Legislation/Bills Archives - Page 6 of 6 - DGR Legal

The Server Controversy: Where Do You Stand?

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The National Association of Professional Process Servers (NAPPS) recent donation to the New York Professional Process Servers Association (NYPPSA) to assist in covering costs of litigation has created some controversy, as some believe the amount is too high in comparison to what has been given to other state associations.  However, when the entire situation is looked at it seems the monetary commitment to NYPPSA’s fight is one that is well justified given the impact the rulings would have had on process servers within New York City, many of whom are NAPPS members, as well as the potential impact this could have on similar future rulings in other states.

If the DCA recommendations and proposed rules were put into effect without any opposition the result would have been extremely damaging to the process server industry in New York City in regard to cost measures.  It also would have been difficult for servers to meet the expectations set regarding time requirements for reporting.  The litigation NYPPSA did on behalf of NYC process servers resulted in the following successful adjustments to the rules:

  • Instead of having a 24-hour reporting requirement for all services the time was extended to two business days after the last event recorded
  • The amount of time process servers need to keep papers records was reduced from 7 years to 3 years, reducing the financial burden placed on servers and agencies.
  • A new rule added a method for licensees to correct typographical errors in or advertent omissions from any entry into electronic format.

NYPPSA was also able to change the GPS requirements for New York City servers.  Originally servers would not have been allowed to continue their route if the GPS did not have a signal.  The GPS requirements also could present problems as a process server sometimes has no way of knowing that the GPS coordinates were not captured until the records are reviewed at a later date.  However this rule was overridden and servers are now allowed to proceed as long as the GPS tracking is implemented correctly.    

Numerous process servers in New York are members of NAPPS but NYPPSA, and these members have benefitted from the efforts of NYPPSA.   The litigation of NYPPSA also saved a large number of NAPPS members from having to pay a $1,000 fine.  The DCA intended to fine 129 process servers and agencies for each non-compliance for the NYC rules put into effect in May that many were unaware of.  NYPPSA worked to get an abatement for the $129,000 and saved many from an unnecessary expenditure. 

By contesting the original proposed rules, NYPPSA was not only working on behalf of New York City process servers but on behalf of process servers across the country.  The adjusted rules also made it so that work from the other 49 states would be excluded from having to comply with the New York rules.  As President of NAPPS and NYPPSA Larry Yellon said: “NYPPSA was the NAPPS foot soldier fighting a battle that affects the entire country”.

The litigation of NYPPSA also has effects for the entire industry and future proposed legislation. The case of the Long Island process serving company American Legal Process and its owner William Singler spurred the rule and law changes within New York.  A suit filed by the 2009 New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, finally came to a head when Singler, pled guilty to fraud for failing to provide proper legal notification to thousands of New Yorkers facing primarily debt related lawsuits.  Singler was eventually sentenced to prison on March 24, 2010 for more than 1 year and the Attorney General is currently pursuing dismissal of over 100,000 cases handled by ALP.

As more cases of sewer service come to light it is not without reason to think that other states may soon follow in the footsteps of New York and lay down more stringent laws.  Within Florida alone two process serving companies are currently being investigated by the Attorney General, ProVest and Gissen & Zawyer Process Service Inc.  While there has been no statement made by the Attorney General, the outcome could result in new process serving laws.   Even though states have their own regulations regarding the requirements for process servers, legal matters tend to look at previous cases to set the precedent. 

Total costs of all litigation equaled $187,000 of which NYPPSA contributed $87,000 from its own treasury.  What if NYPPSA did not exist or simply did not have the money to put in to cover ANY of the costs?  Then NAPPS would be stuck with the full bill.  While the total requested amount from NAPPS of $100,000 is indeed more substantial than any other previous amount that has been granted, this is also the most significant piece of process service legislation to come about in terms of regulation.

While the recent ILAPPS victory to get assaulting a process server made a felony is without a doubt a resounding victory that will hopefully pave the way for more states to adopt a similar law, a lack of NAPPS financial contributions would not have resulted in extreme detriment to hundreds of process servers.  The New York City rules and regulations that were to be put into place would have had a profound effect on process servers as a whole and an even more onerous one on the smaller process serving companies.  NYPPSA has contributed a significant amount from their own treasury to the litigation bill, and it does not make sense for such an organization to bear the entire burden of a fight that benefited NAPPS members both within NYC as well as on a nationwide level. 

Congratulations to NYPPSA for your hard work and commitment to ensuring fair regulations and rulings for process servers!

 

Let us know what you think and where you stand on the issue below!

 



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New Jersey Process Server Rule Proposal

Posted by | Legislation/Bills, News, NJPPSA | No Comments

Recently the New Jersey Association of Professional Process Servers (NJPPSA) submitted a proposal to the New Jersey courts regarding the registering of process servers.  Under this proposal it was recommended that a new category of “registered process server” be added to the current rules surrounding process service.  The proposal states “these recommendations are not intended to affect, nor diminish, those presently authorized to serve process pursuant to R. 4:4-3(a)”.

