New York County Law
1. Power to legalize. The board of supervisors of any county shall have power to legalize and validate any act had and taken in connection with a lawful municipal purpose or for a lawful municipal object or purpose, by the governing board or other local body, officer or agency of a municipality wholly within the county if, after a public hearing held in the affected municipality pursuant to notice and upon the evidence given thereat, the board of supervisors shall find that the defect sought to be cured was:
(a) failure to perform an act within the time prescribed by law;
(b) that the form of any notice required by law was defective;
(c) that the service, posting or publication of any notice was not performed within the time and in the manner required by law;
(d) that through an intentional act performed in good faith to meet an emergency situation or through inadvertence, mistake or error in accounting methods or otherwise, a fund or appropriation account has been overdrawn, and the fund or account has been reimbursed by transfer thereto of unobligated moneys from another municipal fund or account;
(e) that through inadvertence, mistake or error a mandatory appropriation was omitted from an adopted budget and the budget was later amended and appropriation made to cure the defect;
(f) that an adopted budget was amended to include a discretionary appropriation after a public hearing pursuant to notice;
(g) that through inadvertence, mistake or error an act was recorded at a later date than was prescribed by law, or otherwise that a defect existed in the manner or method of recording the same;
(h) that through inadvertence, mistake or error, the governing board or other local body, officer or agency of a municipality charged by law with the duty failed or neglected to submit a referendum to the electors when required by law and either at least two years have elapsed since the completion of the project and payment of the cost thereof, or, in any other case, at least two years have elapsed since the date when the referendum should have been held;
(i) that through an intentional act performed in good faith to meet an emergency situation or through inadvertence, mistake or error in accounting methods or otherwise, obligations have been incurred against a fund or account in excess of the total amount appropriated or lawfully transferred thereto; that the officer, body or agency, incurring such excess obligation, or his or its successor, has furnished a detailed sworn explanation in writing of the intentional act performed in good faith to meet an emergency situation or the inadvertence, mistake or error and has made application for additional funds to pay such obligation and that the governing board or other local body, after a public hearing on notice in the same manner as provided in subdivision two hereof, by at least a two-thirds vote of the whole number of the members thereof has approved the presentation of a petition to the board of supervisors to validate and legalize such obligation and to obtain authorization for its payment.
2. Procedure to legalize. Any municipality or local officer or agency seeking relief under this section shall present to the board of supervisors of the county a petition duly verified setting forth the facts and praying for the relief authorized by this section. Attached to such petition shall be certified copies of all acts done and proceedings had in relation to the subject matter sought to be legalized. The board of supervisors may direct the governing board or officers to do that which should have been done in the first instance and the time prescribed by law for the performance of the act shall be deemed extended to allow compliance therewith, and such acts shall not be legalized until proof is submitted of such compliance. Notice stating the time, place and purpose of the public hearing shall be published at least once in a newspaper designated by the board with due regard for circulation in the municipality affected, and posted in at least three public conspicuous places in the municipality at least five days before the date set for the public hearing. One of such notices shall be posted upon the bulletin board of the respective city, village or town clerk’s office. The power to conduct such public hearing may be delegated to a standing or special committee of the board which shall file with the board a transcript of the evidence produced together with its recommendations thereon. The board of supervisors or such committee shall have power to compel the production of, and shall consider, any documents or other evidence deemed pertinent to the inquiry and may adjourn from time to time. The legalizing act must be adopted by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the whole number of the members of the board at a regular or special meeting, provided, however, that legalizing action taken pursuant to paragraph (i) of subdivision one of this section shall be by local law, and provided further where on request of the board the state comptroller submits to it his certified findings and approval of a petition presented pursuant to paragraph (i), such local law may be adopted by the affirmative vote of a majority of the whole number of the members of the board. The legalizing act shall recite the filing of the petition and all proceedings taken thereon and shall contain the text of the act sought to be legalized and the method of, and the maximum maturity of the bonds or capital notes, if any, for financing the obligation or obligations so legalized and validated. It shall state the intentional act, mistake, error or omission cured by the legalizing act; that such intentional act, mistake, error or omission was not the result of fraud and that no substantial hardship will result therefrom and the determination thereon by the board of supervisors legalizing and validating the same. A copy of the legalizing act certified by the clerk of the board shall be published at least once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper designated by the board with due regard for circulation in the municipality affected, the first publication of which shall be had within twenty days after the legalizing act is adopted. The petition and related papers, or certified copies thereof, shall be filed in the office of the county clerk. Subject to limitations or restrictions prescribed by the board of supervisors, the amount of any obligations legalized and validated hereunder may be paid from available funds or shall be deemed to be a settled claim within the meaning of subdivision thirty-three of paragraph a of section 11.00 of the local finance law which may be financed by the issuance of bonds or capital notes, provided, however, that the maximum maturity of any such bonds shall not exceed six years from the date of issuance of such bonds or from the date of issuance of the earliest bond anticipation note issued in anticipation thereof, whichever date is the earlier, and provided further, however, that the cost shall be charged against the area normally responsible for the payment of the obligation which had been legalized and validated. The cost of all publications under this section shall be a charge upon and be paid by the petitioner. A copy of the legalizing act duly certified by the clerk shall be filed with the state comptroller and with the petitioner. The term “municipality” as used in this section shall include a city, town or village or a fire district, special district, special improvement district or other local governmental agency or authority created by or pursuant to law.
3. Review by the court. Within thirty days after the first publication of the legalizing act of the board of supervisors, a proceeding may be brought under article seventy-eight of the civil practice act to review the same. The legalizing act may be contested only upon the grounds that the act was not performed in the exercise of a lawful object or purpose, or that the finding that the act was performed in good faith and no substantial hardship of fraud resulted is against the weight of evidence, or that there existed a jurisdictional defect beyond the power of the board of supervisors to legalize, or that the board of supervisors did not comply with law in legalizing the same.
4. Application. The provisions of this section shall not apply to action had or taken by any such governing board or other local body, officer, or agency of a municipality when a remedy to legalize and validate the same already exists in law; nor shall it apply to any action had or taken in violation of the provisions of the state constitution; nor shall it authorize the board of supervisors to legalize or validate fraudulent acts of the governing board or other local body, office or agency of a municipality; nor shall it authorize the board of supervisors to legalize and validate any act resulting in unusual hardship to the qualified voters of the petitioner. It is hereby declared and determined that the powers conferred upon the boards of supervisors of counties under this section are powers of local legislation within the meaning and intent of article nine of the constitution and that the exercise of such powers shall be deemed to be the exercise of a lawful county function. Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to restrict the powers of the legislature in relation to cities, towns, villages or other local governmental agencies created or established by law.