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Saturday, February 25, 2023

Notice of Claim Pursuant to General Municipal Law Section 50-E


 What is a Notice of Claim?

Basically, if you have been harmed in some way by the Department of Education, another City Agency, or an employee of a City agency, you must file a Notice of Claim to that Agency that harm has been done, and that you want relief in terms of monetary damages or declaratory judgment.

The Notice of Claim must be filed within 90 days of the event(s) that you claim have harmed you.

And, once the claim has been written, you must:

1. print it out and notarize 4 copies, one for you to keep for your records, if there are 3 addresses at the top. If you intend on suing an individual who works for the City, the name of this individual must be included in the caption and in the body of the Notice of Claim, and this person must be sent a copy notarized, certified, and return receipt requested like the other copies.

2. go to the U.S. Post Office and send the Notarized copies (one copy) to each address specified in the Notice. 

You keep a copy for yourself. You MUST send via Certified Mail and

return receipt (Green card) for each address. Make sure you put your name and address on the back before you stick it on the envelope! I asked a postman how often he sees no address on the back to mail the card back to, and he said, "I see that a lot".

Make sure that each of these forms is filled out correctly. Keep your receipts, your tracking number is on them.  

A few weeks after mailing, you will receive a letter from the NYC Comptroller's Office (if you filed to that office in NYC) with your claim number. Keep this number in your records, you will put it into your lawsuit if and when you file.

The Notice of Claim template I am posting below (I created it in or about 2005) applies to any NYC Department of Education employee. If you are a municipal worker in NYC just change the addresses at the top: put your employer instead. Keep the Bureau of Law and Adjustment at the NYC Comproller's Office and the City Law Department addresses, add your employer to the send to list. 

So, if you are a City worker of an Agency, or a private citizen, and you want to sue the City of New York, just put the Comptroller's Office, City Law Department, and your employer (if you are suing as a private citizen, you will omit your employer, and send only to the Comptroller's Office, the City Law Department, and any individual you are naming in the caption). 

Anyone filling out a Notice of Claim can put as many facts and events as they want, as long as the most recent event that the Claimant says harmed him/her is within the 90 days prior to filing. Anyone with questions may email me at In the NOC template below if you haven't filled it or something similar out on or before May 10 2023, then what you do is add to your timeline any responses you have received from anyone to whom you sent a request for reinstatement or backpay. No answer at all is a response. Put the date you mailed/emailed the person who did not respond (not Union). Unions are private entities, which are not City agencies and therefore do not belong in a Notice of Claim. If you believe that your union has not represented your interests as they should, file an Improper Practice Charge with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).  The Statute of Limitations for filing an Improper Practice charge is 4 months. You do not need an attorney to represent you, I do PERB as a non-attorney.

After you file the Notice of Claim, you may receive a notice of a 50-H interview. This is a deposition, which usually lasts less than an hour. The law firm hired by the City may tell you you should bring "your lawyer" with you. My suggestion? You can do this without an attorney. I know the whole thing sounds scary, but it's not, and you can do it. All interviews are currently by zoom. You are under oath, and a stenographer records what you say. You will receive a copy of the transcript with an errata page to correct any facts that were wrong. The questions asked are about the facts: what is your name? Where do you live? Why did you file a Notice of Claim? Your answers should be short, giving the basic details of when you were harmed by the City ("harmed" can mean terminated, forced to resign, accused of something you didn't do, etc) You don't make 'legal' arguments, and you shouldn't answer any question with a long statement of case law. A sentence or two is fine. If you have hired me and an attorney to work on your case, or any attorney, you may have these individuals sit in the zoom conference. The lawfirm hired by the City is the only party asking questions. 

There is no Judge, no jury, and you are not going to win or lose your case because you did not think you made your point "correctly". Just give the facts. Period.

The template of a Notice of Claim is below and is mostly done except for #1 and #3. You fill in the information, and then notarize and mail as detailed above. This is NOT legal advice, and I am not an Attorney.

