1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Transportation
  4. Article 3: Jurisdiction of Commissioner; Proceedings Before Commissioner; Recovery of Penalties; Court Preferences; Fees


Section 80 Jurisdiction of commissioner

Transportation (TRA)

1. The jurisdiction, supervision, powers and duties of the commissioner under this chapter shall extend to common carriers, common and contract carriers of passengers by motor vehicle, and common and contract carriers of property by motor vehicle, and to the persons owning, leasing or operating the same. Such jurisdiction does not extend however to any public authority or any subsidiary thereof exercising any power granted under the public authorities law.

  2. A person or persons owning or holding a majority of the stock of any common carrier specified in subdivision one of this section and subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner shall be subject to the supervision of the commissioner in respect of the relations between such common carrier and such owners or holders of a majority of the stock thereof insofar as such relations arise from or by reason of such ownership or holding of stock thereof or the receipt or holding of any money or property thereof or from or by reason of any contract between them; and in respect of such relations shall in like manner and to the same extent as such common carrier be subject to examination of accounts, records and memoranda and shall furnish such reports and information as the commissioner shall from time to time direct and require and shall be subject to like penalties for default therein.

  3. Corporations formed to acquire property or to transact business which would be subject to the provisions of this chapter, and corporations and other persons possessing franchises for any of the purposes contemplated by this chapter, shall be deemed to be subject to the provisions of this chapter although no property may have been acquired, business transacted or franchises exercised.

  4. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner shall not have jurisdiction over the regulation of any bus line operations that are wholly within the boundaries of any city when such city has adopted an ordinance, local law or charter to regulate or franchise bus line operations, except that the commissioner shall have jurisdiction with respect to safety of operation of motor vehicles and self-insurance requirements of such bus lines. The commissioner shall, however, have exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of common carriers of passengers by motor vehicle that provide operations on a prearranged basis over non-specified or irregular routes within a city, except as provided in subdivision five of this section or as otherwise provided in this chapter. It is further provided, however, that once the commissioner issues a certificate to a motor carrier to operate as a common carrier of passengers by motor vehicle, such motor carrier shall be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the commissioner with respect to the service performed under such certificate, except as provided in subdivision five of this section.

  5. a. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any city with a population of over one million, the commissioner shall not have jurisdiction over the regulation of any van service or other common carrier of passengers by motor vehicle covered under article seven of this chapter when such van service or other such common carrier is operated wholly within the boundaries of such city or is operated partly within such city if the partial operation consists of the pick up and discharge of passengers wholly within such city, when such city has adopted an ordinance, local law or charter to regulate or franchise such operations; provided, however, that the commissioner shall have exclusive jurisdiction with respect to the safety of operation of motor vehicles operated as van services or other such common carriers of passengers, except that concurrent jurisdiction with respect to enforcement of such safety standards may be transferred pursuant to agreement between the department and such city; and provided further that the commissioner shall have exclusive jurisdiction with respect to van services and other such common carriers that are designed for the transport of transportation disabled persons as defined in section fifteen-b of this chapter, except that such city shall continue to have jurisdiction over the licensure of wheelchair accessible vans and drivers of such vans as provided in chapter five of title nineteen of the administrative code of the city of New York; and provided further that the commissioner shall have exclusive jurisdiction with respect to the operations of motor vehicles as van services or other such common carriers of passengers covered under article seven of this chapter to or from an airport in such city when such van services or other such common carriers of passengers have been issued a permit by the port authority of New York and New Jersey to operate at an airport in such city or apply for such permit and within a reasonable period of time are issued such permit by such authority. Such local law or ordinance shall: (i) designate a city agency which will assume the regulatory responsibility, (ii) contain regulations for the issuance of operating authority in accordance with criteria to be established pursuant to such local law or ordinance, which criteria shall include but not be limited to the fitness, willingness and ability of the applicant to provide the transportation to be authorized by the certificate and to comply with the local law or ordinance, and consideration of the present or future public convenience and necessity, and prohibit the operation of any vehicle as a van service or other such common carrier of passengers without such operating authority or without complying with regulations promulgated by the commissioner regarding safety of operations, (iii) make provisions for the continuation of operating authority for van services and other such common carriers of passengers previously approved by the department which are in compliance with such operating authority through the conversion of such operating authority to operating authority issued by the city agency designated by the local law or ordinance adopted pursuant to this subdivision, pursuant to agreement between the department and such city, provided that all such van services and common carriers shall comply with such local law or ordinance within one year of the effective date of such local law or ordinance, (iv) contain adequate regulatory and enforcement mechanisms, (v) provide that such city agency shall, after consultation with the department, render a final administrative determination on any application for the issuance of a permit, certificate or other operating authority within one hundred eighty days after a completed application is filed, provided that the failure to approve or disapprove any completed application by such agency within one hundred eighty days shall be deemed a disapproval of said application, and (vi) provide for the imposition of a fee for such operating authority not to exceed the amount of the license fee for for-hire vehicles established by the commissioner of the agency having jurisdiction over the licensing of for-hire vehicles in accordance with subdivision b of section 19-504 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as amended.

