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Thursday, March 21, 2013

A party is permitted to introduce updated records as evidence upon the resumption of an administrative hearing if an opportunity to respond to such records is provided


A party is permitted to introduce updated records as evidence upon the resumption of an administrative hearing if an opportunity to respond to such records is provided
Coleman v Rhea, 2013 NY Slip Op 01783, Appellate Division, First Department

In resolving this Article 78 petition one of the issues considered by the Appellate Division was whether there was “substantial evidence” to support an administrative determination made after a hearing.

The petitioner, Wanda Coleman, claimed that her right to due process was violated when the hearing officer permitted the New York City Housing Authority [NYCHA] to submit an updated ledger into evidence when an administrative hearing was resumed.

The Appellate Division disagreed, explaining that Coleman was free to testify regarding the updated ledger and the hearing officer kept the hearing record open post-hearing to give Coleman a full opportunity to respond to the updated information.

Indeed, said the court, Coleman had availed herself of this opportunity by submitting documentary evidence. Further, the court ruled that the hearing officer had not violated NYCHA's relevant internal administrative procedures in so doing.

A second issue concerned a procedural matter.

The Appellate Division noted that Supreme Court had denied Coleman’s Article 78 petition seeking to annul NYCHA’s administrative determination. The Appellate Division, however, “unanimously reversed” Supreme Court’s ruling on the law and treated the petition as one transferred to it for a de novo review.

Coleman’s petition, said the court, raised an issue of substantial evidence, and thus, the proceeding should have been transferred to this Court pursuant to CPLR §7804(g). Accordingly, the Appellate Division considered the substantial evidence issue de novo and decided all issues presented as if the proceeding had been properly transferred to it by Supreme Court in the first instance.

The Appellate Division then confirmed NYCHA’s administrative determination as supported by substantial evidence and denied Coleman’s petition, dismissing the proceeding.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2013/2013_01783.htm

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