Notice of Deficiency


This Notice of Deficiency was written by Buffalo community activist and Erie County Representative to the New York Green Party, Suzanne Toomey Spinks.  The purpose of this notice is to put local municipalities on notice about various hazards such as chronic blockage of sidewalks by cars and snow, hazards to bicyclists posed by chronic double parking, or damages sidewalks or bikeways.  Once the notice is filed with the Clerk's office in a town or city, that municipality becomes liable for injuries incurred as a result of their not acting to correct the situation -- hence they correct the situation. 

If the police refuse to ticket double parked cars in front of, for example, an Elmwood Avenue Pizzeria belonging to a supporter of the mayor, and that situation puts bicyclists at risk of injury or death, the Notice of Deficiency puts the city on legal notice to correct the problem by ticketing the offending vehicles.  Similarly, if an inconsiderate neighbor regularly parks his/her SUV across the sidewalk, forcing children into the street, a notice filed with the Clerk's office forces the city/town to ticket the S.O.B.  If your Republican neighbor hires a plow jockey to clear their driveway but then leave his/her sidewalk icy and not shoveled, file a notice.  It forced the city or town to enforce quality of life laws that insure a safe walkable city.

"This notice can be faxed, mailed, hand delivered or possibly e-mailed. To be considered a legal notice the signature of the person sending the notice needs to be on the notice. This is a fine point of the law which would come into play if legal action was taken. The purpose for the notice is two fold, first to help the municipality respond to dangerous or hazardous deficiencies so that citizens are not endangered and second, to create the legal paper trail needed when a person is hurt of harmed and seeks legal compensation. It is a fact, for example, that if a pot hole causes damage to a car or other vehicle, or if a person falls from a bike because of pot holes, or pavement damage etc, claims for damages should be sought from the appropriate municipality. Many claims are made and won by people who know this fact of law. It is stated however that prior notice of the pothole must be made in order for the claim to be recognized. This is a bit of protection the municipality tries to wrap itself in. I'm sure a good lawyer could argue a case regardless, but who would bother with such trivial matters? That's why a notice of deficiency, if filed in sufficient numbers would be helpful to all of us. Can you imagine the stir in city hall if the clerk's office suddenly got a barrage of Notices. I dream of such poetic justices in the face of so much injustice and pure indifference and lack of concern for the long suffering citizens of WNY."

 -- Suzanne Toomey Spinks,


Download Notice of Deficiency


Download in WORD Format (automatically opens)

Download in WORDPERFECT Format (save, then open)

View as Web Page