The Huntington Town Board has approved the establishment of a town court to handle town code violations.
The Bureau of Administrative Adjudication will be led by a full-time director appointed by the supervisor to a five-year term. The town will name up to seven attorneys as administrative judges to handle cases as civil violations.
Supervisor Chad Lupinacci had worked on legislation to establish the court while a state assemblyman. The town had previously had a similar court but it was shut down by a court ruling that said it lacked state authority to operate.
“During my time in the New York State Assembly, at the urging of the Huntington Town Board, I sponsored legislation, that was signed into law by the Governor during my first year as town supervisor, authorizing the Town to prosecute public health, safety, and welfare violations of the Huntington Town Code via a Town-operated bureau of adjudication,” Lupinacci said. “As Supervisor, I have now had the unique opportunity to establish this new tribunal, which will be one of the most significant changes to the Town Code in decades. This new procedure for the hearing of violations of the Huntington Town Code will result in a more streamlined and fair process and it will allow our Public Safety inspectors to address code violations more quickly and proactively.”
The court will handle violations of town code, except building code cases, and is designed to provide local, control over issues instead of leading to criminal cases handled by District Court.
Administrative judges will not have the powers to arrest someone but will hear cases, reach a finding and levy fines for a lengthy list of potential violations, including:
Councilman Mark Cuthbertson and Councilman Eugene Cook were both serving on the Town Board when it voted, on June 15, 2017, to adopt a home rule message urging the State Legislature to authorize the Town of Huntington to establish an administrative adjudication hearing procedure.