Betsy Combier
Editor, ADVOCATZ Blog


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To: Office of the City Comptroller
Bureau of Law and Adjustment
1 Centre Street, Room 1225
New York, New York 10007

Hon. Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix
Corporation Counsel
New York City Law Department
100 Church Street
New York, New York 10007

New York City Department of Education
52 Chambers Street
New York, N.Y. 10007

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Claimant hereby makes claim and demand against the
individuals and groups named in the caption above:

1) The name, post office address, email, and phone number of the claimant:

2)The nature of the claim:

This claim seeks recovery for monetary damages and backpay plus interest for the harm caused to Claimant’s reputation, livelihood, and career; additionally for the distress, suffering, mental, emotional, and physical anguish and impairment of Claimant's ability to secure future employment, and impairment of earning power inflicted upon the Claimant due to the negligence, carelessness, recklessness, and misfeasance, malfeasance, and negligent acts practices, and/or omissions of the Defendants. Claimant’s rights under the Constitution, both Federal and State, city and State Human Rights Laws, NYS Administrative Code, as well as employment rights under current contracts. The claimant now seeks to be made whole.

3) The time when, the place where, and the manner in which the claim arose

PUT YOUR TIMELINE, and end it with:

On February 10, 2023, the NYC Department of Education’s COVID Mandate was ended by Mayor Eric Adams. The claimant has sent out emails to the employer requesting reinstatement and/or backpay, and has received either no answer or, that Claimant cannot get backpay or return to a job with the same salary. The claimant objects to this punishment as unlawful.

On or about February 10, 2023 Claimant became aware that their fingerprints remained tagged in the New York City Department of Education’s ‘Problem Code’ at the Human Resources Office of Personnel Investigations, but was never told why. The ‘Problem Code’ is used for employees who have committed what the New York City Department of Education considers misconduct. Therefore the New York City Department of Education has considered Claimant guilty of some kind of misconduct without giving the Claimant a chance to clear the codes from the personnel file and database.

At present Claimant remains coded for an unknown act of misconduct, with a career that has been broken and tarnished by the unlawful acts cited herein.

4) The items of damage or injuries claimed are:

damages to reputation; emotional distress; impairment of Claimant’s ability to secure future employment; impairment of earning power; tortious interference with business relations; malicious prosecution; abuse of process; fraud; and retaliation, defamation, libel, and slander. The claimant remains targeted, ostracized, and punished for not getting the COVID vaccine. The claimant demands that all rights to due process be honored and Claimant is made whole.

The Department has criminalized Claimant’s rights to due process. The items of damage or injuries claimed amount to $2 million dollars

The claim and demand are hereby presented for adjustment and payment.

PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that by reason of the foregoing, in default of the City of New York and the listed Defendants to pay the Claimant within the time limit for compliance with this demand by the applicable statutes, Claimant intends to commence an action against the City of New York and the listed Defendants to recover damages with interest and costs.

                                                                              Claimant’s name
Signed Before Me on

Notary Public

*I am not an attorney and do not give legal advice, only my opinion..

Betsy Combier


From the First Department Appellate Division:

A notice of claim is required as a condition precedent to commencing an action against an employee of the New York City Department of Education (Education Law § 3813[2]; General Municipal Law § 50–i), when, as in this case, the conduct complained of was engaged in as part of defendant's employment or in the scope of her employment (Radvany v. Jones, 184 A.D.2d 349 [1992]; see also Hale v. Scopac, 74 AD3d 1906 [2010]; DeRise v. Kreinik, 10 AD3d 381, 382 [2004] ). Here, plaintiff did file a notice of claim which described in detail the time, place and manner of the conduct by Livanis that allegedly interfered with his tenure rights and continued employment with the DOE, as well as his ability to enter into employment with other schools. Although he did not use the words “tortious interference with contract,” a notice of claim does not have to set forth a precise legal theory of recovery (DeLeonibus v. Scognamillo, 183 A.D.2d 697, 698 [1992]; see also Simons v. City of New York, 252 A.D.2d 451, 453 [1998] ). “[T]he notice of claim described in sufficient detail the time, place and manner of the occurrence and plaintiff's damages to advise the City of the basis for the claim so as to have an opportunity to investigate” (id.; see Parochial Bus Sys. v. Board of Educ. of City of N.Y., 60 N.Y.2d 539, 547 [1983] ).

If you want to read the version of the Notice of Claim that confused me when I first read it in 1997, read here or not: (my opinion =too much information, you don't need this):

See here: Filing a Claim

and here: 

FILING A NOTICE OF CLAIM [NOTE: Persons without counsel are advised to consult with an attorney. Court staff MAY NOT give legal advice, prepare your papers or act as your attorney.] 

