DCA Archives - DGR Legal

New York Process Server Log Book Bill Passes Senate

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New York process server log bookSenate Bill 29 has passed the Senate, taking the process server log book rules one step closer to no longer requiring both a digital and handwritten copy.

The bill was introduced after process servers began to strongly feel the burden of maintaining two types of log books in addition to their regular daily duties.  The bill would remove the requirement to keep a handwritten log book and would instead require process servers to submit entries to a third party within three days of service or attempted service.

This option also requires process servers to not have the ability to edit these records in any way. If there is a type or error, the third party would be able to edit the credits but only through the addition of italicized text and may not make any deletions.

The bill is currently waiting to be passed in the Assembly (A3939).

Here is the complete justification from the court documents as to the proposed change:

In order to create a more efficient way for the regulators to review the records of process servers, municipalities that have one million or more people (NYC) have implemented a mandatory digital record requirement that mirrors the State requirement of General business law Sec. 89-cc. Requiring the process server to record the same information twice, a handwritten format and a digital format. The result of that law has created an undue burden for the process server.  This burden does not provide any benefit to the citizens of New York nor any regulatory authority. This law will allow the process server an option to meet the requirement of sec. 89-cc that mirrors the requirement of the local Municipality. The process server will be able to streamline their data recording in a tamper proof environment that will create more transparency and reduce the risk of fraud.

The New York State Professional Process Servers Association is requesting process servers reach out to their Assemblyperson in support of the passage of the bill.

To read the complete bills:

Assembly Bill 3939

Senate Bill 29

 

 

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Appellate Court Reverses Decision For Log Book Requirement For Process Servers Outside of New York City

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A New York Court has reversed the June 2013 decision that process servers outside of New York City had to maintain a log book for services performed outside of New York City.

The Appellate Division 2nd Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Moret Partnership V. William J. Spickerman, et al has reversed the decision of Justice Winslow of the Nassau Supreme Court.

The case involved a defendant moving to vacate a judgment due to improper service. While the process server testified his employer kept a work ticket which he filled out as a record for each service, there was no log book maintained.  The original ruling concluded that despite the sufficiency in testimony and affidavits to constitute proper service, the failure to comply with the log book requirement resulted in improper service.

The New York State Professional Process Servers Association at the time of the original ruling voiced its opposition. Legislation to remove the log book requirement was introduced in the past legislative session but was not brought to the floor, but will be pursued in the upcoming session.

To read the full decision of the Appellate Division, click here.

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New York City Process Servers’ Lawsuit Against The DCA Dismissed

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New York process server lawsuitThe most recent lawsuit against the Department of Consumers Affairs by the New York State Professional Process Servers Association (NYSPPSA) was dismissed on August 18th. A copy of the complete dismissal opinion and order can be found here.

The bulk of the lawsuit focused on the following issues:

  • The adjudication of process servers was caused without a legal basis to do so
  • Subpoenas were issued which contained express directives preventing the recipients from notifying anyone of their existence, violating their right to counsel
  • Process servers were found in violation based on unsworn testimony or proof beyond a reasonable doubt, violating due process rights
  • Fines were in excess of amounts permitted under rules and statutes

The news coverage of the dismissal has been less than favorable and what some would call slightly skewed. The New York Times covered the issue, saying “Consumer Affairs still receives about 40 complaints a year from consumer and legal advocates that papers were not served”. Over 500,000 papers have been served in New York City since January, which puts the complaint rate at 0.008%. Even if not all complaints are reported as the article says, quadrupling the number of complaints would still only put the complaint rate at 0.032%.

The previous lawsuit NYSPPSA pursued against the DCA settled back in July 2011. At the time, the overseeing judge refused to dismiss the case and process servers saw some concessions from the court and the DCA. Since then,  New York process servers have been plagued by expensive and time-consuming compliance requirements, including GPS tracking and log books. The fines have been even more exorbitant, with servers seeing fines for each instance of a violation.

The dismissal of the most recent lawsuit is somewhat discouraging in an industry that has seen process server license renewals decrease by more than 60% in the past two years. NYSPPSA plans to appeal the decision.

 

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Service is Our Priority

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Here at DGR we pride ourselves on being a service based company. Whatever we can do to go above and beyond to make our clients happy, we’ll do.

We recently received a testimonial from Christian McOmber of McOmber and McOmber that highlights the level of service we aim to provide.

“Our firm used a number of popular process service and delivery firms before finding DGR Legal.  We were very displeased with the professionalism, speed, and responsiveness of those other firms, particularly when a matter needed some degree of special attention.  I happened upon a DGR Legal exhibition booth at the New Jersey Law Center and decided to give them a chance.  They are, hands down, the best process and delivery firm in the state.  Instead of using unreliable, part-time contractors to serve and deliver, they use uniformed employees that are reliable and tenacious.  Our average time for service went from 2-3 weeks to a number of days.  We get instantaneous email confirmation when service is effectuated.  In those instances where service cannot be effectuated, the process servers undertake investigatory efforts such as interviewing neighbors, requesting documents, surveying the property, checking the electric meter, and the like.  They are highly motivated and efficient.”

“Instead of using unreliable, part-time contractors to serve and deliver, they use uniformed employees that are reliable and tenacious.”

As one of the very few process service companies across the nation who uses only employees and no independent contractors, we are able to maintain strict quality control over services. Being able to train our employees makes a world of difference in the level of service we can provide.

