[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Old Westbury 5-17-1993 by L.L. No. 2-1993. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to the authority set forth in Municipal Home Rule Law § 10(1)(ii) and the New York State Constitution, and in keeping with the New York Court of Appeals decision in Kamhi v. Town of Yorktown, 74 N.Y.2d 423 (1989), the Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Old Westbury hereby declares its intent to adopt a local law requiring prior written notice before commencement of certain actions against the Village.
The Board of Trustees is mindful of Village Law § 6-628, entitled "Liability of Village in certain actions," which essentially provides that no civil action may be maintained against a Village for damages or injuries to person or property sustained as a result of any property of the Village being defective, out of repair, unsafe, dangerous or obstructed unless, prior to the occurrence of the injuries, the Village received actual written notice of the condition and failed or neglected to repair or remove the condition. The Board finds that it is in the best interests of the Village and its residents to enact a similar law and to add thereto the specific items set forth in § 27-2 below. This local law will be set forth directly in the Code of the Village of Old Westbury where residents and others are more likely to find it, rather than rely simply on the Village Law of the State of New York.
The Board finds that requiring prior written notice of the existence of any defective, unsafe or otherwise dangerous conditions as a condition precedent to the Village being named as a party in a civil action will provide the Village with the opportunity to correct the defective, unsafe or otherwise dangerous condition, thereby insuring the safety and well-being of its residents and others who are affected by Village property. Moreover, the Board finds that such a law will serve the best interests of the Village and the residents thereof by protecting the Village from excessive tort litigation and the costs associated with defending such actions.
No civil action shall be maintained against the Village for damages or injuries to person or property sustained by reason of any defect whatsoever or any unsafe, dangerous or obstructed conditions of any street, highway, bridle path, bridge, culvert, parking field, sign, tree, sidewalk, crosswalk, footpath, bicycle path, sewer or storm drain, or any property, real or personal, owned or maintained by the Village, improved or unimproved; or in consequence of the existence or accumulation of snow or ice upon any street, highway, bridge, culvert, parking field, sign, tree, sidewalk, crosswalk, footpath, bicycle path, park, sewer or storm drain, or any property, real or personal, owned or maintained by the Village, improved or unimproved; unless written notice of the existence of such condition had theretofore actually been given to the Village Clerk, specifying the particular place and the defect, danger or obstruction, and there was a failure or neglect on the part of the Village to correct the defect, danger or obstruction complained of, or to cause such snow or ice to be removed, or to make the place otherwise reasonably safe within a reasonable time after receipt of such notice.
Service of written notice to the Village Clerk of any defect or unsafe, dangerous or obstructed condition described in this chapter shall be effective only if accomplished by personal service or by registered or certified mail.