  (2) Such local law or ordinance shall prohibit a van service or other such common carrier of passengers, other than van services and other such common carriers that are designed for the transport of transportation disabled persons as defined in section fifteen-b of this chapter and may lawfully engage in such transportation or under the exclusive jurisdiction of the commissioner, from soliciting, picking up or discharging passengers at stops of, or along a route which is traveled upon by, a bus line which is operated by a transit authority or such city or a private bus company approved by such city to operate pursuant to a local law, ordinance or charter provision enacted in accordance with subdivision four of this section; provided, however, that such local law or ordinance shall provide that this prohibition shall not apply to the pick up or discharge of passengers in the borough of Manhattan south of Chambers Street by van services or other such common carriers of passengers with authority from the department as of the first day of July, nineteen hundred ninety-two to pick up or discharge passengers along bus routes in such area, provided further that the scope of operations by such van services or other common carriers of passengers along bus routes in such area shall not exceed the scope of such operations prior to the first day of July, nineteen hundred ninety-two.

  (3) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, such local law or ordinance may provide for the administrative adjudication of a violation of such local law or ordinance by an agency or an administrative tribunal of an agency heretofore authorized pursuant to the charter of such city to adjudicate violations of local law, rules and regulations pertaining to for-hire vehicles as if it were a violation relating to for-hire vehicles and in accordance with the provisions of such charter pertaining to the adjudication of violations relating to for-hire vehicles. Such local law or ordinance may provide that notices of violation of such local law or ordinance may be served by any police officer, officer or employee designated by the city agency with regulatory responsibility, or authorized officers or employees of the transit authority of such city, and shall be returnable to such agency or administrative tribunal. Such local law or ordinance shall provide that the civil penalty imposed by such agency or administrative tribunal for a first violation relating to a van service or other such common carrier of passengers shall not be more than one thousand dollars, and for a second or subsequent violation within two years of the first violation shall not be more than twenty-five hundred dollars. Judgments based on such adjudications may be entered and enforced without court proceedings in accordance with the provisions of such charter pertaining to the enforcement of judgments relating to for-hire vehicles.

  (4) Such local law or ordinance shall provide that where such agency or administrative tribunal finds an owner liable for operating a vehicle as a van service or other such common carrier without the operating authority required by such local law or ordinance, such agency or administrative tribunal may notify the commissioner of motor vehicles of such finding and the commissioner shall thereupon suspend the registration of such vehicle and shall deny any application for the registration of such vehicle or any application for the renewal thereof pursuant to subdivision five-a of section four hundred one of the vehicle and traffic law until such time as such agency or administrative tribunal may give notice that the violation has been corrected to its satisfaction. The procedure on any such suspension shall be the same as in the case of a suspension under the vehicle and traffic law. Operation of any motor vehicle for which the registration has been suspended as herein provided shall constitute a class A misdemeanor.

  (5) Such local law or ordinance may provide for the seizure and forfeiture of vehicles that have been operated as a van service or other such common carrier of passengers without the operating authority required by such local law or ordinance, in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs b and c of this subdivision.

  b. (1) A local law or ordinance adopted pursuant to paragraph a of this subdivision may provide that any police officer or officer or employee designated by the city agency with regulatory responsibility may, upon service of a notice of violation upon the owner or operator of a vehicle, seize a vehicle which such police officer or authorized officer or employee has reasonable cause to believe is being operated as a van service or other such common carrier of passengers by or on behalf of an individual or entity which is not the holder of operating authority to operate a van service or other such common carrier of passengers. All passengers in any seized vehicle shall be left in or transported to a location which is readily accessible to other means of public transportation. Any vehicle seized pursuant to this paragraph shall be delivered into the custody of the city agency with regulatory responsibility or other appropriate agency of the city. Within one business day after the seizure, notice of such seizure and a copy of the notice of violation shall be mailed to the owner of such vehicle at the address for such owner set forth in the records maintained by the department of motor vehicles, or for vehicles not registered in New York state, such equivalent record in such state of registration.

