Felix v. New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services

3 N.Y.2d 498, 788 N.Y.S.2d 631, 821 N.E.2d 935 (2004)

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Felix v. New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services

New York Court of Appeals
3 N.Y.2d 498, 788 N.Y.S.2d 631, 821 N.E.2d 935 (2004)

  • Written by Tammy Boggs, JD

Facts

In 1986, New York City enacted a local law requiring all municipal employees to establish and maintain residency within the city. In 1993, Francisco Felix (plaintiff) was hired by the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) (defendant). At the time, Felix signed a residency form attesting to his city residency and acknowledging that he must remain a resident during employment. Nine years later, DCAS began to suspect that Felix did not reside in the city. In January 2002, DCAS notified Felix of its suspicion and afforded him an opportunity to contest the charge at a meeting. DCAS’s notice advised Felix to bring specified documents demonstrating residency, including property deeds, a driver’s license, and tax returns. The notice indicated that tax returns were “necessary” documentation. Felix appeared at the meeting and brought only his driver’s license showing a city address. DCAS gave him two days to produce further documentation. Two days later, Felix submitted a series of documents that he had obtained only within the last two days, such as a letter from his sister. Felix’s tax return for the year 2000 showed that he resided in Nassau County, outside of New York City. DCAS concluded that Felix had not credibly demonstrated that he resided in the city, and Felix was immediately dismissed from employment. Felix sued DCAS, arguing that he was entitled to a preremoval hearing. The trial court agreed with Felix, and the appellate division affirmed. The New York Court of Appeals accepted DCAS’s appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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