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New York Rules of Civil Procedure

Does a process server have to be licensed in New-York?

In some areas, yes. There is not a statewide license, but there are local process serving requirements. Please see “New York Process Server Licensing Requirements” to learn more.

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New York Process Server Licensing Requirements

New York City’s 5 Burroughs
New York requires all process servers within each of the 5 boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens) to be licensed through the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. Individual process servers must pay a surety bond of $10,000, and agencies must pay a bond of $100,000 to be effective for their entire license term. Process servers must also pass a test on relevant rules and laws before being issued a license or renewal. Rules of the City of New York, subchapter W, §2.231, et seq and §20-403, et seq.

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New York Rules of Civil Procedure

Please note that lobbyists are active in the state of New York and laws concerning civil procedure and process serving can change. Therefore the information listed below may have been amended. For updated process serving legislation, please visit the New York Judiciary and Courts, which can be found at the
New York Unified Court System site.

Rule 305. Summons; supplemental summons, amendment.

Rule 306. Proof of service.

Rule 306-a

Index number in an action commenced in supreme or county court.

Rule 306-b

Service of the summons and complaint, summons with notice, or of the third-party summons and complaint.

Service of the summons and complaint, summons with notice, or of the third-party summons and complaint shall be made within one hundred twenty days after their filing, provided that in an action or proceeding where the applicable statute of limitations is four months or less, service shall be made not later than fifteen days after the date on which the applicable statute of limitations expires. If service is not made upon a defendant within the time provided in this section, the court, upon motion, shall dismiss the action without prejudice as to that defendant, or upon good cause shown or in the interest of justice, extend the time for service.

Rule 307. Personal service upon the state.

Rule 308. Personal service upon a natural person.

Personal service upon a natural person shall be made by any of the following methods:

Rule 309. Personal service upon an infant, incompetent or conservatee.

Rule 310. Personal service upon a partnership.

Rule 310-a. Personal service upon a limited partnership.

Rule 311. Personal service upon a corporation or governmental subdivision.

Rule 311-a. Personal service on limited liability companies.

Rule 312-a. Personal service by mail.

Statement of Service by Mail and Acknowledgement of Receipt by Mail of Summons and Complaint or Summons and Notice or Notice of Petition and Petition

To: (Insert the name and address of the person or entity to be served.)

The enclosed summons and complaint, or summons and notice, or notice of petition and petition (strike out inapplicable terms) are served pursuant to section 312-a of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.

To avoid being charged with the expense of service upon you, you must sign, date and complete the acknowledgement part of this form and mail or deliver one copy of the completed form to the sender within thirty (30) days from the date you receive it. You should keep a copy for your records or your attorney. If you wish to consult an attorney, you should do so as soon as possible before the thirty (30) days expire.

If you do not complete and return the form to the sender within thirty (30) days, you (or the party on whose behalf you are being served) will be required to pay expenses incurred in serving the summons and complaint, or summons and notice, or notice of petition and petition in any other manner permitted by law, and the cost of such service as permitted by law will be entered as a judgment against you.

If you have received a complaint or petition with this statement, the return of this statement and acknowledgement does not relieve you of the necessity to answer the complaint or petition. The time to answer expires twenty (20) days after the day you mail or deliver this form to the sender. If you wish to consult with an attorney, you should do so as soon as possible before the twenty (20) days expire.

If you are served on behalf of a corporation, unincorporated association, partnership or other entity, you must indicate under your signature your relationship to the entity. If you are served on behalf of another person and you are authorized to receive process, you must indicate under your signature your authority.

It is a crime to forge a signature or to make a false entry on this statement or on the acknowledgement.

I received a summons and complaint, or summons and notice, or notice of petition and petition (strike out inapplicable terms) in the above- captioned matter at (insert address).

PLEASE CHECK ONE OF THE FOLLOWING; IF 2 IS CHECKED, COMPLETE AS INDICATED:

Rank:________________________________ Serial number:_________________________ Branch of Service:______________________

TO BE COMPLETED REGARDLESS OF MILITARY STATUS:

Date:_________________________________________ (Date this Acknowledgement is executed)

I affirm the above as true under penalty of perjury.

__________________________________ Signature __________________________________ Print name __________________________________ Name of Defendant for which acting __________________________________ Position with Defendant for which acting (i.e., officer, attorney, etc.)

PLEASE COMPLETE ALL BLANKS INCLUDING DATES BY MAIL.

Rule 313. Service without the state giving personal jurisdiction.