  (2) A hearing to adjudicate the violation underlying the seizure shall be held before the agency or administrative tribunal designated by such local law or ordinance to adjudicate violations of such local law or ordinance within five business days after the date of seizure. Such agency or administrative tribunal shall within one business day of the conclusion of the hearing render a determination as to whether the vehicle has been operated by or on behalf of an individual or entity which is not the holder of operating authority to operate a van service or other such common carrier of passengers. An owner shall be eligible to obtain release of such vehicle prior to such hearing if such owner has not previously been found liable in an administrative or court proceeding for operating a vehicle as a van service or other such common carrier in violation of a local law or ordinance adopted pursuant to paragraph a of this subdivision, which violation was committed within a five-year period prior to the violation resulting in seizure. The vehicle shall be released to an eligible owner upon the posting of a bond in a form satisfactory to such agency or administrative tribunal in an amount that shall not exceed an amount sufficient to cover the maximum fines or civil penalties which may be imposed for the violation underlying the seizure and all reasonable costs for removal and storage of such vehicle.

  (3) Where such agency or administrative tribunal after adjudication of the violation underlying the seizure finds that the vehicle has been operated by or on behalf of an individual or entity which is not the holder of operating authority to operate a van service or other such common carrier of passengers, (i) if the vehicle is not subject to forfeiture pursuant to paragraph c of this subdivision, such agency or administrative tribunal shall release such vehicle to an owner upon payment of the applicable fines and civil penalties and all reasonable removal and storage costs, or (ii) if the vehicle is subject to forfeiture pursuant to paragraph c of this subdivision, such agency or administrative tribunal may release such vehicle to an owner upon payment of the applicable fines and civil penalties and all reasonable removal and storage costs, or may commence a forfeiture action pursuant to paragraph c of this subdivision within ten days after the owner's written demand for such vehicle.

  (4) Where such agency or administrative tribunal after adjudication of the violation underlying the seizure finds that the charge of operating without the required operating authority has not been sustained, the vehicle shall be released to the owner.

  (5) If an owner or representative of such owner has not sought to reclaim a seized vehicle within thirty days after the mailing of notice to such owner of the final adjudication by such city agency or administrative tribunal of the violation underlying the seizure, such vehicle shall be deemed by such agency or administrative tribunal to be abandoned. Such vehicle shall be disposed of by the city agency with regulatory responsibility or other appropriate agency of the city pursuant to section twelve hundred twenty-four of the vehicle and traffic law; provided, however, that notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of section twelve hundred twenty-four of such law, if an owner seeks to reclaim such vehicle pursuant to the provisions of section twelve hundred twenty-four of such law, such owner shall be deemed to have made a written demand for such vehicle and such agency or administrative tribunal shall take such action as may be authorized by subparagraph three or four of this paragraph.

  c. (1) In addition to the penalties, sanctions and remedies provided for in paragraphs a and b of this subdivision or subdivisions six and seven of section one hundred forty-five of this chapter, a vehicle seized pursuant to paragraph b of this subdivision and all rights, title and interest therein shall be subject to forfeiture to the city in accordance with the procedures set forth in this paragraph upon judicial determination thereof if the owner of such vehicle has been found liable at least two times in an administrative or court proceeding for violating a provision of a local law or ordinance adopted pursuant to paragraph a of this subdivision that prohibits the operation of a vehicle as a van service or other such common carrier of passengers without the operating authority required by such local law or ordinance, both of which violations were committed within a five-year period.

  (2) A forfeiture action which is commenced pursuant to this paragraph shall be commenced by filing of a summons with notice or a summons and complaint pursuant to the civil practice law and rules, and such summons with notice or summons and complaint shall be served pursuant to subparagraph three of this paragraph. A vehicle which is the subject of such action shall remain in the custody of the city agency with regulatory responsibility or other appropriate agency of the city pending the final determination of the forfeiture action.

  (3) Service of a summons with notice or a summons and complaint shall be made: (i) by personal service pursuant to the civil practice law and rules upon all owners of the vehicle listed in the records maintained by the department of motor vehicles, or for vehicles not registered in New York state, in the records maintained by the state of registration; (ii) by first class mail upon all individuals who have notified such city agency or administrative tribunal that they are an owner of the vehicle; and (iii) by first class mail upon all persons holding a security interest in such vehicle which security interest has been filed with the department of motor vehicles pursuant to the provisions of title ten of the vehicle and traffic law, at the address set forth in the records of such department, or for vehicles not registered in New York state, all persons holding a security interest in such vehicle which security interest has been filed with such state of registration at the address provided by such state of registration.

  (4) Any owner who receives notice of the institution of a forfeiture action who claims an interest in the vehicle subject to forfeiture shall assert a claim for the recovery of the vehicle or satisfaction of the owner's interest in such vehicle by intervening in the forfeiture action in accordance with the civil practice law and rules. Any person with a security interest in such vehicle who receives notice of the institution of the forfeiture action who claims an interest in such vehicle subject to forfeiture shall assert a claim for satisfaction of such person's security interest in such vehicle by intervening in the forfeiture action in accordance with the civil practice law and rules.

