In the Matter of John Dickinson v New York State Unified Court System, Office of Court Administration

Pursuant to Article 78, Petitioner, John Dickinson, seeks to annul the determination of Respondent, Office of Court Administration (OCA), to terminate Petitioner.

John Dickinson, Petitioner, was an Associate Court Clerk for OCA. He was terminated from his position on May 24, 2010 due to charges of excessive absence from work and excessive lateness. A written Report and Recommendation dated April 24, 2010 was submitted by Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Joan B. Carey. According to the Report, “…pattern of excessive absence and latenesses demonstrates in crystal clear fashion his [Petitioner] lack for fitness in this job title.”

Petitioner sought to annual OCA’s decision to terminate him because the Administrative Judge took into consideration additional time sheets that were submitted in OCA’s Brief but not presented at the hearing. Petitioner contends that this was a “manifest violation of due process” and that the penalty of termination was cruel. Petitioner also “…argues that the questions presented here is where there was substantial evidence in the record to support the Report, so as to require that this petition be transferred to Appellate Division, First Department, for consideration under CPLR 7804(g).”

CPLR 7804(g) states that issues of substantial evidence raised in a hearing are required by law to be transferred to the appellate division and “…Article 78 prohibits the Supreme Court from reaching the issue of whether an agency determination is supported by substantial evidence,” and requires the petition be transferred to the Appellate Division.

The Judicial Hearing Officer had an abundance of documentation as to petitioner’s transgressions, therefore the additional documents submitted after the hearing did not really play any part in the decision of termination. So, “the only matter before this court is whether the JHO’s determination that petitioner was excessively absent or late so at to warrant the penalty of termination, is supported by substantial evidence.

Therefore, it is ORDERED that this issue be transferred to the Appellate Division, First Department, for review and determination.

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