By David Brand
Officials from the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings will head to Middle Village next week to help Central Queens residents address their non-criminal summonses without traveling far from home.
OATH will set a “pop-up court” at Councilmember Robert Holden’s district office at 64-69 Dry Harbor Road in Middle Village on May 22. It’s the second time OATH has run a pop-up court in Queens and the 12th time overall.
“Giving people the opportunity to adjudicate summonses in their own back yard is a win-win,” Holden said. “This is an excellent idea by OATH, an agency that cares about New Yorkers and their quality of life. I look forward to hosting this pop-up court and many more events that benefit our constituents in the future.”
New Yorkers rack up roughly 800,000 summonses a year for alleged non-criminal offenses observed by the Department of Sanitation, Parks Department and other city agencies, OATH told the Eagle. Individuals issues summonses for misconduct like improper recycling, carrying an open alcohol container or trespassing in a park after hours can attend the event to addresses their summonses, said OATH’s Deputy Commissioner for Public Affairs Maria Senigo.
OATH does not address summonses issued by the Department of Buildings or FDNY or related to parking or moving violations.
The agency will send letters to individuals who live in the five zip codes around Holden’s Middle Village office to inform them of the pop-up court.
“As the City’s central independent administrative law court, OATH’s top priority is to make it as easy as possible for those who have been issued summonses from City enforcement agencies to have their day in court,” Senigo said in a statement. “Our Neighborhood Pop-Up Courts program brings the court to where you work and live so that fighting City summonses and accessing justice at OATH is more convenient and less time consuming.”