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NY Issues Guidance on Enforcement of Executive Orders on COVID-19 for Code Enforcement Officials

New York has issued guidance for code enforcement personnel concerning the Executive Orders issued by the Governor in response of the COVID-19 pandemic (“Guidance”). The New York Department of State’s Division of Building Standards and Codes issued the guidance dated April 4, 2020 by E-Bulletin.

The Guidance states that building code enforcement personnel may be designated as essential personnel in accordance with the guidance developed by Empire State Development Corporation which identifies building code enforcement as an “essential” service.

Local code enforcement officials or fire marshals are authorized to enforce compliance with the Executive Orders relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guidance specifically references Executive Order 202.11 authorizing local code enforcement officials or fire marshals to enforce use and occupancy restrictions on facilities by issuing appearance tickets, notices of violation, orders to remedy and do not occupy orders.

The Guidance generally describes the role of the Pause Enforcement Assistance Task Force in receiving complaints about violations of the Executive Orders which are then referred to local authorities for response. Complaints are “referred to local authorities by a team of investigators from multiple state agencies” and that the investigators can assist local authorities in responding to the complaints.

The E-Bulletin also attached an overview of the New York State PAUSE Enforcement Assistance Task Force. On April 6, 2020, the Governor extended New York State on PAUSE through April 29, 2020, and increased the maximum fine for violations from $500 to $1,000.

Visit New York State’s Coronavirus website for the most up-to-date information and guidance on enforcement of the Governor’s Executive Orders.

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