Article 78

In the state of New York, Article 78 is a proceeding that gives someone convicted of an act at an administrative hearing to be heard in front of the Supreme Court of the County.  This is relevant with respect to NYC traffic tickets answerable to the NYS Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB).  The TVB is an administrative agency.  If you are found guilty at a TVB hearing and then appeal to the TVB Appeals Board and lose the appeal as well, you will be considered to have “exhausted your administrative remedies”.  Once the TVB procedures are followed to their end, a person has the option of filing a case in the actual (not administrative) court system.  This is called an Article 78 and here are certain questions that can be raised in an Article 78 hearing.

  1. If the officer or body failed to perform a duty under the law;
  2. If the officer or body proceeded, is proceeding or will proceed in excess of jurisdiction;
  3. If a determination was made in violation of the law, was affected by an error of law or was an abuse of discretion; or
  4. If a determination made as “a result of a hearing held, and at which evidence was taken, pursuant to direction by law is, on the entire record, supported by substantial evidence.”

Under Article 78, “body or officer” means a court, tribunal, corporation, board, officer, aggregation of persons, or any other person whose actions could be affected by a proceeding held under the article.

Once it has heard the case, the Supreme Court has several options. It may stay any further proceedings or payment of costs. The court of appeals is the only court that can stay an order issued under Article 78.

Additionally, the judgment may dismiss the proceeding with leave to renew or on the merits. The judgment may confirm or annul the original determination in part or whole or modify it. The judgment may also prohibit specified action by the respondent.

Filing Article 78 is best done with the assistance of a qualified attorney.