Matter of Rossi v. NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation

Administrative Law

New York Law Journal


Justice Joan Lobis

Food vendor, and veteran with service-related disabilities, Rossi, sought to annul a final decision by the New York City Environmental Control Board that reversed an administrative law judge's (ALJ) decision dismissing violations issued to her by the Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR). Rossi received a notice of violation for refusing to move her pushcart. The officer based the directive on General Business Law §35-a limiting the amount of space a specialized vending licensee can take up at a given location. The officer testified at a hearing that §35-a did not specify food, thus the language applied to all vending. The ALJ concluded §35-a did not apply to food vendors, noting the language referred to general, non-food vending, and deemed the notices of violation unlawful. DPR appealed and the board reversed and reinstated the notices finding §35-a applied to food vendors construing the word "goods" in the statute to include food products. The court disagreed finding the board's interpretation erroneous. It ruled the language of §35-a was interpreted to apply only to non-food vending, therefore DPR's directives to move were unlawful. Accordingly, the court granted Rossi's petition and remanded the proceeding.

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