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2018-2019 Mock Trial Case (Final Version Nov 5 2018) –Includes all corrections made as of FEB 7, 2019 105 CASES Peckham v. Calogero, 12 NY3d 424 In reviewing an administrative agency determination, courts must ascertain whether there is a rational basis for the action in question or whether it is arbitrary and capricious (see Matter of Gilman v. NYS Div. Of Hous. & Community Renewal, 99 NY2d 144). An action is arbitrary and capricious when it is taken without sound basis in reason or regard to the facts (see Matter of Pell v. Board of Educ. of Union Free School Dist. No. 1, 34 NY2d 222). If the court finds that the determination is supported by a rational basis, it must sustain the determination even if the court concludes that it would have reached a different result than the one reached by the agency (id). Further, courts must defer to an administrative agency's rational interpretation of its own regulations in its area of expertise (see Kurcsics v. Merchants Mut. Ins. Co., 49 NY2d 451).Malvern Volunteer Fire Dept. V. NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control, 96 AD3d 1062 In a proceeding in which a petitioner challenges an agency determination that was not made after a quasi-judicial hearing, courts examine whether the action taken by the agency has a rational basis and will overturn that action only where it is taken without sound basis in reason or regard to the facts or where it is arbitrary and capricious. Alexis v. City of Niagara Falls, 106 AD3d 1501 An arbitrary and capricious standard or an abuse of discretion standard is, of course, an extremely deferential one. The courts cannot interfere with an administrative agency’s exercise of discretion unless there is no rational basisfor its exercise . . . or the action complained of is arbitrary and capricious, a test which chiefly relates to whether a particular action should have been taken or is justified and whether the administrative action is without foundation in fact. If the court finds that the agency’s determination is supported by a rational basis, it must sustain the determination even if the court would have reached a different result than the one reached by the agency (see Verizon New York Inc. v . NYS Public Service Comm., 991 NYS2d 841) Ward v. City of Long Beach, 20 NY3d 1042The City denied an application by a former fire department lieutenant for supplemental disability pension benefits, a determination that was made without a hearing. The court held that in reviewing the City's determination, the issue is whether the action taken had a “rational basis” and was not “arbitrary and capricious” An action is arbitrary and capricious when it is taken without sound basis in reason or regard to the facts. If the determination has a rational basis, it will be sustained, even if a different result would not be unreasonable.
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