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should i reply to summons


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A friend in New York tells me a summons to appear in court addressed to me (years ago I used her address for mailing purposes) was stuck to the outside door of her apartment. She has emailed it to me. Contrary to the statement I have not recieved any paperwork. Here's the thing - I have not lived in New york for more than three years, in fact I live overseas. I am not an American citizen nor do I have a bank account in the USA, nor an employer (although i occasionally receive small amounts of payment for freelance work from the US.) I would hate to have a judgement against me, but I'm wondering whether I should be bothered responding or not. I cannot deliver the request to vacate in person obviously. Clearly I have several grounds to vacate. (And by the way, all mail to me at my friend's place is always returned to sender with my overseas address on it - there's no excuse for the creditors using my friend's address to serve me, if sticking a letter to a door is serving.) I'd be grateful for any advice on what I should do. I assume they will not pursue me outside the USA. Many thanks for your facinating website.

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In NYS, you can leave n'mail or nail n mail by leaving by leaving a copy at teh actual place of business, dwelling place or usual place of abode and mailing to the last known residence or actual place of business.

So, if you use the address for business purposes or as a place of abode when you come to NYS , it may be approriate.

You may want to write the plaintiff's lawyer a letter saying you do not live in the US, have no contacts with NYS, that this address is not your business, dwelling or place of abode and that if they take a default judgment based on that address you will sue them under the FDCPA and turn them into the grievance committee for taking a judgment when they know service is no good.

They may ignore you, but you have done your best under the circumstances.

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(And by the way, all mail to me at my friend's place is always returned to sender with my overseas address on it - there's no excuse for the creditors using my friend's address to serve me, if sticking a letter to a door is serving.)
Your mail being forwarded to you at your overseas address by the USPS means only that the USPS has your new address. Unless you provided this particular creditor with your overseas address at the time you moved, and that had always been the address at which you had received your bills from them, then service on that address is appropriate.
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What is there to vacate? In the lower courts in NYS, you do not have to file for an index number before serving the papers. If the plaintiff mailed and filed, as he is supposed to, there will be a file number. He could always file an answer defending that the coourt has no personal jurisdiction over him, but then he will have to show up to avoid a default at trial.

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