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Question on summons


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I live in western NY and am trying to find out how a summons must legally be served to a defendant. A ca made a judgement against me and claims the sent me a summons. If they did it was most likely to a proir address. I thought for a summons to be served legally that it must be served to a persons proper resident, to the person themself, or to a competent person who shares their dwelling. I can't find anything that describes proper serving laws for Western NY state. Does anyone know?

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The rules for proper service can be found in the New York State Civil Practice Law & Rules. A quick glance on my part seems to indicate that they can serve you via first class mail, publication, or taping it to the door of your last known address.

Or they may simply have filed against you in small claims court.

http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/nyc/smallclaims/startingcase.shtml

The notice of your claim will be sent to the defendant by certified mail and by ordinary first class mail. If the notice sent by ordinary first class mail is not returned by the post office within 21 days as undeliverable, the defendant is presumed to have received notice of your claim, even if the notice of claim sent by certified mail has not been delivered.

If the notice went to your previous address, and it wasn't sent back as "Refused" or rejected in another way, the Plaintiff will obtain a default judgment against you if they show up.

You may be in luck, though. The rules allow you a specific recourse:

S 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.
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