Interoffice Memo

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Interoffice Memo. In the context of office communication, greater emphasis is placed on communication that is not only effective, but whose tone and content is considerate of other peoples’ feelings. Communication presents a platform where not only words are considered, but also the intentions and emotions behind the message or information. Interoffice Memorandum To: REGIONAL DIRECTORS SERVICE CENTER DIRECTORS cc: OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS DISTRICT DIRECTORS From: Michael Aytes /s/ Associate Director, Domestic Operations Date: December 5, 2006 Re: Guidance on Determining Periods of Admission for Aliens Previously in H-4 or L-2.

Interoffice memo sample letter

Interoffice memorandums (memos) are used by employees within an organization to communicate with one another. A memo heading consists of four standard parts: TO, FROM, DATE, and SUBJECT.

An interoffice memo template is a written communication document used to contain a statement or information to communicate between two parties within office in organization. This memo is short form of letter, specifically it may often for communication within office. Practically, an interoffice memo may address – particular person or position. An interoffice memorandum is a professional way to correspond with individuals, small groups, or an entire company. Much like an email, a memo contains a place for whom it is going to, whom it is from, the date it is written, and the subject.

Interoffice Legal Memorandum

To: Robin Lauriault, Atty at Law Case: Garricks v. City of New York

From: Han Huang, Intern

Date: March 3, 2013

Subject: Whether the City of New York Failed to Clear Up City Streets in Reasonable Time

Assignment

You have asked me to research what constitutes negligence in a slip-and-fall case to determine whether our client, the municipality of New York, is liable for slip-and-fall injuries to a resident who fell on ice on the sidewalk outside of her home.

Issue statement

Did the defendant, the City of New York, fail to clean up the city’s streets in a reasonable amount of time after a snowstorm and thus become liable for negligence for slip-and-fall injuries to the plaintiff, Beverly Garricks?

Facts of the case

At 9:00 a.m. on February 6, 1995, less than two days after a storm left a 10-inch snowfall, Beverly Garricks, the plaintiff, slipped on hard ice and fell on the sidewalk in front of her Bronx apartment in New York City. She landed on her elbow, resulting in injuries to her hand and wrist, which caused her to spend 10 days in the hospital.

The snowstorm began on February 4, 1995, followed by a hard freeze on February 5th and 6th. The city’s sanitation department began snow removal operations while the snow was still falling on the 4th, employing all available personnel and equipment. The city’s first priority is to clear major roads, highways, streets with bus stops, and other areas with a high volume of traffic. The subsequent cold spell interrupted the clearing process and formed hard ice. The city had not cleared the sidewalk in the plaintiff’s residential district when she fell, but it had finished plowing adjoining streets 24 hours earlier.

Analysis

Our client, the City of New York, is charged with municipal negligence for failing to clear snow in an area where the plaintiff, Beverly Garricks, slipped and fell on hard ice formed by the snow following a cold spell. A slip-and-fall case, such as this one, is governed by court precedence.

Essentially, the city is liable for negligence in such cases if its snow clearing operations failed to clear the streets within a reasonable time, as explained in Valentine v. City of New York, A.D. 449 N.Y.S.2d 991, 992 (1982). The city, however, must be allowed sufficient time to clean up. For example, it is not liable if the accident happened only five hours after a storm that deposited 13 inches of snow. Epstein v. City of New York, 250 A.D. 2d 547, 673 N. Y.S. 2d 141. Also, the municipality is not liable for personal slip and fall injuries if it never received notice of icy conditions or defect in the area where the accident occurred. On the other hand, the city is generally liable for personal injuries for failure to clear up snow in a time period deemed reasonable by the jury, considering factors such as the thickness of the snow, whether the person had a safer path to take to the destination, and the rationality of the city’s snow removal efforts. Liability, however, cannot be determined by a formula between any single factor and the time elapsed from the end of the snowfall to the accident, as discussed in Yonki v. City of New York, 95 N.Y.S. 2d 80 (1950).

