N.Y. Public Health Law Section 309
Local boards of health

  • quasi-judicial powers
  • enforcement


Every local board of health may:


issue subpoenas which shall be regulated by the civil practice law and rules;


compel the attendance of witnesses;


administer oaths to witnesses and compel them to testify;


by resolution, designate one of its members to sign and issue such subpoenas;


issue warrants to any peace officer, acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer of the municipality to apprehend and remove such person or persons as cannot otherwise be subjected to its orders or regulations, and to the sheriff of the county to bring to its aid the power of the county whenever it shall be necessary to do so;


prescribe and impose penalties for the violation of or failure to comply with any of its orders or regulations, or any of the regulations of the state sanitary code, not exceeding two thousand dollars for a single violation or failure, to be sued for and recovered by it in any court of competent jurisdiction; and


appoint one or more hearing officers as shall be necessary to carry out its functions and duties, The hearing officer shall have the same powers possessed by the board to hold and conduct hearings. The hearing officer shall function under the supervision of the local board and shall make findings of fact and recommendations to the board.


No subpoena shall be served outside the jurisdiction of the board of health issuing it, and no witness shall be interrogated or compelled to testify upon matters not related to the public health.


Every warrant issued by a local board of health shall be forthwith executed by the officer to whom directed, who shall have the same powers and be subject to the same duties in the execution thereof, as if it had been duly issued out of a court of record of the state.


Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to alter or repeal any existing provision of law declaring such violations or any of them misdemeanors or felonies or prescribing a penalty therefor.


The penalty imposed by this section may be released or compromised by the commissioner.

Source: Section 309 — Local boards of health; quasi-judicial powers; enforcement, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/PBH/309 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Nov. 25, 2023).

Nov. 25, 2023

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 309’s source at nysenate​.gov

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