The recent rule change in September 2000 allowed for private individuals to serve initial process in the same way and manner as the sheriff and since then the use of private process servers has increased dramatically.  There is currently no way for legal professionals to be aware of the varied levels of experience, competence and integrity of the many individuals who joined the process serving industry once the rule was changed.  By having a list of registered process servers, it would serve to be in the best interests of the courts and legal professionals so they can better identify and select a qualifying process server.

Part of the requirements for becoming registered would include:

  • NJPPSA member in good standing
  • Attend the NJPPSA Certification Course
  • Certification under penalty of perjury that an applicant has not been committed of a crime
  • Proof of at least one year prior experience in serving subpoenas and civil process in the United States
  • Pass a written examination designed to demonstrate a working knowledge of the rules, statutes, practices and procedures for service of process within the State of New Jersey

Once registered, New Jersey process servers would receive uniform identification cards and have their names appear on a court published registry.

Verbal confirmation has been received that this proposal has been denied but we have yet to receive anything in writing from the courts.  Had the proposal been approved it would have been a great way to distinguish those process severs who “are of a good moral character, free of criminal records, adhere to high professional and ethical standards, are educated, and able to demonstrate a knowledge and proficiency in the service of process”.

NJPPSA will be challenging the denail in the upcoming months and we will keep you updated on the outcome.

 

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Why Process Servers Need Felonies

Posted by | Associations, Legislation/Bills, NAPPS, News | No Comments

On August 12th Illinois made attacking a process server a felony.   Bill Clutter, one of the founders of ILAPPS, helped start the process of making this a law after one of his process servers was nearly choked to death. Those in the industry know how dangerous this line of work can be and it would benefit everyone if all states were to follow in Illinois’ footsteps.

Recently another incident of an attack on a process server has occurred in Arizona, where a server was shot after trying to serve an individual on four separate occasions.  While the process server was able to make it back to his car and is in stable condition, this situation emphasizes the need for increased legislation to protect process servers.  Many states have associations and while there are a number of reasons to belong to your state association, one of the most important is to enact positive legislation for our industry while defending against the negative bills.  ALL states should have legislation making attacking a process server a felony.  The New Jersey Association of Professional Process Servers is currently pursuing this as are other states.

For the safety of yourself and your fellow process servers, consider joining your state association and taking an active role in enacting bills which once passed would provide greater protection to those in our industry.

State Associations (from the NAPPS website):

Arizona Process Servers Association (APSA)
Chartered in 1986
President: Larry Ratcliff
Phone: (928) 367-0510
For membership Info contact:
Patty Chlebanowski (602) 254-7427
P.O. Box 2233
Phoenix, AZ 85002
website: www.arizonaprocessservers.org
California Association of Legal Support Professionals (CALSPro)
Chartered in 1985
President: Chad Barger
Phone: (661) 327-8022
For membership info contact:
CALSPro Admin. Office (916) 239-4065
2520 Venture Oaks Way, #150
Sacramento, CA 95833
e-mail: info@calspro.org
website: www.calspro.org
Florida Association of Professional Process Servers (FAPPS)
Chartered in 1993
President: Bob Musser
Phone: (407) 679-1539
For membership info contact:
Justin Petrae (877) 383-2777
P.O. Box 72
Melbourne, FL 32902-0072
e-mail: administrator@fapps.org
website: www.fapps.org
Michigan Court Officer, Deputy Sheriff & Process Servers Association (MCODSA)
Chartered in 2007
President: Tim Sutherland
Phone: (586) 939-0880
For membership info contact:
MCODSA Admin. Office (800) 99-CIVIL
3105 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Lansing, MI 48910
e-mail: president@mcodsa.com
website: www.mcodsa.com
New Jersey Professional Process Servers Association (NJPPSA)
Chartered in 2002
President: Gerald Colasurdo
Phone: (973) 403-1700
For membership info contact:
Ethel Smith (732) 431-9112
378 Taylors Mills Road
Englishtown, NJ 07726
e-mail: info@njppsa.org
website: www.njppsa.org
New York State Professional Process Servers Association (NYSPPSA)
Chartered in 2002
President: Lawrence Yellon
Phone: (516) 248-8270
For membership info contact:
Vincent or Robert Gillis (631) 503-7076
PO Box 632
Moriches, NY 11955
e-mail: admin@nysppsa.org
website: www.nysppsa.org
Oregon Association of Process Servers, Inc. (OAPS)
Chartered in 1995
President: Matt Klein
Phone: (541) 335-2258
For membership info contact:
Carrie Ellish (503) 241-0636
e-mail: membership@oapsonline.com
website: www.oapsonline.com
Texas Process Servers Association (TPSA)
Chartered in 2002
President: Kathy Burrow
Phone: (254) 399-9400
For membership info contact:
Brenda Atteberry (254) 399-9400
815-A Brazos Street
Austin, TX 78701
website: www.texasprocessservers.org
Washington State Process Servers Association (WSPSA)
Chartered in 1988
President: Robert A. Woodworth, Jr.
Phone: (206) 652-2692
For membership info contact:
Eric Vennes (206) 356-0875
13300 Bothell Everett Hwy., Box #674
Mill Creek, WA 98012
e-mail: exdirector@wspsa.com
website: www.wspsa.com

 

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