Sufficient Time

The most fundamental issue in Garricks v. City of New York has been whether the city had sufficient time to appropriately clear the roads and sidewalks. As Judge J.P. Sullivan noted in Valentine v. City of New York, A.D. 449 N.Y.S.2d 991, 992 (1982), “a reasonable time is that period within which the municipality should have noticed icy conditions, and in the exercise of reasonable care, remedied it by clearing the sidewalk or otherwise eliminating the danger.” Such a period is measured from “the end of the storm to the time of the accident.” Morgen v. City of New York, 487 N.Y.S. 2d 39 (1985). In Garricks, the plaintiff fell between 39 and 45 hours after the last significant snowfall whichleft 10 inches of snow on the ground. Previously, in Valentine v. City of New York, in which the plaintiff fell on ice thirty hours after a storm left 2-3 inches of precipitation, the court ruled that the city did not have sufficient time to clear the streets due to the magnitude of its snow removal operations. Similarly, in Goldman et.al. v. City of New York, 34 N.Y.S. 2d 429 (1942), the court deemed the city not liable for personal injuries that resulted 36.5 hours after the cessation of a two-day storm. However, in Crichton v. Pitney, Hardin, Kipp & Szuch, 679 N.Y.S. 2d 392(1998) the city was found negligent for failure to remove snow that caused the plaintiff’s fall five days after a blizzard left 22 inches of snow. While the thicker snow in Crichton will clearly slow the city’s snow removal efforts, the elapsed time in Crichton.is much longer than in Garricks. In fact, if Ms. Garricks were to win, this case would involve one of the shortest elapsed time periods in slip-and-fall history in which the city was found liable.

Interestingly, the judge mentions in Valentine that the SHORTEST time period for which the defendant, New York City, had been held responsible for slip and fall injuries after a snowstorm was 44 hours in a 1948 case, Janota v. City of New York, 297 N.Y. 942 (1948). The similarities between Janota and Garricks are striking. Both accidents took place less than two days after a storm that accumulated around 10 inches of snow on the ground, although in Janota, only 7.9 inches were left before the incident occurred. However, outstanding differences also existed that swayed the judgment in the plaintiff’s favor in Janota. For example, the plaintiff fell in front of a store on Queens Boulevard; she claimed that she couldn’t find a cleared path to the door. It is unclear if Garricks had an alternative path to travel to her destination, but she slipped on the sidewalk, which would likely indicate that she could have walked around the icy patch or taken a side street. Thus, although Janota is worthy of comparison with Garricks, specific differences between the circumstances, which may influence the outcome of this case, should be cited.

The City’s Snow Removal Efforts

Another major reason that New York City was found negligent in Janota was that the city did not present any evidence of its snow removal efforts, which suggested that it had not formulated a method to remedy such a situation in any case. By 1973, at the time of Valentine, the Department of Sanitation had developed clearing operations for more than 6,401 miles of streets and 11,420 miles of sidewalks covering 58 snow removal districts. In Valentine, for the Bronx district alone, the city employed 35, 25, and 33 men respectively on a three-day snow removal task and sprayed 1,421 tons of salt in all. Since the same municipality is being sued in Garricks, the scope of the necessary operations is similar to that in Valentine. Yet, strangely enough, in a 2000 case, Murdock vs. City of New York, 708 N.Y.S. 2d 89, 89 (2000), the judge ruled in favor of a plaintiff who fell at an intersection because there was “no evidence of snow removal resources available to the city or of the city’s snow removal priorities at the time in question.” In Garricks, it’s an undisputed fact that the city began snow removal while the snowstill falling on February 4, when actually a judge had previously ruled in Morgen v. City of New York that the city had no obligation to do so until the storm ended. The municipality recognizes the time necessary for snow removal operations of such magnitude; it implemented its snow-clearing plans for the most severe category of storms and employed all available personnel. The reasonable time basis should regard the city’s limited resources and its prompt efforts to clear streets in a large area.

The plaintiff’s residential district was one of the last to be cleared because it’s on a tertiary street. Due to limited manpower and equipment, the city prioritized by clearing major highways, roads, and areas with high volumes of traffic first. Historically, this has usually been the case: “Ahead of sidewalks come the roadways, which must be cleared as immediately as possible for emergency traffic of police, fire apparatus, and ambulances for essential traffic . . . Also ahead of sidewalks is the removal of snow from various terminals in the city and market areas where food and fuel are delivered and disbursed. Then, within sidewalks there is a proper priority in favor of business and shopping sections where there’s a heavy congestion of pedestrian traffic.” Yonki v. City of New York, 95 N.Y.S. 2d 80, 82 (1950).Although the city did clear the abutting streets in the Bronx area first, this should not imply the city’s negligence. The city has hundreds of miles of sidewalks, and even if those abutting streets are not primary or secondary roads, they happened to be cleared first perhaps by random order. In fact, the Department of Sanitation’s snow removal efforts for the abutting streets should attest to its attempt to clear the sidewalks; why would they clear all streets except the one upon which the plaintiff happened to slip and fall?

