avenue in Downtown Flushing. The forum will feature a presentation by and Q&A session with OATH Commissioner and Chief Administrative Law Judge Fidel F. Del Valle, who will discuss what to do when a summons is received, remote hearing options, and more. Real-time translation in Mandarin and Korean will be available, courtesy of partnering organizations. The June 8 forum will be the first in a series of similar informational and educational forums planned for Queens, and is part of OATH’s Administrative Law Court’s Community Education Services (ACCES) program.
Partnering organization include Asian Americans for Equality, the Chinese-American Planning Council, the Flushing Business Improvement District, the Flushing Chinese Business Association, the Forest Hills Asian Association, the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce and the Korean American Association of Queens.
“It can be intimidating to receive a summons from any governmental entity, and educational forums like this are designed to help demystify the process for residents and business owners alike,” said Queens Borough President MELINDA KATZ. “The June 8 forum will help inform participants of their legal rights, ensure fair treatment, and open lines of communication with the adjudication arm of the city. All are encouraged to participate and to be assured that OATH is a civil court, not criminal nor federal. OATH, led by Commissioner Fidel F. Del Valle, deserves to be commended for embarking on this important citywide public outreach effort.”
“Responding to summonses from New York City enforcement agencies can be a confusing and overwhelming experience,” said U.S. Representative GRACE MENG. “That is why this forum is such an important initiative. Queens residents and local business owners will learn first-hand how they can answer and fight summonses, and they’ll receive critical information about the process. I thank the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings and Borough President Katz for organizing this important event.”
“New Yorkers and small businesses deserve a level playing field when contesting City-issued summonses and the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) continues to work towards the goal of creating a truly user-friendly court,” said OATH Commissioner and Chief Administrative Law Judge FIDEL F. DEL VALLE. “Partnering on informational events like this one in Flushing Queens gives OATH the opportunity to provide residents and small businesses with important information about the hearing process and the many options that are available to them should they or their business receive summonses from the City’s various enforcement agencies.”
“I believe an informed public is an empowered public, which is why I am proud to co-sponsor this event with Borough President Melinda Katz and Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings,” said New York State Senator TOBY STAVISKY. “I hope everyone will pass along the knowledge they receive here today.”
“It is not uncommon for my office to receive complaints from constituents about unfair decisions or summonses by enforcement agencies,” said New York State Assemblymember RON KIM. “OATH represents an independent court where all residents can seek justice or reprieve from unequal treatment. Many New Yorkers, especially members of immigrant communities, may not be familiar with this office or its functions. For those who were issued summonses or violation notices, it offers access to a more transparent and effective justice system. I thank Borough President Katz and OATH for organizing this workshop, and encourage any members of our community who are interested to attend.”
“To many new immigrants, OATH can be the first experience with New York’s justice system, and if English is not their first language, the process can be long and difficult,” said New York City Councilmember PETER KOO. “I thank OATH Commissioner and Chief Administrative Law Judge for reaching out to our diverse populations in Queens, and helping the community understand their rights by making information widely available.”
“Education is the key to prevent summonses issued when the law is broken,” said Queens Community Board 7 District Manager MARILYN McANDREWS. “Since Queens is the most diverse community in the world with a large immigrant population, it is important for our city agencies to issue helpful guidelines so everyone understands the laws governing our cities, for without laws there is chaos.”
“The Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc. is excited to be partnering with OATH, Borough President Katz, and other community based organizations in this long overdue tackling of the ticketing system,” said WAYNE HO, President and CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc. “Many immigrant families and low-income communities experience immense frustration when they are ticketed because they don’t fully understand the reasons or the options available. CPC is fully committed to doing our part at spreading awareness to the communities we serve.”
“We thank the Queens Borough President for bringing this much-needed resource to our community,” said TAEHOON KIM, President of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. “Targeted enforcement and excessive ticketing by regulatory agencies is one of the biggest complaints we hear in our business community. We encourage our members to attend this forum and learn how to effectively respond to violations and fines.”
“A lack of information and knowledge creates a barrier for individuals to know their rights and access to the legal system,” said THOMAS SOOHYUN KIM, President of Korean American Association of Queens. “Co-sponsoring an informative event with OATH will help familiarize the Korean American Community with the City’s court system and regulations, thereby educating them about the legal processes and the options that are available to them. We are pleased to co-sponsor this event with OATH and grateful to OATH for reaching out to our community.”
“With the host of government agencies that New Yorkers have to contend with, it is no wonder that those on the margins risk drowning in bureaucracy,” said CHRIS KUI, Executive Director of Asian Americans for Equality. “Borough President Katz recognizes this gap and the support that is needed to fill it, and I commend her for partnering with OATH to help Queens residents face their punitive challenges.”
“We are pleased to partner with OATH and Borough President Katz on what should be an informative and comprehensive forum on how residents and business owners can best respond to summonses from the City,” said PETER TU, Executive Director of the Flushing Chinese Business Association. “The information made available during the forum will ensure that attendees are fully aware of their legal rights regarding City summonses and their ability to challenge them. The forum will help guarantee that those who receive such summonses are treated fairly and equitably.”
“This is a very helpful event which provides the opportunity for small business and others to learn how to better respond to fines and summonses and that they are not alone in the process,” said EDWIN WONG, President of the Forest Hills Asian Association. “Event also provides the opportunity for businesses to share and learn from their respective experiences and hear feedback directly from OATH. Thank you to everyone involved in organizing.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of NYC’s economy,” said DIAN SONG YU, Executive Director of the Downtown Flushing Transit Hub Business Improvement District. “All government agencies and local community organizations must work together to help the small businesses navigate the complexity of operating a business in NYC. That way they can focus on growing their business to generate more revenue and jobs.”
OATH is the City’s independent and impartial administrative law court through which summonses from all city agencies are filed, and all hearings and decisions are held. Agencies that issue and file their summonses at OATH include the Departments of Buildings, Consumer Affairs, Environmental Protection, Health and Mental Hygiene, Sanitation, the Taxi & Limousine Commission, and more.