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Service in NYC Housing Court - Petition & Notice

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Service in NYC Housing Court - Petition & Notice

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:50 am

From http://tenant.net/Other_Laws/RPAPL/rpapl07.html
The NYS REAL PROPERTY ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS LAW (RPAPL)

Sec. 735. MANNER OF SERVICE; FILING; WHEN SERVICE COMPLETE.

1. Service of the notice of petition and petition shall be made by personally delivering them to the respondent; or by delivering to and leaving personally with a person of suitable age and discretion who resides or is employed at the property sought to be recovered, a copy of the notice of petition and petition, if upon reasonable application admittance can be obtained and such person found who will receive it; or if admittance cannot be obtained and such person found, by affixing a copy of the notice and petition upon a conspicuous part of the property sought to be recovered or placing a copy under the entrance door of such premises; and in addition, within one day after such delivering to such suitable person or such affixing or placement, by mailing to the respondent both by registered or certified mail and by regular first class mail,

(a) if a natural person, as follows: at the property sought to be recovered, and if such property is not the place of residence of such person and if the petitioner shall have written information of the residence address of such person, at the last residence address as to which the petitioner has such information, or if the petitioner shall have no such information, but shall have written information of the place of business or employment of such person, to the last business or employment address as to which the petitioner has such information; and

(b) if a corporation, joint-stock or other unincorporated association, as follows: at the property sought to be recovered, and if the principal office or principal place of business of such corporation, joint stock or other unincorporated association is not located on the property sought to be recovered, and if the petitioner shall have written information of the principal office or principal place of business within the state, at the last place as to which petitioner has such information, or if the petitioner shall have no such information but shall have written information of any office or place of business within the state, to any such place as to which the petitioner has such information. Allegations as to such information as may affect the mailing address shall be set forth either in the petition, or in a separate affidavit and filed as part of the proof of service.

2. The notice of petition, or order to show cause, and petition together with proof of service thereof shall be filed with the court or clerk thereof within three days after;

(a) personal delivery to respondent, when service has been made by that means, and such service shall be complete immediately upon such personal delivery; or

(b) mailing to respondent, when service is made by the alternatives above provided, and such service shall be complete upon the filing of proof of service.
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Council Seeks to Crack Down on Process Servers Who Lie

Postby TenantNet » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:37 am

February 26, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/nyregion/27sewer.html
Council Seeks to Crack Down on Process Servers Who Lie
New York Times
By RAY RIVERA

In a proposal aimed at unscrupulous debt collectors, the City Council is considering legislation that would require process servers to use global positioning systems to show that they have actually visited consumers’ homes or workplaces to deliver notices of collection proceedings.

Lawmakers hope the measure will help curb a long-running practice known in legal circles as “sewer service,” which occurs when process servers fail to serve court papers on defendants but file affidavits swearing that they did so ­ which allows the cases to proceed.

The victims are often debtors involved in collection suits. When they fail to show up in court they are hit with default judgments, often for thousands of dollars.

The bill would require process servers in New York City to electronically record every instance in which they serve or try to serve someone, using a global positioning system that would pinpoint their exact location.

Advocates for consumers say that sewer service has grown in recent years because of the recession and an increase in the number of collection firms that buy bad debts from credit card companies for pennies on the dollar and then seek to collect them.

“Obviously, there’s a disturbing trend at work in New York,” said Councilman Daniel Garodnick, a Manhattan Democrat who is the bill’s lead sponsor.

“Tens of thousands of people are being sued for debts that they may or may not truly owe, but they only learn that they’ve been sued after they’ve lost, and find their bank accounts are frozen and their wages are garnished.”

A federal class-action lawsuit was filed in Manhattan in December against several debt-purchasing companies and firms that help them collect debts, accusing them of fraudulently obtaining judgments against debtors.

The bill was introduced amid an investigation by the state attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, into fraudulent process serving. Last year, Mr. Cuomo’s office arrested the owner of a Long Island process serving firm, accusing the company’s servers of frequently filing false affidavits in which they claimed to have attempted to serve three and four people at the same time.

One server, according to the complaint, claimed to have made 77 service attempts on one day, interspersed at locations in Brooklyn and Cattaraugus County, roughly 400 miles apart ­ a feat that would have required 11 round trips covering 8,194 miles.

The Bloomberg administration supports the Council measure. Jonathan Mintz, commissioner of the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs, called the proposed bill a “game changer” in regulating the industry.

“There are a number of ways that law enforcement agencies can try to encourage process servers to do the right thing or fine them if they don’t,” Mr. Mintz said, “but actually being able to prove if they were there is a night-and-day difference.”
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