Public urination violation sustained

Man received public urination violation after urinating in the tree bed in from of the McDonald’s at 136-61 Roosevelt Avenue after a subway bathroom was closed. Image Credit: Google Maps

Individual claimed medical condition as a defense for public urination violation. A subway rider stepped off the subway car at 12:30 a.m. when he felt the sudden need to use a restroom. The rider proceeded to the station’s restroom, but found it to be locked. When the rider could not locate another public restroom, he walked to Lippmann Plaza and urinated on the tree bed in front of a McDonald’s at 136-61 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens. An NYPD officer observed the rider and issued a civil summons for public urination.

At the administrative hearing, the rider argued that his urgent need to urinate was due to a prostate condition and submitted a letter from his doctor supporting his claim. OATH Hearing Officer A. Sher ruled that a medical condition was not a defense, sustained the violation, and imposed a fine of $75. The rider appealed.

The OATH Appeals Board sustained the violation, but reduced the fine to $50. The Board explained that neither making a reasonable effort to locate a restroom nor a medical condition was a defense to a charge of public urination. The Board reduced the fine; however, ruling that because the NYPD officer had written $50 on the summons the ALJ could not impose a higher fine.

NYPD v. Doe, OATH Appeal No. 1900924 (Aug. 29, 2019). CITYADMIN

By: Katerina S. Pluhacek Garcia (Katerina is a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)



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