Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules is a legal tool that allows individuals or entities to challenge the decisions or actions of administrative agencies, public bodies or officers in court. Article 78 is important because it provides a way to protect one’s rights and interests from arbitrary or unlawful administrative actions. For example, if a person is denied a license, permit, benefit or contract by a government agency, or if a person is subjected to disciplinary action, penalty or removal by a public body or officer, they can use Article 78 to seek judicial review of the decision or action.
Compel agencies and public officials
Article 78 can also be used to compel a public body or officer to perform a duty that they are legally obligated to do, such as issuing a decision, making a payment or providing information. This is known as mandamus relief. Alternatively, Article 78 can be used to prevent a public body or officer from acting beyond their authority or jurisdiction. This is known as prohibition relief.
Article 78 proceedings
Article 78 proceedings are special proceedings that follow specific rules and procedures. They must be brought in the Supreme Court in the county specified in subdivision (b) of Section 506 of the CPLR. They must also commence within four months after the decision or action being challenged becomes final and binding.
The petitioner must serve a notice of petition and a verified petition on the respondent and any other adverse party at least 20 days before the hearing date. The respondent must file an answer and a certified transcript of the record of the proceedings under consideration within five days before the hearing date. The petitioner may file a reply within one day before the hearing date.
The judge’s decision-making process
The court will review the petition and the answer and decide whether to grant or deny the relief that the petitioner seeks. The court may also transfer the proceeding to the appellate division if it involves a substantial evidence question. The court may order a hearing or a trial if there are factual disputes that need to be resolved. The court may also order a stay of the decision or action being challenged pending the outcome of the proceeding.
Article 78 is a powerful and versatile remedy for challenging administrative decisions or actions that affect one’s rights or interests. However, it also requires careful preparation and compliance with the rules and procedures.