  (5) No vehicle shall be forfeited under this paragraph, to the extent of the interest of a person who claims an interest in the vehicle, where such person pleads and proves as an affirmative defense that: (i) the use of the vehicle for the conduct that was the basis for a seizure authorized by a local law or ordinance adopted pursuant to paragraph a of this subdivision occurred without the knowledge of such person, or if such person had knowledge of such use, without the consent of such person, and that such person did not knowingly obtain such interest in the vehicle in order to avoid the forfeiture of such vehicle; or (ii) the conduct that was the basis for such seizure was committed by any person other than such person claiming an interest in the vehicle, while such vehicle was unlawfully in the possession of a person who acquired possession thereof in violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state. For purposes of this subparagraph, where such person claiming an interest in the vehicle had knowledge of the use of the vehicle for the conduct that was the basis for such seizure, such person shall be deemed to have consented to the unlawful conduct unless such person establishes that he or she did all that could reasonably have been done to prevent the use of the vehicle for such unlawful conduct.

  (6) The agency of the city having custody of the forfeited vehicle, after judicial determination of forfeiture, shall, at its discretion, either: (i) retain such vehicle for the official use of the city or, (ii) by public notice of at least twenty days, sell such forfeited vehicle at public sale. The net proceeds of any such sale shall be paid into the general fund of such city.

  (7) At any time within six months after the forfeiture, any person claiming an interest in a vehicle which has been forfeited pursuant to this paragraph who was not sent notice of the commencement of the forfeiture action pursuant to subparagraph three of this paragraph or who did not otherwise receive actual notice of the forfeiture action may assert in an action commenced before the justice of the supreme court before whom the forfeiture action was held such claim as could have been asserted in such forfeiture action pursuant to this paragraph. The court may grant the relief sought upon such terms and conditions as it deems reasonable and just if such person claiming an interest in the vehicle establishes that he or she was not sent notice of the commencement of the forfeiture action and was without actual knowledge of the forfeiture action and establishes either of the affirmative defenses set forth in subparagraph five of this paragraph.

  (8) In any action commenced pursuant to subparagraph two or seven of this paragraph, where the court awards a sum of money to one or more persons in satisfaction of such person's or persons' interest or interests in the forfeited vehicle, the total amount awarded to satisfy such interest or interests shall not exceed the amount of the net proceeds of the sale of the forfeited vehicle, after deduction of the lawful expenses incurred by the city, including the reasonable costs of removal and storage of the vehicle between the time of seizure and the date of sale.

  (9) For purposes of this paragraph, the term "security interest" shall mean a security interest as defined in subdivision k of section two thousand one hundred one of the vehicle and traffic law.

  d. For purposes of this subdivision, the term "owner" shall mean an owner as defined in section one hundred twenty-eight and in subdivision three of section three hundred eighty-eight of the vehicle and traffic law.

  e. The provisions of this subdivision authorizing penalties, sanctions and remedies shall not be construed to supersede the provisions of subdivisions six and seven of section one hundred forty-five of this chapter but shall be construed to provide penalties, sanctions and remedies in addition to those provided in such subdivisions.

  f. Any city with a population of over one million which adopts a local law or ordinance pursuant to this subdivision to regulate van service and other such common carrier operations shall, no later than two years following the effective date of such local law or ordinance, submit a report regarding the regulation of such van services and other such common carriers to the governor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly. Such report shall, to the extent such information is available, include but not be limited to: (i) the estimated number of individuals and entities with proper operating authority to operate a van service and other such common carrier, both prior to the commencement of local regulation and after such two-year period, and the number of vehicles operated by such individuals or entities; (ii) the estimated number of vehicles operated without proper operating authority, both prior to the commencement of local regulation and after such two-year period; (iii) the number of individuals and entities which had applied for operating authority during such two-year period; (iv) the number of applications which had been denied and a breakdown of the reasons for such denials; (v) the number of notices of violations or summonses issued to vehicles pursuant to local law or ordinance during such two-year period, and a breakdown of the dispositions of such violation notices or summonses; (vi) the number of vehicles seized pursuant to local law or ordinance during such two-year period, and a breakdown of the dispositions of such seizures; (vii) the number of vehicles forfeited pursuant to local law or ordinance during such two-year period; (viii) the total amount of fines collected pursuant to such local law or ordinance; and (ix) a description of the manner in which service is being provided to commuters who previously used van services and other such common carriers which had been operating without proper operating authority.