Pre-Disciplinary Hearing Required Even For Alleged Residency Violation

Debbie Sorano was a police officer with the City of Yonkers, New York. Following an investigation, the City terminated her for having changed her domicile from the State of New York to the State of Maryland. A New York state statute requires that police officers live within the limits of New York State.

An appeals court overturned Sorano’s termination because Sorano did not receive a pre-termination hearing. The City argued that since no pre-termination hearing was required under the residency law, Sorano received all the due process to which she was entitled.

The Court disagreed. The Court found that Sorano “was still entitled to be notified of the allegation that she had changed her domicile from the State of New York to the State of Maryland, and to have an opportunity to respond to the allegation prior to her termination. Since neither notice nor an opportunity to respond to the allegation was given to Sorano, due process was not satisfied. Accordingly, Sorano’s termination is annulled.”

Sorano v. City of Yonkers, New York, 2007 WL 611287 (App.Div. 2007).

The article appears in our April 2007 issue.