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October 7, 2021

The effective date of a final administrative determination triggers the running of the statute of limitations to challenge the determination

A New York City police officer [Officer] retired from the New York City Police Department [Department] while serving "without firearms privileges." Officer subsequently filed a CPLR Article 78 petition seeking to annul the Department's issuing Officer a retirement identification card containing the words "no firearms." Supreme Court dismissed the proceeding and Officer appealed.

Unanimously affirming the Supreme Court's ruling, the Appellate Division said that the Department "reached a final and binding determination on May 31, 2018," the date on which Officer, then on modified duty status, retired from the Department and the date on which the Department issued Officer a retirement identification card bearing the words "no firearms." In addition, the Department declined to provide Officer with "a good guy letter" that was necessary for Officer to obtain a firearms license.*

The New York City Police Department License Division's "INSTRUCTIONS FOR NYPD RETIREES" states: "A retired law enforcement handgun license will not be issued to you if your [sic] did not receive a Pistol License Inquiry Response form (PD 643-155) a.k.a “good-guy letter, of [sic] if your ID card is stamped “No Firearms.To obtain a retired law enforcement license, you must have the restriction lifted prior to receiving a license". 

Citing Matter of Baloy v Kelly, 92 AD3d 521, the Appellate Division opined that the possibility of Officer obtaining administrative relief was exhausted when Officer retired without a change in his modified status. Thus, the court concluded, the four-month statute of limitations began to run on May 31, 2018, and Officer's petition, filed in September 2019, was untimely.

Another impediment to Officer's right to challenge the administrative decision was that, as Supreme Court correctly determined, Officer's post-retirement letter "was merely a request for reconsideration of the agency's determination, and thus did not extend the statute of limitations."

* The decision noted that the Department's policy of declining to issue a "good guy letter" in the event an officer retires without firearms privileges.

Click HERE to access the text of the Appellate Division's decision.

 

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