“Our average time for service went from 2-3 weeks to a number of days. “

We know timelines are important in legal cases. We work hard to make sure your service is out the door with an attempt being made as quickly as possible. In fact, our average turn-around time is just three days.

“We get instantaneous email confirmation when service is effectuated.”

You have a lot of things to do each day and checking in on your process server shouldn’t be one of them. We have an automated system that will send you a status update once service is effectuated. There is also an online system where you can check status and attempt updates as well as retrieve copies of affidavits.

It’s always great to work with clients who recognize the hard work we put in to provide quality service. Ready to see the difference for yourself? Give us a try and see the difference we can make in your firm.

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NYC DCA/Process Server Resource Page Released

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As the information, documents and news surrounding the changes in NYC continues to grow, we have decided to create a resource where all of these details can be found in one place: https://www.dgrlegal.com/nyc-process-servers/

Even the process servers who don’t serve directly in NYC have watched with interest as the DCA has created new rules and regulations. The impact has been profound, with 2013 seeing 60% less registered process servers than the year before. The numbers have still not been released for 2014, but the recent lawsuit by NYSPPSA against the NYC DCA indicates the battle is far from over.

If you happen to come across anything of interest that we may be missing, please feel free to send it over to amanda@dgrlegal.com so we can share it with everyone. The more knowledge process servers have about the situation in NYC, the better equipped they will be to handle the potential of a similar situation arising in their state.

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NYSPPSA Sues NYC DCA Over Rights Violations

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NYSPPSA filed a 47 page lawsuit on February 26th against the City of New York, Michael Bloomberg, Mayor Bill DiBlasio and over 25 members of the New York City Department of Consumer Affair, including two administrative Law Judges. A request for a temporary injunction will be made before the Hon. Denise Cote, Judge of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York on Friday, March 7 2014.

Temporary injunctions, particularly those against municipalities, are notoriously difficult to obtain. While the law years ago allowed for ex parte applications, today’s rules call for the defendant to be notified and   appear in court to contest the application. If successful, the temporary injunction would be a landmark for process servers in New York City. The injunction would prevent further action by the DCA until the conclusion of the case, meaning they would be unable to issue subpoenas, adjudicate or repeal licenses.

The last time NYSPPSA pursued litigation in February 2011 they were able to receive a partial injunction on a particular clause. That clause later wound up being removed through the rules NYSPPSA counter-proposed.

The complaint cites four primary issues:

  • The adjudication of process servers was caused without a legal basis to do so
  • Subpoenas were issued which contained express directives preventing the recipients from notifying anyone of their existence, violating their right to counsel
  • Process servers were found in violation based on unsworn testimony or proof beyond a reasonable doubt, violating due process rights
  • Fines were in excess of amounts permitted under rules and statutes

The case is being handled on a contingency basis, which is great news for an association that has spent over $187,000 in the past several years fighting the new DCA rules. With documentary evidence of everything alleged in the suit, NYSPPSA is hopeful there will be a positive outcome to the suit. The suit seeks to impose a long term injunction until the rules are corrected along with exemplary and/or punitive damages.

“Generally, process servers as a group are not a litigious bunch. We see enough of that on a daily basis. However, this has become an arbitrary and capricious system resulting in bully tactics and legislation by coercion to create a mood of fear among process servers”, says Larry Yellon, President of NYSPPSA, in explaining the need to move forward with the lawsuit.

With process server license renewals down 60% from two years ago, it will be interesting to see what the numbers look like after the 2014 renewals deadline of April 30 2014.

Read a full copy of the complaint here.

 

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DCA Grants Grace Period to NYC Process Servers

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NYSPPSA has thankfully received a quick response to Larry Yellon’s letter to the DCA requesting a grace period for NYC process server license renewals. The DCA has granted an extension, allowing process servers to continue to operate through March 31, 2014.

All process servers have been mailed a letter stating such and are required to keep this letter on them while serving in order to be in compliance. In order for the letter to be effective you must have the original letter, not a copy or a printed version.

See below for the text of the DCA’s letter to Larry Yellon.

 

 

Dear Mr. Yellon:

I write in reply to your February 21, 2014 letter.

Please be advised that the Department today is mailing temporary operating letters to process server individuals with licenses due to expire on February 28, 2014 that states the following:

Temporary Permission to Operate THROUGH MARCH 31, 2014

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has given permission to the Process Server Individual named above to operate through March 31, 2014.  

Process Server Individuals must have this original letter in their possession when serving process, filing court papers, or appearing in court.

Individuals must complete all requirements to renew a license by March 31.  Requirements are
outlined in the renewal packet that DCA mailed, along with instructions to schedule the Process
Server Individual exam and to submit required documents in person, by mail, or online. Questions about requirements should be directed to DCA’s Renewal Unit at (212) 487-4060.

This temporary operating letter is valid through March 31, 2014.

With respect to your question concerning the requirement stated in the FAQ that an applicant
pay a new application fee upon failing the process server exam twice, please be advised that the
policy is not new.  The Department applied the same policy during the prior process server renewal period.  In addition, whenever an application for a license in any category licensed by DCA is denied, the applicant must submit a new application fee with the subsequent application.

Sanford M. Cohen

Executive Deputy General Counsel

NYC  Department of Consumer Affairs

42 Broadway, 8th Floor

New York, NY 10004

Tel:  (212) 436-0159  – Please note my new phone

number

Fax: (646) 500-5962

nyc.gov/consumers

 

 

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