Small Claims Assessment Review Clerk
Patricia M. Eschler
This program was established in 1982 under RPTL (Real Property Tax Law) 730. It is intended to provide owners of 1, 2 or 3 family, owner occupied dwellings an opportunity to challenge the assessment on their property as determined by the Board of Assessment Review.
It is designed to be an alternative to formal Tax Certiorari proceedings which can be time consuming and expensive.
The program provides for review before a Small Claims Assessment Review Hearing Officer, for a filing fee of $30.00, in a timely manner and in an informal setting.
- The Pay is $75 per case with a cap of $300 per day
- All appointments as SCAR Hearing Officers are based upon the approval of local Administrative Judges and ultimately upon the approval of the Chief Administrative Judge of the Unified Court System.
- NOTE: The number of SCAR petitions is small in many localities. In others, SCAR cases are often assigned to Judicial Hearing Officers (JHO's) instead. Therefore, appointment as a SCAR Hearing Officer does not guarantee the assignment of cases.
- As a SCAR Hearing Officer you will be bound by a code of ethics as set forth in Section 74 of the Public Officer's Law. You should become familiar with this code.
Flow of Procedures in SCAR
- Publication of the tentative assessment roll
- Grievance Day before the Board of Assessment Review
- Publication of the final assessment roll
- The petitioner filed an original and 2 copies of the SCAR petition with the County Clerk within 30 days of the filing of the final assessment roll, and pays a $30.00 filing fee.
- The petitioner filed copies of the SCAR petition with the Assessing Jurisdiction, the County Treasurer and the School District (if necessary), within 10 days of filing with the County Clerk
- The County Clerk retains the original SCAR petition and forwards 2 copies to the Supreme Court SCAR Clerk
- The Supreme Court SCAR Clerk retains 1 copy of the SCAR petition and forwards 1 copy of the SCAR petition, 3 decision forms and a notice of appointment to serve, for however many cases have been assigned, to the SCAR Hearing Officer(This step may vary from location to location.)
- The SCAR Hearing Officer reviews the cases for conflicts of interest, such as family or business relationships. If a conflict exists he or she must contact the Supreme court SCAR Clerk and the case will be reassigned
- The SCAR Hearing Officer schedules (unless the Supreme Court does it) and hears cases within 45 days after the final day for the filing of petitions (RPTL 732(1)). If the SCAR Hearing Officer is scheduling the hearing, he or she must contact both parties and give at least 10 days notice (Uniform Rules of the NYS trial Courts, 22NYCRR 202.48(e)(4)). If an evening hearing is requested, it must be granted unless there is an extraordinary circumstance (Uniform Rules of the NYS trial Courts 22NYCRR 202.48(e)(4)). If space is needed, the Supreme Court SCAR Clerk can provide it.
- The SCAR Hearing Officer makes his or her decision within 30 days of the hearing. The signed decision constitutes a judicial order and copies must be mailed to:
- The Petitioner or Designated Representative;
- The Assessing Unit - this is the only notification they get that there is a change in assessment;
- The Supreme Court SCAR Clerk.