Tesser Ryan Blog

Supreme Court Upholds Agency’s Denial of Suppression License

By Lewis Tesser and Timothy Nolen

A recent decision from the New York County Supreme Court demonstrates the importance of strictly following an administrative agency’s regulations. The case involved issues of administrative law and civil practice.

The case, Aranda v. New York City Department of Buildings, 2011 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4925 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County October 14, 2011), was an Article 78 proceeding challenging a determination by the NYC Department of Buildings not to reinstate the petitioner’s Master Fire Suppression Piping Contractor’s License. The petitioner argued that his license should be reinstated because he had submitted the proper documents according to the agency’s regulations. The Court, however, rejected petitioner’s argument, noting that the agency had a rational basis for its decision. Specifically, the Court noted that the regulations required the petitioner to submit proof that he had continued competence and worked in the “respective trade.” Although petitioner submitted proof that he continued to install sprinklers under a plumbing permit, he failed to submit proof that he installed fire suppression systems with their own dedicated water supply. Accordingly, petitioner’s submissions to the agency were insufficient.

At Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP, our experience with administrative law and regulatory issues allows us to advise clients of how to comply with complicated rules and regulations and respond to and defend agency violations.

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