Modlin v Kelly, 2014 NY Slip Op 06866, Appellate Division, First Department
In reviewing an administrative determination that was made without a hearing the issue is whether the action taken had a "rational basis" and was not "arbitrary and capricious" An action is arbitrary and capricious when it is taken without sound basis in reason or regard to the facts." If the determination has a rational basis, it will be sustained, even if a different result would not be unreasonable. Ward v City of Long Beach, [20 NY3d 1042. .
In contrast, if the matter was determined after an administrative hearing, should the petition before Supreme Court raise a question of whether an administrative determination was supported by substantial evidence the proceeding is to be transferred from the Supreme Court to the Appellate Division to address that issue [See §7804[g] of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.]
Further, there is essentially nothing to be “proved” in the course of the appeal as all evidence has already been adduced at the administrative hearing and findings made based on such evidence. Accordingly, the challenging party’s task is not to prove transactions or occurrences, but rather to present legal argument on the substantial evidence issue.
In Modlin the court pointed out that Supreme Court "improperly transferred” the matter to the Appellate Division because the determination challenged “was not made pursuant to an administrative hearing.” The court then addressed the merits of the appeal “in the interest of judicial economy,” citing DeMonico v Kelly, 49 AD3d 265.