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Oyster Bay Looking to Create Town Court

By Nolan Cleary

The Town of Oyster Bay is looking into creating its own town Court to handle local zoning and building violation disputes. The proposed Bureau of Administrative Adjudication ("BAA") would make the court process simpler and more convenient for Oyster Bay residents, by establishing a local court that would solely focus on local - mostly building violations - matters.

Proponents of the proposed court argue that it could be an easier way of handling proceedings.

A delegation of Oyster Bay town leaders, including Deputy Supervisor Greg Carman and Oyster Bay Town Attorney Frank Scalera recently met with Huntington Town Attorney Deborah Misir to review the operations of Huntington's BAA. Huntington established a BAA three years ago, and residents of that town have been overwhelmingly pleased by the change.

Legal matters involving building and noise violations of the Oyster Bay code are currently taken up by the Nassau County District Court, located in the Village of Hempstead.

"Right now if you have a building code or leaf blower noise violation, you have to travel to downtown Hempstead, and spend a half day waiting to appear before a Judge in the District Court - It's really inconvenient," noted attorney Mark Demetropoulos. "With an in-house Adjudication Bureau, Oyster Bay residents can stay local, and the process is much less adversarial and much quicker."

The current proposal would lead to the appointment of a department leader who would take up the responsibility of overseeing the proposed Bureau of Administrative Adjudication. That leader would appoints three individuals would would serve in the positions of Adjudicators. Code enforcers for the district would exist to give summons and appointments.

The new court would not give out the identities of residents who file complaints. A town hall meeting in Oyster Bay is scheduled for February 28, where discussion on the proposal is set to continue.


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