It is self understood that any topic under this heading is a voluminous matter and is not possible to be covered in a web page like this. Our intention is to shed some light on the criminal summons that is served based on violating an order of a City agency pertaining to real estate.
It is important to note that criminal summonses are usually preceded with a warning. For instance, the Fire Department would usually issue an order to correct a violating condition, and thereafter conduct a re-inspection for compliance, only then will they issue a criminal summons. With the Dept. of Buildings they would usually issue a few ECB violations prior to issuing a criminal summons. It should therefore not come to you as a total surprise that you received a criminal summons.
For example, the Dept. of Buildings may pursue an imprisonment sentencing for repeat offenders, as it is consistent with the Administrative Code Title 26 Chapter 1 Section 122 which states as follows; Every person who owns or operates a place of assembly without a current permit or emergency lighting as required by law, or who shall fail to comply with an order issued by the commissioner except an order issued pursuant to section 26-126.2; or who shall knowingly violate any requirement of any notice or order of the commissioner, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both. Such person shall also be subject to the payment of a penalty of not more than five thousand dollars to be recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the city in any court of competent jurisdiction or in a proceeding before the Environmental Control Board.
First off, since corporations own a majority of properties, the law requires that, unlike ECB, an attorney needs to represent a corporate entity in a criminal court proceeding. If the summons names an individual the representative does not need to be an attorney. However, if a judgment is entered against the individual, either by default or by a decision of the Judge the individual may be held liable or a warrant for his or her arrest may be issued.
Secondly, keep in mind that although you may have merit to get your case dismissed based on either technicality or meritorious issues it is nevertheless usually more costly than a settlement offer. It is always to your benefit that the alleged violating conditions are corrected immediately. It will prevent additional summonses from being issued, and it will help negate a better settlement offer.
Whether the issuing agency is the Fire Department of NY, Department of Buildings, Department of Environmental Protection or Department of Environmental Conservation. Our team consists of professional attorneys who are experienced in this field of law, and are capable of representing our clients to the best of their ability and satisfaction of our clients.
For NYC Criminal Court locations, directions and contact information.
For information, help and resources about the criminal justice system.
To check the status of your criminal summons, and to be directed to the New York State Unified Court System’s website.