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Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

“One who objects to the act of an administrative agency must exhaust available administrative remedies before being permitted to litigate in a court of law.”

Pursuant to CPLR 7801(1), an Article 78 proceeding may not be used to challenge a determination that can be adequately reviewed by administrative or judicial appeal. 

The exhaustion rule needs not to be followed when

  • an agency’s action is challenged as either unconstitutional or wholly beyond its grant of power,
  • resort to an administrative remedy would be futile, or
  • its pursuit would cause irreparable injury

“Futility” exception and when it is not applicable

The judicial doctrine of exhaustion of remedies is subject to exceptions. The exceptions include when the exhaustion of administrative remedies would be futile or would cause irreparable harm. Watergate II Apts. v. Buffalo Sewer Auth., 46 N.Y.2d 52, 57.

Exception of the exception: When the statute has an exclusive remedy provision, the futility and irreparable injury exceptions do not apply (Bankers Trust Corp. v. N.Y. City Dep’t of Fin [2003])

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