The Hard Freeze

Of course, we should not overlook the severe freeze that occurred on February 5th and 6th after the storm which formed hard ice and impeded the city’s snow removal efforts. Slipping on ice, not snow, was the cause of injuries to the plaintiff, Ms. Garricks. As Judge Sullivan explains in Valentine, “it’s the formation of ice, usually caused by a combination of freezing temperatures and packing of snow from pedestrian traffic, that constitutes hazardous sidewalk condition after a heavy snowfall.” Valentine v. City of New York, 449 N.Y.S. 2d 991, 994 (1982). In Valentine, the ice formed was so hard that it could not be shoveled and had to be chipped away by ice picks. Undoubtedly, hard ice is more difficult to remove than snow; given both the additional challenges of removing ice and the small amount of time between the end of the storm and the accident, considering the magnitude of its operations, the city should not be liable under the circumstances. Yet, whether it is or not will be up to the discretion of the jury.

Conclusions

Based upon case law, the New York City’s Department of Sanitation’s actions should not warrant liability for negligence for failure to respond within a reasonable time because 39 to 45 hours is an exceptionally short time period between the end of the storm and the fall. The city already began clearing operations before requirements. Although 10 inches of snowfall is not an unusual occurrence during the winter for New York, the magnitude of the removal is extensive enough to justify more time, especially after a severe cold spell interrupted removal efforts and formed hard ice. The city cannot afford to be an insurer for all slip and fall injuries.

On the other hand, the plaintiff could argue that the city had cleared the abutting streets in the area and therefore should have had time to clear her residential street, but the city can rebut that it has priorities in the clearing operations and that her street is simply one of the last in its order of operations. Both sides have several precedent cases working in its favor, especially Janota v. City of New York for the plaintiff because the thickness of the snowfall and the elapsed time from the storm to the accident between the cases are similar. The defense can depend on Valentine v. City of New York, a landmark slip-and-fall case with facts similar to Garricks v. City of New York. The final decision, however, rests upon the jury’s interpretation of what is reasonable behavior for the City of New York.

Recommendations

A relevant point in this case, though irrelevant to the main issue in the memo of whether the city had reasonable time to clear the sidewalks, is the enforcement of Administrative Code of City of New York § 16-123, formerly known as section 755(3)- 2.0 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York. In 1948, the Janota court found that the city failed to enforce section 755(3)- 2.0, which “requires owners of property abutting any street, upon notice, to remove snow and ice from the sidewalk” Janota v. City of New York, 297 N.Y. 942, 943(1948) within four hours after a snowfall or the city will be obligated to remove snow by itself. The plaintiff can rely upon § 16-123 to claim that the city had not warned the owner of her apartment building to clear the snow within four hours and should thus be responsible for such expense; failure to do so would consequently result in liability for her injuries.

A further check into the legislative history of § 16-123 would be appropriate to determine the legislation’s purpose and how it has been interpreted recently. Additionally, we should talk to the apartment’s owner to determine whether or not the city had attempted to enforce the code, and if it did not, then we should find out the reasons. Also, it would be helpful to note whether or not the plaintiff had an alternative route to her destination.

Finally, I recommend explaining our position in a letter to the plaintiff, Beverly Garricks, and her attorney. In light of the evidence, we can probably reach a settlement out of court.

Phoenix Advertising
Interoffice Memorandum
DATE: April 18, 2015
TO: Jeff Lewis, Managing Director; Sarah Jefferies, Planning Director; Deidre Collins, Creative Director FROM: Vice President of Human Resources SUBJECT: Roanoke Branch
Over the past month, the Roanoke branch has been facing problems; there have been several complaints from clients about the quality of work produced by this branch. Additionally, after a change in management, the copywriters and graphic artists feel as though their works are being revised without discussion. It is not totally clear, but this could be root cause of the complaints received by the branch. The Roanoke branch has some of the companies’ valuable clients and is important to our success. We must give this issue our immediate attention.
It is imperative the executive team contact the Roanoke branch and evaluate the operations there. Jeff Lewis needs to review all new accounts the branch has taken on recently; verifying that they are viable for generating revenue. Deidre Collins needs to contact the copywriters and graphic designers and evaluate submitted work and any revisions made by the director. Sarah Jefferies should generate a plan for new accounts; developing a timeline to see what is causing the employees to work longer hours. I will work with the human resources department in managing employee relations. A detailed report of your findings is expected in my office by close of business April 27, 2015.
I will review the reports and then hold a meeting with the executive officers to review the status of the Roanoke branch on May 4, 2015. Working together, I am confident we can resolve the issues at the Roanoke branch and ensure its success.

Interoffice Memo

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