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SECTION 1299-EEE
Transit adjudication bureau
Public Authorities (PBA) CHAPTER 43-A, ARTICLE 5, TITLE 11-A
§ 1299-eee. Transit adjudication bureau. 1. Establishment. There is
hereby created in the authority a transit adjudication bureau. The head
of such bureau shall be the director, who shall be appointed by the
chairman of the authority. The director may delegate the powers and
duties conferred upon the director by this section to such qualified
officers and employees of the bureau as he may designate.

2. Hearing officers. The chairman of the authority shall appoint
hearing officers who shall preside at hearings for the adjudication of
charges of transit infractions, as hereinafter defined, and who, as
provided below, may be designated to serve on the appeals board of the
bureau. Every hearing officer shall have been admitted to the practice
of law in this state for a period of at least five years, and shall be
compensated for his services on a per diem basis determined by the
bureau.

3. Jurisdiction. The bureau shall have, with respect to acts or
incidents in or on the transit facilities of the authority,
non-exclusive jurisdiction over violations of the rules which may from
time to time be established by the authority. Matters within the
jurisdiction of the bureau shall be known for purposes of this section
as transit infractions. Nothing herein shall be construed to divest
jurisdiction from any court now having jurisdiction over any criminal
charge relating to any act committed in a transit facility, or to impair
the ability of a police officer to conduct a lawful search of a person
in a transit facility. The criminal court within which jurisdiction the
transit authority shall operate transit facilities shall continue to
have jurisdiction over any criminal charge brought for violation of the
rules of the authority, as well as jurisdiction relating to any act
which may constitute a crime or an offense under any law of the state of
New York or any municipality or political subdivision thereof and which
may also constitute a violation of such rules.

4. General powers. The bureau shall have the following functions,
powers and duties:

a. To accept pleas (whether made in person or by mail) to, and to hear
and determine, charges of transit infractions within its jurisdiction;

b. To impose civil penalties not to exceed a total of two hundred
fifty dollars for any transit infraction within its jurisdiction, in
accordance with a penalty schedule established by the authority;

c. In its sole discretion, to suspend or forgive penalties or any
portion of penalties imposed on the condition that the respondent
voluntarily agrees to perform and actually does satisfactorily perform
unpaid services on transit facilities as assigned by the authority, such
as, without limitation, cleaning of rolling stock;

d. To adopt, amend and rescind rules and regulations not inconsistent
with any applicable provision of law to carry out the purposes of this
section, including but not limited to rules and regulations prescribing
the internal procedures and organization of the bureau, the manner and
time of entering pleas, the conduct of hearings, and the amount and
manner of payment of penalties;

e. To enter judgments and enforce them, without court proceedings, in
the same manner as the enforcement of money judgments in civil actions,
as provided below;

f. To compile and maintain complete and accurate records relating to
all charges and dispositions, which records shall be deemed exempt from
disclosure under the freedom of information law as records compiled for
law enforcement purposes;

g. To apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for enforcement of
any decision or order issued by such bureau or of any subpoena issued by
a hearing officer as provided in paragraph d of subdivision seven of
this section;

h. To enter into contracts with other government agencies, with
private organizations, or with individuals to undertake on its behalf
such functions as data processing, debt collections, mailing, and
general administration, as the director deems appropriate, except that
the conduct by hearing officers of hearings and of appeals may not be
performed by outside contractors; and

i. To accept payment of penalties and to remit same to the authority.

5. Notices of violation. The bureau shall prepare and distribute
notices of violation in blank to the Niagara Frontier transportation
authority security officer, ticket inspector, and any other person
empowered by law, rule and regulation to serve such notices. The form
and wording of the notice of violation shall be prescribed by the
director, and it may be the same as any other notice of violation or
summons form already in use if said form meets the requirements hereof.
The notice of violation may include provisions to record information
which will facilitate the identification and location of respondents,
including but not limited to name, address, telephone numbers, date of
birth, social security number if otherwise permitted by law, place of
employment or school, and name and address of parents or guardian if a
minor. Notices of violation shall be served by delivering the notice
within the state to the person to be served. A copy of each notice of
violation served hereunder shall be filed and retained by said bureau,
and shall be deemed a record kept in the ordinary course of business,
and, if sworn to or affirmed, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts
contained herein. Said notice of violation shall contain information
advising the person charged of the manner and the time within which such
person may either admit or deny the offense charged in the notice. Such
notice of violation shall also contain a warning to advise the person
charged that failure to plead in the manner and within the time stated
in the notice may result in a default decision and order being entered
against such person.

6. Defaults. Where a respondent has failed to plead within the time
allowed by the rules of said bureau or has failed to appear on a
designated hearing date or a subsequent date following an adjournment,
such failure to plead or appear shall be deemed, for all purposes, to be
an admission of liability and shall be grounds for rendering a default
decision and order imposing a penalty in such amount as may be
prescribed by the authority.

