Monday, March 15, 2010
New York’s Administrative Procedures Act does not require a State agency to issue a declaratory ruling when requested
Matter of Humane Society of United States, Inc. v Brennan, 63 AD3d 1419
The genesis of this lawsuit was the New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets' declining to issue a declaration that foie gras* is an adulterated food product within the meaning of Agriculture and Markets Law §200. The Humane Society of the United States** and various other organizations and individuals generally opposed to the production of foie gras then initiated an CPLR Article 78 action seeking a court order compelling the Commissioner to issue the requested declaration or, in the alternative, a review of his determination not to issue such declaration.
§204 of the State Administrative Procedure Act provides that, when petitioned to issue a declaratory ruling, an agency must either issue the ruling or issue a statement declining to issue such ruling. However, said the Appellate Division, “There is no requirement that the agency issue a declaratory ruling when requested and a petitioner has no rights under the statute other than a timely response by the agency.”***
* Foie gras is a food product derived from the intentionally enlarged livers of ducks and geese. The livers are typically enlarged by force-feeding the birds for approximately two weeks before their slaughter.
** There was a procedural matter involved as well – did the petitioners have standing to maintain this action? The Appellate Division held that “Supreme Court properly granted [the [Commissioner’s] motion to dismiss the petition based on petitioners' lack of standing.”
*** The Appellate Division noted that the Department's regulations provide that "[t]he issuance of a declaratory ruling shall be wholly within the discretion of the commissioner." (see 1 NYCRR 368.1 [c]).
Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:
The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/
A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com
The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/
Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/
Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
Copyright© 1987 - 2016 by the Public Employment Law Press.