A person domiciled in the state or subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the state under section 301 or 302, or his executor or administrator, may be served with the summons without the state, in the same manner as service is made within the state, by any person authorized to make service within the state who is a resident of the state or by any person authorized to make service by the laws of the state, territory, possession or country in which service is made or by any duly qualified attorney, solicitor, barrister, or equivalent in such jurisdiction.

Rule 314. Service without the state not giving personal jurisdiction in certain actions.

Service may be made without the state by any person authorized by section 313 in the same manner as service is made within the state:

Rule 315. Service by publication authorized.

The court, upon motion without notice, shall order service of a summons by publication in an action described in section 314 if service cannot be made by another prescribed method with due diligence.

Rule 316. Service by publication.

Rule 317. Defense by person to whom summons not personally delivered.

A person served with a summons other than by personal delivery to him or to his agent for service designated under rule 318, within or without the state, who does not appear may be allowed to defend the action within one year after he obtains knowledge of entry of the judgment, but in no event more than five years after such entry, upon a finding of the court that he did not personally receive notice of the summons in time to defend and has a meritorious defense. If the defense is successful, the court may direct and enforce restitution in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as where a judgment is reversed or modified on appeal. This section does not apply to an action for divorce, annulment or partition.

Rule 318. Designation of agent for service.

A person may be designated by a natural person, corporation or partnership as an agent for service in a writing, executed and acknowledged in the same manner as a deed, with the consent of the agent endorsed thereon. The writing shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the county in which the principal to be served resides or has its principal office. The designation shall remain in effect for three years from such filing unless it has been revoked by the filing of a revocation, or by the death, judicial declaration of incompetency or legal termination of the agent or principal.

2103 N.Y.C.P.L.R. Service of papers.

Article 23. Subpoenas, Oaths and Affirmations
§2301 N.Y.C.P.L.R. Scope of subpoena.

A subpoena requires the attendance of a person to give testimony. A subpoena duces tecum requires production of books, papers and other things. A child support subpoena is a subpoena issued pursuant to section one hundred eleven-p of the social services law by the department of social services or a social services district, or its authorized representative, or another state’s child support enforcement agency governed by title IV-D of the social security act.

§2302 N.Y.C.P.L.R. Authority to issue.

§2303 N.Y.C.P.L.R. Service of subpoena; payment of fees in advance.

§ 2306 N.Y.C.P.L.R. Hospital records; medical records of department or bureau of a municipal corporation or of the state.

§ 2307 N.Y.C.P.L.R. Books, papers and other things of a library, department or bureau of a municipal corporation or of the state.

Issuance by court. A subpoena duces tecum to be served upon a library, or a department or bureau of a municipal corporation or of the state, or an officer thereof, requiring the production of any books, papers or other things, shall be issued by a justice of the supreme court in the district in which the book, paper or other thing is located or by a judge of the court in which an action for which it is required is triable. Unless the court orders otherwise, a motion for such subpoena shall be made on at least one day’s notice to the library, department, bureau or officer having custody of the book, document or other thing and the adverse party. Such subpoena must be served upon such library, or such department or bureau of such municipal corporation or of the state or an officer having custody of the book, document or other thing and the adverse party at least twenty-four hours before the time fixed for the production of such records unless in the case of an emergency the court shall by order dispense with such notice otherwise required. Compliance with a subpoena duces tecum may be made by producing a full-sized legible reproduction of the item or items required to be produced certified as complete and accurate by the person in charge of such library, department or bureau, or a designee of such person, and no personal appearance to certify such item or items shall be required of such person or designee, unless the court shall order otherwise pursuant to subdivision (d) of rule 2214 of this chapter. Where a stipulation would serve the same purpose as production of the book, document or other thing and the subpoena is required because the parties will not stipulate, the judge may impose terms on any party, including the cost of production of the book or document, and require such cost to be paid as an additional fee to the library, department or officer.

§ 2308 N.Y.C.P.L.R. Disobedience of subpoena.

§ 11 Gen. Bus. Serving civil process on Sunday.

All service or execution of legal process, of any kind whatever, on the first day of the week is prohibited, except in criminal proceedings or where service or execution is specially authorized by statute. Service or execution of any process upon said day except as herein permitted is absolutely void for any and every purpose whatsoever.

§ 13 Gen. Bus. Maliciously serving process on Saturday on person who keeps Saturday as holy time.

