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Frequently Asked Questions

I was served an Order to Show Cause and the City wants to demolish or repair a building I own. What do I do?

Answering an Order to Show Cause

As a result of the City of Utica's aggressive codes enforcement, lawsuits are brought against the owners of certain sub-standard houses to request a Supreme Court Order requiring that the house be brought up to codes standards through repairs or, if repairs are not feasible, that the houses be demolished. When the Supreme Court grants the order of repair or demolition, the owner has a limited time in which to conform to the order. If the house is not dealt with as ordered in the time required then the City's Department of Public Works will either demolish or repair the building and the City will take a money judgment for the costs incurred in the work.

The steps you need to take are the following:

If served with an Order to Show Cause by the City of Utica, retain your own attorney.

On the first two pages of the Order to Show Cause are three dates:

  • There is a service date. This is the date you must be served by.
  • There is an answer date. If you dispute any of the allegations in the attached affidavits, then you or your attorney should respond in writing by submitting a document known as an "Answer."
  • The return date. On this date, be present on the third floor of the Oneida County Courthouse at 200 Elizabeth Street, Utica, New York before the Supreme Court Judge at 2:00 p.m.