Thursday, March 01, 2012

Town Law’s shorter statute of limitation to bring an Article 78 action challenging an adverse disciplinary determination trumps longer Civil Service Law’s statute of limitations

Town Law’s shorter statute of limitation to bring an Article 78 action challenging an adverse disciplinary determination trumps longer Civil Service Law’s statute of limitations
Robida v Ziemba, 2012 NY Slip Op 01041, Appellate Division, Fourth Department

Town of Cheektowaga police officer David K. Robida was served with disciplinary charges pursuant to both Civil Service Law §75 and Town Law §155. A hearing was held in accordance with those statutes.

Ultimately the Town Board adopted a resolution that terminated Robida pursuant to Town Law §155.

Town Law §155 specifically provides that a CPLR Article 78 proceeding to review a determination pursuant to the statute must be commenced within 30 days of the determination; §76 of the Civil Service Law provides that such a proceeding must be commenced within four months after the determination becomes final. *

The Appellate Division said that it was undisputed that Robida commenced his action more than 30 days after the Town Board's determination. Accordingly, said the court, “it is time-barred.”

The court rejected Robida’s argument that the time limits set out in §75 controlled and thus his petition was timely, ruling that “the 30-day limitations period set forth in Town Law §155 is not limited to those disciplinary proceedings that were brought solely pursuant thereto.”

The Appellate Division explained that the statute of limitations for a CPLR Article 78 proceeding pursuant to which Robida sought to annul th Board's determination is governed by CPLR §217(1), which provides that, "u]nless a shorter time is provided in the law authorizing the proceeding," the proceeding must be commenced within four months after the determination to be reviewed becomes final.

As in this instance the "shorter time" was set out in Town Law §155, which authorized the disciplinary proceeding, Robida was required to file his petition challenging the Town’s determination within 30 days of the Board's decision becoming final.

* §76.1 of the Civil Service Law provides that an appeal from an adverse disciplinary decision made pursuant to §75 of the Civil Service Law may be made to the civil service commission having jurisdiction within twenty days after service of written notice of the determination to be reviewed or in accordance with the provisions of Article 78 of the CPLR. An even shorter statute of limitations is set out in §3020-a.5 of the Education Law for appealing a disciplinary arbitration decision pursuant to Article 75 of the CPLR – 10 days. 

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2012/2012_01041.htm

===================
The Discipline Book, - a concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State. This more than 1500 page e-book is now available from the Public Employment Law Press. Click on http://booklocker.com/books/5215.html for additional information concerning this electronic reference manual.
 =======================

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/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

Caution:

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.

Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material in this blog is presented with the understanding that the publisher is not providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader should seek such advice from a competent professional.

Items published in NYPPL may not be used for commercial purposes without prior written permission to copy and distribute such material. Send your request via e-mail to publications@nycap.rr.com

Copyright© 1987 - 2017 by the Public Employment Law Press.



___________________



N.B. From time to time a political ad or endorsement may appear in the sidebar of this Blog. NYPPL does not have any control over such posting.

_____________________

.