Tesser Ryan Blog

Appellate Division Upholds Agency’s Decision to Revoke Harness Racing License

By Lewis Tesser, Partner, and Timothy Nolen, Associate, of Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP

As demonstrated by a recent decision from the New York State Appellate Division, Third Department, litigants face an uphill battle when challenging decisions made by administrative agencies. The Article 78 proceeding involved issues of administrative law, evidence, and civil practice.

In Fusco v. New York State Racing & Wagering Board, 512234 NYLJ 120250715362 (3d Dept, October 27, 2011), a horse trainer whose harness racing license was suspended after his horse tested positive for drugs, challenged the administrative decision, arguing that the penalty was excessive, veterinarian records were inadmissible as hearsay, and there was not substantial evidence to support the finding that the trainer drugged the horse. The Court, noting that hearsay is admissible in such administrative hearings, found that there was substantial evidence of drugging based on the veterinarian records. The Court also upheld the penalty, noting that it was severe but not “shocking to one’s sense of fairness.”

At Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP, our attorneys have years of experience handling cases before numerous administrative agencies and on appeal. Whether the administrative appeal concerns the revocation of a license or an initial denial, our attorneys can advise clients on navigating the often complex administrative appeal process.

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