Queens Public Library and City Councilman I. Daneek Miller are teaming up to bring a special event to the Central Library in Jamaica on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
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 hearing, will have staff present at the branch — located at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. — from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
OATH will 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, FDNY, and NYPD, among other agencies, that issue summonses to individuals, property owners, and small business owners.
“We are excited to be partnering with OATH and the Queens Public Library to help homeowners and small businesses navigate the nuances of government,” Miller said. “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.”
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,” Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott said, adding that he was pleased to “bring valuable resources to our customers, providing them with the tools they need to interact more effectively with city government.”
The session is part of the “OATH Resource initiative that OATH Deputy Commissioner for Public Affairs Maris Senigo said “levels the playing field” for New Yorkers and small businesses when contesting city-issued summonses.
“The initiative provides New York City’s small businesses and residents with a convenient place to go in their neighborhood to get the information they need to handle summonses correctly and to find out if the have any unresolved summonses that have been issued to them, their property or their business,” Senigo said. “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.”
OATH Resource will set up near the library’s non-fiction and reference sections.