What is an Article 78 Proceeding?
An Article 78 proceeding is a special proceeding initiated in New York State Supreme Court under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules to overturn the determinations of administrative agencies, bodies, or officers. These special proceedings are the formal mechanisms for challenging the determinations of any court, tribunal, municipal board, public corporation, or officer, including the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Police Commissioner, and all other licensing authorities, state agencies and town boards.
Article 78 proceedings are mainly used for four purposes:
- To ask the court to review actions of an administrative agency, public body or officer to determine whether a decision after an administrative hearing was supported by substantial evidence;
- To ask the court to find whether an administrative agency, public body or officer failed to perform its duty, and to compel the performance of said duty;
- To ask the court to make a finding whether an administrative agency, public body, or officer proceeded, is proceeding, or is about to proceed without or in excess of jurisdiction, and seeks to prohibit such action;
- To ask the court whether a determination by an administrative agency, public body or officer was made in violation of lawful procedure, was affected by an error of law, or was arbitrary and capricious, or was an abuse of discretion.
If you have a state license that has been suspended, if you have been denied from a civil service position, or if you wish to challenge the decision of a local town zoning board, you may be eligible for relief under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
Some examples of the matters we handle:
Civil Service Appeals, Including the Disqualification from Being Eligible for Appointment as a Suffolk County Police Officer
If you are disqualified from the eligibility list for appointment as a Suffolk County Police Officer because you failed the physical exam, failed the psychological exam, failed the polygraph test, or for other reasons, we can seek relief for you in New York State Supreme Court, and ask a Supreme Court judge to annul the determination and restore you to the list for eligibility.
Pistol License Suspensions, Revocations and Denials
If your Pistol License Application has been unnecessarily denied, delayed, suspended, or permanently revoked, we will seek review of the pistol license bureau’s determination in State Supreme Court, and ask a Supreme Court judge to annul the determination, or to issue an order compelling the police commissioner to perform his duty.
Liquor License Suspensions, Revocations and Denials
If your business has been unfairly denied a liquor license, or if your liquor license has been suspended, we will ask a Supreme Court judge to review the New York State Liquor Authority decision, and to issue an order compelling the New York State Liquor Authority to grant or restore your license.
Denials of Freedom of Information (FOIL) Requests
If you have been denied a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request for information by a town or state agency, or public body, we will initiate an Article 78 Proceeding in New York State Supreme Court on your behalf, and ask a Supreme Court judge to issue an order compelling the state agency or public body to release its records to you for review.
Denials of Permits for Zoning and Special Land Use & Appeals of Determinations of Town Boards Involving Residential and Commercial Land Use Issues
If your zoning application has been denied by the town zoning board of appeals, or if you have been denied a building permit, we will seek relief for you in New York State Supreme Court and ask a Supreme Court judge to issue an order compelling the town zoning board of appeals or other authority to grant your appeal or issue your permit.
Act Quickly – Statute of Limitations – 4 Months
Article 78 proceedings must be commenced within four months after the determination to be reviewed becomes final and binding upon you, or four months after you demand the administrative agency, public body, or officer perform its duty. If you were under 18 years old, or declared mentally incompetent at the time the final agency determination took effect against you, you may be eligible for an extension of time for up to two years.
Since the statute of limitations on Article 78 matters is so short, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to take action and ensure that your rights are properly preserved.
Still have questions? Call us now and speak with an Article 78 lawyer for free:
To learn more about Article 78 Proceedings, click here to go to our Article 78 directory.