Whoever maliciously procures any process in a civil action to be served on Saturday, upon any person who keeps Saturday as holy time, and does not labor on that day, or serves upon him any process returnable on that day, or maliciously procures any civil action to which such person is a party to be adjourned to that day for trial, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

§ 89-t Gen. Bus. Definitions.
For this article, a process server is a person other than an attorney or a party to an action acting on his own behalf who: (a) derives income from the service of papers in an action; or (b) has effected service of process in five or more actions or proceedings in the twelve month period immediately preceding the service in question. A person who serves interlocutory papers upon an attorney or who serves papers on behalf of a federal, state or local governmental agency in the course of his employment by such agency shall not be deemed a process server within the meaning of this article by virtue of such service.

§ 89-u Gen. Bus. Process server records, penalties.

§ 89-v Gen. Bus. Enforcement by attorney general.

In addition to the other remedies provided, whenever there shall be a violation of this article, application may be made by the attorney general in the name of the people of the state of New York to a court or justice having jurisdiction by a special proceeding to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such violations; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or justice that the defendant has, in fact, violated this article, an injunction may be issued by such court or justice, enjoining and restraining any further violation, without requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. In any such proceeding, the court may make allowances to the attorney general as provided in paragraph six of subdivision (a) of section eighty-three hundred three of the civil practice law and rules. Whenever the court shall determine that a violation of this article has occurred, the court may impose a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each violation. Provided, however, a process server or agency may not be held liable for penalty in any action brought under this section for violation of this article, if the process server or agency shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error, notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid any such error. Examples of a bona fide error include, but are not limited to, clerical calculation, computer malfunction and programming and printing errors. In connection with any such proposed application, the attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil practice law and rules.

§ 89-bb Gen. Bus. Definitions. For the purposes of this article:

§ 89-cc Gen. Bus. Process server records.

§ 89-dd Gen. Bus. Process serving agency records.

§ 89-ee Gen. Bus. Responsibility of process serving agency and process servers.

It shall be unlawful for a process server to fail to set forth on any affidavit of service or process signed by him his license or registration number if such process server is required to be licensed or registered pursuant to any state or local law and the name and address of any process serving agency from whom he obtained the process for service if any.

§ 89-gg Gen. Bus. Availability of records.

All records required to be maintained by this article shall be retained by a process server or process serving agency for a minimum of three years and shall be available for inspection by the attorney general. The attorney general shall afford a process server or process serving agency at least five days prior written notice of its desire to make an inspection of records and shall specify the records to be inspected.

§ 89-hh Gen. Bus. Enforcement by attorney general.

In addition to the other remedies provided, whenever there shall be a violation of this article, application may be made by the attorney general in the name of the people of the state of New York to a court or justice having jurisdiction by a special proceeding to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such violations; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or justice that the defendant has, in fact, violated this article, an injunction may be issued by such court or justice, enjoining and restraining any further violation, without requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. In any such proceeding, the court may make allowances to the attorney general as provided in paragraph six of subdivision (a) of section eighty-three hundred three of the civil practice law and rules. Whenever the court shall determine that a violation of this article has occurred, the court may impose a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each violation. Provided, however, a process server or agency may not be held liable for penalty in any action brought under this section for violation of this article, if the process server or agency shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error, notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid any such error. Examples of a bona fide error include, but are not limited to, clerical calculation, computer malfunction and programming and printing errors. In connection with any such proposed application, the attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil practice law and rules.

§ 89-ii Gen. Bus. Preservation of private remedies.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to nullify or impair any right or rights which an individual may have against a process server or process serving agency at common law, by statute or otherwise.

§ 89-jj Gen. Bus. Preemption.

This article does not annul, alter, affect or exempt any person or business entity subject to the provisions of this article from complying with any local law, ordinance or regulation with respect to process servers or process serving agencies except to the extent that those laws are inconsistent with any provision of this article, and then only to the extent of the inconsistency. For purposes of this section, a local law, ordinance or regulation is not inconsistent with this article if the protection such law or regulation affords a consumer is greater than the protection provided by this article.

§ 89-kk Gen. Bus. Severability.

If any provision of this article or if any application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this article and the application of the provision to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

§ 89-ll Gen. Bus. Applicability.

This article shall apply only in cities having a population of one million or more.

Administrative Code of New York City
§ 20-403 License required.

It shall be unlawful for any person to be employed as or perform the services of process server without a license therefor.

§ 20-404 Definition.

§ 20-405 Exceptions.

§ 20-406 Application; fingerprinting.

§ 20-407 Fee; term.

The biennial license fee to be paid by such persons shall be three hundred forty dollars.

§ 20-408 Rules and regulations.

The commissioner may make and promulgate such rules and regulations as he or she may deem necessary for the proper implementation and enforcement of this subchapter.

§ 20-409 Issuance, renewal, suspension and revocation of a license.

You should contact an New York Process Server if you have specific questions about Process Serving in New York.