A man who was unaware of court documents his ex-wife submitted to have his pistol license revoked will get a new hearing on the matter, a Brooklyn appeals court has ruled.
The Appellate Division, Second Department, unanimously concluded in McAvoy v. Klein, 2012-04744, that Jeffrey McAvoy, “was not given notice of the charges and evidence against him” when Orange County Family Court Judge Carol Klein, in her capacity as a pistol licensing officer, revoked his license.
The Second Department annulled Klein’s revocation but kept the license temporarily suspended pending outcome of the new hearing in front of a different pistol licensing officer.
Klein had granted McAvoy’s application for an unrestricted pistol license in August 2011. About three months later, McAvoy’s former wife sent a letter and documents to Klein, unbeknownst to McAvoy.
“Many of the documents cast the petitioner in a highly unfavorable light,” the Second Department said.
When Klein temporarily suspended McAvoy’s license and directed a supplemental hearing, she offered no specifics on her reasoning but said she “received additional information regarding [McAvoy] which require[d] further inquiry.”
After the hearing, Klein revoked the pistol license in December 2011, and McAvoy filed an Article 78 petition to void the judge’s determination.
The panel agreed that “in light of the troubling nature of the documents enclosed with the letter” Klein was correct to temporarily suspend the license and call for a supplemental hearing. But the panel pointed to caselaw saying that while pistol licensees did not require formal adversarial hearings, they did require notice of the charges against them and an opportunity for a rebuttal.
Gary Greenwald of Chester and Elise Rucker of Monroe appeared for McAvoy.
New York State Assistant Attorneys General Richard Dearing and Valerie Figueredo appeared for Klein.