Serving Legal Process – Importance of Keeping Accurate Legal Document Serving Records.
May 7, 2023
We recently located this interesting article about process servers in New York, USA and how they are concerned about “sewer service” and are tightening the rules to ensure regulations are met.
It makes you appreciate why using a true document serving professional and an experienced process server is vital. Our legal document serving management software records the GPS coordinates of where service was effected, or a service attempt was made.
Our process servers are trained and experienced with the New Zealand requirements surrounding the service of legal process (Court proceedings). We keep accurate records of all service attempts and related action to provide detailed evidence if required.
Written by Jules Doodnath
Process servers are fully aware that they must follow New York City’s statutes and Administrative Code regulations. The rules mandate how to serve process in many different situations and how to include the nature of service in the mandated logbook.
The rules and regulations are enforced by New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs. These rules explain how to use a logbook and what is necessary to be included in an affidavit of service which will be filed with the Court and signed by the licensed New York City process service and notarized under penalty of perjury.
But just as important for the process server is the creation and maintenance of complete and accurate records of each particular instance of service attempted or made. First, if a person in a lawsuit challenges the service of process, the server must be able to demonstrate its validity.
Second, city regulators are stepping up efforts to oversee the profession and want proof that process servers are performing their duties correctly. The failure to do so may result in exorbitant fines or the suspension of the license to serve papers in the five boroughs.
Valid service of process is a prerequisite for a lawsuit to proceed. So it is not uncommon for a named defendant to take the earliest opportunity to stop or delay the litigation. This will result in the Court scheduling a traverse hearing to determine whether the service was indeed proper.
To uphold the validity of the service, the process server must be able to show that quality record-keeping system is in place and that proper practices under the law are always followed. The easiest way to show this is for the licensed process server to maintain an up to date logbook.
In that sense the logbook could be entered into evidence and the process service can testify that the entries in them were inputted in the ordinary course of business. If a judge can see that the record keeping is accurate, the process server will most likely prevail in the traverse hearing.
You will have instant credibility in defending the service of process; that is, to show that service was validly made, and that the filed proof of service is technically complete and sufficient.
The Department of Consumer Affairs have become increasingly concerned in recent years about “sewer service” which is a failure to serve the documents despite a proof of service declaring that service was completed. This has allowed plenty of default judgments to go through the courts and judgments handed out against defendants in particularly debt collection and bankruptcy cases.
As a result of this, New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs issued more than 500 subpoenas on process servers for their records on their global positioning systems (GPS). The GPS coordinates would show where exactly the process server alleged they were located when they served the legal papers.
Many did not have the required GPS coordinates or the GPS showed a location that was outside the location where the service was purportedly completed. The Department of Consumer Affairs allows you to enter your GPS within a half a mile from where service was effectuated.