Clearing the Confusion: NY Process Server Rules Clarified

One of our last posts about New York process server regulations prompted some emails and questions regarding what rules need to be followed when serving New York cases out with the 5 boroughs (Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island) or serving out of state cases in New York.  To find out, we went straight to the top of the ladder and spoke with Larry Yellon, Immediate Past President of NAPPS and NYSPPSA to get some clarification.

Usually in most cases of process service the rules of the state being served in are what need to be followed, but sometimes when the affidavits are returned to the originating court they look to see that the original state’s process server rules are followed. For example, in New York state service on Sundays is not allowed. Process servers have varying practices and opinions as to whether or not to abide by that rule when serving a New York case in New Jersey, as in New Jersey we can serve on any day of the week.  Larry’s advice is not to serve a New York paper on Sunday as Section 11 of the New York General Business Law prohibits with no exceptions noted.

This varies from court to court but because affidavits can sometimes be rejected for that reason we usually try to follow both states’ codes. While it’s additional work, it’s less work than having to go back out and serve again when the court rejects the affidavit. These types of previous grey areas are what’s caused many process servers to be unclear on how the new rules impact them. Knowing that the courts are not always uniform in what they accept, the new DCA rules and regulations have some process servers wondering what exactly they need to be following. 

Most have heard of the extensive changes to the rules once the DCA became involved and it’s affected many servers across the country. We’ve heard stories of process servers outside of New York being told by their clients they have to follow the New York rules and obtain GPS coordinates. We’ve also heard some process servers outside the state who serve New York work were considering flying to New York and getting certified in order to be able to continue, as certification is a new requirement of the recent rule changes.

Larry Yellon was able to clear up clarify what these new rules meant and to who.

If you are not serving work in the 5 boroughs, you do not need to follow the new rule requirements if you are not licensed.

This means if you are not licensed and if you are receiving work from the 5 boroughs and serving it outside of that area, you do not need to use GPS requirements or get licensed. Of course your client can still decide this is what they want but legally there is no requirement to do so.

If you are serving work in the 5 boroughs that is coming from a case that originated in a court outside the 5 boroughs, you do not need to follow the new rule requirements.

For process servers in the 5 boroughs looking to avoid the possibility of fines and the need to implement GPS and third party tracking, you can just serve work coming in from other process servers and out of state firms whose cases originate from outside New York.

These rules only apply to the 5 boroughs.

Serving any New York court case in the 5 boroughs whether it is venued in the 5 boroughs or the state of New York requires the rules to be followed. However, a non-licensed process server serving a case venued in the 5 boroughs and being served elsewhere in New York does not require the rules to be followed.


Still have questions about the NY rules? Let us know! Chances are if you have a question about something someone else does too. We’ll try to get it answered and posted so everyone can find out. 

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