7. Hearings. a. Whenever a person charged with a transit infraction
returnable to the bureau enters a plea of not guilty, the bureau shall
advise such person personally, or by registered or certified mail, of
the date on which he or she must appear to answer the charge at a
hearing. The form and content of such notice of hearing shall be
prescribed by the director, and shall contain a warning to advise the
person so pleading that failure to appear on the date designated, or any
subsequent adjourned date, shall be deemed for all purposes, an
admission of liability, and that a default judgment may be rendered and
penalty may be prescribed.

b. Every hearing for the adjudication of a charge of a transit
infraction hereunder shall be held before a hearing officer in
accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the bureau.

c. The hearing officer shall not be bound by the rules of evidence in
the conduct of the hearing, except rules relating to privileged
communications.

d. The hearing officer when the defendant refuses to stipulate to the
contents of the notice of violation, unless the hearing officer
determines that the notice of violation should be dismissed, shall
require the person who served the petition to attend the hearing and may
issue subpoenas to compel the appearance of that person or of other
persons to give testimony, and issue subpoenas duces tecum to compel the
production for examination or introduction into evidence of any book,
paper or other thing relevant to the charges.

e. In the case of a refusal to obey a subpoena, the bureau may make
application to the Supreme Court pursuant to section twenty-three
hundred eight of the civil practice law and rules, for an order
requiring such appearance, testimony or production of evidence.

f. The bureau shall make and maintain a sound recording or other
record of every hearing.

g. After due consideration of the evidence and arguments, the hearing
officer shall determine whether the charges have been established. No
charge may be established except upon clear and convincing evidence.
Where the charges have not been established, an order dismissing the
charges shall be entered. Where a determination is made that a charge
has been established or if an answer admitting the charge has been
received, the hearing officer shall set a penalty in accordance with the
penalty schedule established by the authority, and an appropriate order
shall be entered in the records of the bureau. The respondent shall be
given notice of such entry in person or by mail. This order shall
constitute the final determination of the hearing officer, and for
purposes of review it shall be deemed to incorporate any intermediate
determinations made by said officer in the course of the proceeding.
When no appeal is filed this order shall be the final order of the
bureau.

8. Administrative and judicial review. a. There shall be appeals
boards within the bureau which shall consist of three or more hearing
officers, as the director shall determine. The director shall select a
chairman for each appeals board from the members so appointed. No
hearing officer may sit on an appeals board considering an appeal from a
determination made by said hearing officer.

b. A party aggrieved by a final determination of a hearing officer may
obtain a review thereof by serving upon the bureau within thirty days of
the sending of the notice of entry of such order a notice of appeal
setting forth the reasons why the determination should be reversed or
modified. There shall be no interlocutory appeals.

c. An appeal from a final determination of a hearing officer shall be
submitted to the appeals board, which shall have power to review the
facts and the law, but shall not consider any evidence which was not
presented to the hearing officer, and shall have power to reverse or
modify any judgment appealed from for error of fact or law.

d. Appeals shall be made without the appearance of the appellant and
appellant's attorney unless the presence of either or both are requested
by the appellant, appellant's attorney, or the appeals board. Within
twenty days after a request for an appearance, made by the appellant,
appellant's attorney or the board, the bureau shall advise the appellant
or appellant's attorney, either personally or by registered or certified
mail, of the date on which he or she shall appear. The appellant shall
be notified in writing of the decision of the appeals board.

e. A party may request and obtain a record of the proceedings
resulting in a determination for which an appeal is sought, but the
party shall pay to the bureau the cost of providing such record. When a
record is timely requested for the purpose of preparing an appeal, the
bureau shall not thereafter cause the appeal to be heard or submitted
less than ten days after the delivery or mailing of the record to
appellant or appellant's attorney.

f. The service of a notice of appeal shall not stay the enforcement of
an order appealed from unless the appellant shall have posted a bond in
the amount of penalties imposed in the order appealed from at the time
of, or before, the service of such notice.

g. No determination of a hearing officer which is appealable under the
provisions of this section shall be reviewed in any court unless an
appeal has been filed and determined in accordance with this
subdivision. When an appeal has been filed, the order of the appeals
board shall be the final order of the bureau. Judicial review may be
sought pursuant to article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and
rules.

9. Enforcement of judgments. a. The bureau shall have the power to
enforce its final decisions and orders imposing civil penalties for
violations of laws, rules and regulations enforced by it as if they were
money judgments, without court proceedings, in the manner described
herein.

b. Any final order of the bureau imposing a civil penalty, whether the
adjudication was had by hearing or upon default or otherwise, shall
constitute a judgment rendered by the bureau which may be entered in the
county court of Erie or Niagara county or any other place provided for
the entry of civil judgments within the state, provided that no
proceeding for judicial review shall be pending and the time for
initiation of such proceeding shall have expired, and may be enforced
without court proceedings in the same manner as the enforcement of money
judgments entered in civil actions. Any final order shall be a bar to
any criminal proceeding for conduct upon which the order was based.

c. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, before a judgment based
upon a default may be so entered the bureau must have attempted to
notify the respondent by first class mail, in such form as the bureau
may direct: (i) of the default decision and order and the penalty
imposed; (ii) that a judgment will be entered in the county court of
Erie or Niagara county or any other place provided for the entry of
civil judgments within the state; and (iii) the entry of such judgments
may be avoided by requesting a stay of default for good cause shown and
either requesting a hearing or entering a plea pursuant to the rules of
the bureau within thirty days of the mailing of such notice.

10. Funds. All penalties collected pursuant to the provisions of this
section shall be paid to the authority.