April 08, 2020

An administrative decision made in the course of the exercise of discretion is not subject to judicial review

An employee [Petitioner] asked the New York City Administration for Children's Services [ACS] to approve his use of “advanced and extended sick leave” so that he could remain on the payroll during his absence from work. His request was denied and Petitioner initiated a CPLR Article 78 action seeking a court order in the nature of mandamus* requiring ACS to approve his request for such leave.

Supreme Court determined that Petitioner “was barred from compelling ACS to grant his leave request” by means of prosecuting an Article 78 action. The controlling regulations, opined the court,  governing the approval of such types of leave provided that the approval of an employee’s application was at the discretion of the appointing authority. Citing New York Civ. Liberties Union v State of New York, 4 NY3d 175, the court explained that  "mandamus does not lie to enforce the performance of a duty that is discretionary, as opposed to ministerial." Petitioner appealed the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The Appellate Division unanimously sustained the lower court’s decision, noting that ACS's decision was not subject to Article 78 review and Petitioner’s Article 78 action was properly dismissed.

* Latin for "We command." The writ of mandamus is an order from a superior body to an inferior body ordering the inferior body [or an individual] to perform, or refrain from performing, a particular act.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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. AGAIN, 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 neither the publisher nor members of the staff are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to seek such advice from a competent professional.