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LETTERS ROGATORY: PROCEDURE AND FORMAT

Supreme Court

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Letters rogatory or letters of request are a formal request from a court to a foreign court for judicial assistance. Letters rogatory are usually used in matters of taking evidence or service of process. A court often requires assistance from a foreign court in the procurement of witness evidence. It can ensure the same either via seeking to answer questions relevant to determining an issue of fact or for disclosure of documents. Letters rogatory provide courts with the aid to subpoena witnesses from foreign judicial or legislative authority. 

SERVICE OF PROCESS IN CALIFORNIA

California

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Once formal notice has been given to the other party, the legal process has been said to have started. Service of the court papers means that the defendant is supplied with a copy of any paper filed with the court. Consequently, a third person [the server] delivers the paperwork so that the judge can make a permanent order or judgment.  The process server is required to carefully fill out and sign the Proof of Service detailing how service was done, on whom, where, and when and file it with the court clerk. A copy of this proof is provided to the plaintiff. 

PROCESS SERVER REQUIREMENTS ACCORDING TO THE STATES

United States

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Hiring a process server is an important step in ensuring a legal matter is heard by the court with as little hassle as possible. The process server’s role is to provide the defendants with notice of a pending lawsuit asserted against them.

Process service regulations ensure that the server responsible for delivering documents meets federal and state requirements for the process. A few states include acquiring a process server license in the compliance necessary actually to begin work as a server. The rules are not uniform across the country, and many states do not require the servers to be licensed. Even though the number of states with mandatory licensing is growing, the country’s main requirements specify that the server needs to be of age (eighteen years old) and disinterested in the case. This means that the server cannot be a party in the ongoing case.

FOREIGN SOVEREIGN IMMUNITIES ACT: SUING A FOREIGN COUNTRY

Federal Courts

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act is enacted to comprehend the limits of litigation against a foreign entity. Essentially, it provides an understanding of the circumstances where the breach of a power’s immunity is considered acceptable as a charge. Questions for the FSIA reform have always been hotly argued to resolve the interpretation and the scope of the statute in determining legal matters.

UNDERSTANDING FEDERAL AND STATE WITNESS FEES STATE BY STATE

Subpoena

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Calling witnesses to deposition is a long process that needs to check quite a few boxes, particularly the fee that has to be paid for these witnesses’ production. Individuals are required to be paid for their time and mileage to the office or courthouse.

However, not all witness fees are created equal, and not all states actually require witness fees. The rules surrounding them are also exceedingly different based on the state. Consequently, it can get difficult for attorneys to determine when a witness fee must be sent and how much it should be.

HIPPA COMPLIANCE A COMPLETE BREAKDOWN

HIPPA

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was a law enacted at the federal level creating national standards for disclosing sensitive patient information. This prevented information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent. The act itself covers health insurance coverage for workers and their families [Title I of HIPAA,] national identifiers and electronic health care transaction provisions [Title II,] guidelines for pre-tax medical spending accounts[Title III], health insurance reform, including individuals with pre-existing conditions and those seeking continued coverage [Title IV]. Title V governs company-owned life insurance policies.

HOW TO NAVIGATE NEW YORK STATES PROBATE PROCESS

Probate

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

When an individual dies leaving a Will, the probate proceedings must be set into motion. Probate essentially is the approval of the terms of the testator’s will by a judge to ensure that the assets and possessions are distributed to the decedent’s beneficiaries without a snag. An individual who dies intestate or leaving assets worth less than USD 50,000 does not need to follow the same procedure. An executor is appointed to smooth the proceedings but can only begin the procedure once the will is admitted to probate by the county of demise’s Surrogate Court. This process needs to be initiated to verify that the will is valid and accurately reflect the testator’s wishes. The Surrogate’s Court appreciates the assets, property, and possessions [collectively called the estate] by the beneficiaries’ names in the will.

UNDERSTANDING THE CHANGES TO NEW YORK LANDLORD TENANTS LAWS

EVICTION LAWS

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

The “Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act” has seen significant changes be enacted into landlord-tenant rights and obligations in New York. Modifications have been made to the substantial bulk of the NY legal matrices. The Act has been controversial and can seem to have a chilling effect on pre-existing real estate and landlord-tenant laws.

[1.0] CHANGE IN STATUTE FOR NOTIFICATION

Provide Rent Receipts and Late Payment Notices.

From July 2019, the onus of requesting a residential tenancy receipt was shifted from the tenants to the landlords themselves. Rather than repeatedly request receipts, it becomes necessary for a landlord to provide receipts for the lease term after an initial receipt. This might be done immediately upon personal delivery or within fifteen days of payment in case of indirect or online payment.  Landlords further expected to maintain records of cash receipts for at least three years, available upon tenant’s request, or if rent is paid in any form other than a personal check.

HOW TO BECOME A PROCESS SERVER IN NEW YORK

New York

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Process serving is a part of the United States’ legal system, referring to the delivery of key legal documents like the complaint, summons, etc. It refers to the procedure through which notification is provided to the defendant as to the legal action initiated against them and is done to ensure that the court’s personal jurisdiction requirements on the parties are fulfilled. If the defendant ignores further pleadings or fails to participate in the proceedings, the court may find the defendant in default and award relief to the petitioner.

The server can be [A.] a friend or relative, [B.] a co-worker [C.]  county sheriff or marshal [D.] a process server; or [D.] anyone over 18. However, it is necessary to ensure that whoever the server is, they are of age (eighteen years old at least) and that they are a disinterested party who is not remotely party to the case. The service then needs to be done so that the opposition has enough time to prepare. Finally, the server needs to fill out a proof of service form detailing the service report and returning said proof to file the same with the county clerk in the court.

Serving Divorce Papers In New York

divorce

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Service of process for a divorce case differs from traditional service. In a divorce petition [or divorce summons], the exact details of what is being sought and the marriage information are crucial. 

The first step before service is filing the paperwork at the county court to ensure the court has jurisdiction over the case and can thus allow the notification of the initiation of divorce proceedings to the other spouse. Filing the form with the county clerk usually involves a certain fee to be paid to obtain the index number. It is often required to fill out the Index Number Application Form. Consequently, the parties’ particulars will have to be provided (either by representative attorneys or the parties themselves.)

The process for filing divorce needs to be communicated as soon as possible insofar as the other spouse needs to address questions asked and actually have knowledge of what they are being asked. Consequently, service must be done in a reasonable amount of time. The stakes are higher in a divorce case, as the court must be sure that the receiving spouse has been made aware of the divorce case. Mostly, attorneys take care of the same. If not, however, there are ways of ensuring that divorce papers are served.