Anyone who wishes to commence a civil lawsuit against New York State, your local government (county, city, town, village), or most government agencies for damages because of certain alleged  conduct or negligence must first file with the State or municipal government agency a document known as a Notice of Claim and must do so within a fixed deadline after the accident or event. This is vital. Failure to file on time may result in dismissal of the case. What follows is a brief summary of the where's, when's and how to's of the notice of claim process. This is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete recitation of the law. The self-represented person is strongly advised to consult a lawyer or, failing that, a recognized treatise. A treatise is a book or set of books by a recognized expert that explains a particular law or laws, such as Bender on N.Y. Practice. 

A. When is a Notice of Claim required? 

The filing of a Notice of Claim may be required by a contract with the government or a statute (another word for a law). State law imposes such an obligation upon people who wish to sue New York State, local government or a government agency for money damages. A lawsuit against the State of New York may only be filed in the Court of Claims. First, however, you must file a Notice of Claim with the State (see Court of Claims Act §10). For more information about this process, for forms, or for contact information, you can visit the website for the New York State Court of Claims at

The most broadly applicable notice of claim provision is set forth in the General Municipal Law (GML for short). These lawsuits are filed in Supreme Court and are actions against your municipal governments (county, city, town, village, fire district or school district ). Again, you must first file a Notice of Claim before starting anyaction or special proceeding for personal injury, wrongful death or damage to real or personal property alleged to have been sustained by reason of the negligence or wrongful act of the municipal entity or of any officer, agent or employee thereof (GML §50-i.) A proper and timely Notice of Claim must be served upon the government and at least 30 days must elapse before a lawsuit can be instituted. This allows the government agency, if it chooses, to begin a quick investigation of the facts concerning the claim. The papers that start the lawsuit in court must specifically recite the timely service of a notice of claim and the passage of the 30-day period.

BWhen must the Notice of Claim be served? 

General Municipal Law requires that a Notice of Claim be served within 90 days after the claim arises (GML §50-e) . The claim will normally arise on the date of the accident (for ex., slip and fall) or 2 the event (for ex., assault) that forms the basis for the claim. However, in breach of contract cases, the rules are more complicated and beyond the scope of these instructions. 

C. What form of Notice is required? 

The notice must be in writing, sworn to before a notary public, by or on behalf of the claimant (the person who wishes to make the claim), and set forth the following: (i) the name and post-office address of each claimant, and of his/her attorney, if any; (ii) the nature of the claim; (iii) the time when, the place where and the manner in which the claim arose, being as precise as possible; and (iv) the items and dollar amount of damages or injuries that are claimed to have been sustained to the extent practicable at that time. The claimant should take care to list all the claims he or she has. If not, the claimant runs the risk that the deadline will expire before the assertion of certain claims and the government mayargue that those claims are untimely and therefore time barred. Starting a lawsuit is not a substitute for filing a Notice of Claim. 

D. How must the Notice of Claim be served? The Notice of Claim must be served on the municipal government agency, by personal delivery, or registered or certified mail. The service must be made upon a person designated by law to receive summonses in Supreme Court actions or an attorney regularly engaged in representing such public corporations. (However, in a wrongful death case, the 90-day period runs from the appointment of a representative of 2 the decedent’s estate.)

E. When must a lawsuit be commenced? 

General Municipal Law provides that, even if a Notice of Claim is timely filed, the lawsuit must be instituted within one year and 90 days after the incident or event upon which the claim is based. 

F. Late Notice of Claim 

Despite the above, the court has some authority to permit the filing of a Notice of Claim that is not served within the 90 days. The court may not, however, grant an extension that exceeds the outside limit of one year and 90 days. A person wishing to serve a late Notice of Claim must commence a special proceeding in Supreme Court. The application must be accompanied by a copy of the proposed Notice of Claim. In deciding an application for leave to serve a late Notice of Claim, the court will consider whether the government acquired actual knowledge of the essential facts constituting the claim within the 90- day period; whether the claimant was a minor or incapacitated; whether there was justifiable reliance upon settlement discussions; whether the claimant made an excusable error about the identity of the government against which the claim should be asserted; and whether the delay in serving the notice substantially prejudiced (hurt) the government in maintaining a defense on the merits. 

H. Examination of the Claimant 

General Municipal Law gives the government the right to conduct an examination of the claimant about the incident and the extent of the injuries or damages allegedly suffered. This examination is in the form of a deposition, which are oral questions posed to the claimant who is sworn to tell the truth. The questions and the claimant’s answers are recorded by a stenographer. The government may also have the claimant examined by a duly qualified physician. The claimant has the right to have his or her own physician present, as well as a relative or other person. 

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