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Volume 4 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 27

Opinions of Counsel index

Board of Assessment Review (removal of member) - Civil Service Law, § 75; Public Officers Law, § 36, Real Property Tax Law, § 1524:

A member of a board of assessment review may be removed from office pursuant to section 36 of the Public Officers Law and section 75 of the Civil Service Law.

We have been asked for statutory authority governing the removal of a member from a board of assessment review.

Section 1524 of the Real Property Tax Law sets forth the law on boards of assessment review. There is no provision in the Real Property Tax Law governing removal of members of such boards, but section 36 of the Public Officers Law, which appears to be self-explanatory, reads as follows:

§ 36. Removal of town, village, improvement district or fire district officer by court.
Any town, village, improvement district or fire district officer, except a justice of the peace, may be removed from office by the supreme court for any misconduct, maladministration, malfeasance or malversation in office. An application for such removal may be made by any citizen resident of such town, village, improvement district or fire district or by the district attorney of the county in which such town, village or district is located, and shall be made to the appellate division of the supreme court held within the judicial department embracing such town, village, improvement district or fire district. Such application shall be made upon notice to such officer of not less than eight days, and a copy of the charges upon which the application will be made must be served with such notice.

However, in the case of Galli v. Barnett, 168 N.Y.L.J., No. 42, p. 17, col. 8 (8-30-72), aff’d, 42 App.Div.2d 840, 346 N.Y.S.2d 761, motion for lv. to app. den., 33 N.Y.2d 516, 348 N.Y.S.2d 1027, a lower court held that section 1524 of the Real Property Tax Law must be read in conjunction with section 75 of the Civil Service Law, which deals with removal and other disciplinary actions against civil service employees. The court in the Galli case stated that members of the board of assessment review cannot be removed except for incompetency or misconduct shown after a hearing upon stated Charges pursuant to section 75.

April 9, 1974

Updated: