Wells Fargo

By Akanksha A. Panicker

Almost synonymous with the Gold Rush, Wells Fargo is one of the best-known banks in the country.  Wells Fargo ranks in third place in the United States, standing just behind JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America.  It is estimated that the corporation has upwards of two trillion dollars in capital. More than seventy million retail clients are served by the bank, which is now more than any other single financial institution in the United States. 

Wells Fargo today is the outcome of a 1998 integration between San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Company and Minneapolis-based Norwest Corporation. This merger was then followed by the 2008 acquisition of Charlotte-based Wachovia.  Along with JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup, Wells Fargo is one of the United States’ ‘Big Four Banks.’ 

Lesser known, perhaps, is the Wells Fargo History Museum. Early stagecoaches, photography, gold nuggets, telegraph, and railroad machinery are on exhibition in these museums. Pertaining to the Gold Rush of 1897, Wells Fargo opened the museum in Anchorage, Alaska, which contains a significant amount of Alaskan Native objects, a number of Alaskan ivory carvings, and includes several of Alaska’s artists, as well as those of course, and exhibits historical information regarding  Wells Fargo in this period.


Transferring capital from lower-valued uses to higher-valued uses is the prime act of intangible transaction. This is where banking as an activity is majorly successful.  Still, after all that, it does not mean Wells Fargo has stopped distinguishing itself as one of the top U.S. lenders. To identify how Wells Fargo earns money, the observable practice is how the bank (and other financial institutions) subsists by lending funds out at a pace that outstrips what it owes. However, there is much more to it than the return on investment. 

In major measure, Wells Fargo was formed by the merger of mega-regional banks and huge regional acquisitions.  Development has almost always been steady and paced at Wells Fargo for around half a century, fluctuating between years and decades for the rest of the century until the firm combined with Norwest Corporation in 1998.  It turned out a decade later that Wells Fargo acquired out Wachovia, on the East Coast. They also have clients on the East Coast and the West Coast in the tally with their portfolio total client base.

Today, Wells Fargo classifies their activities into three categories for reporting results, which are Community Banking; Wholesale Banking; Wealth Investment, and Brokerage and Retirement. However, Wells Fargo has an extensive range of financial services on offer, which broadly fall between these categories but span a wide set of functions.

Wealth and Investment Management: This division provides wealth management facilities, along with investment and retirement plans, to corporate clients and high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs). Financial preparation, credit, and private banking are only a few of these facilities. Wells Fargo offers investment products through its subsidiaries, Wells Fargo Investments, LLC, and Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, as well as through national broker or dealer firms.

Wholesale Banking: The wholesale banking department of Wells Fargo is concerned about the financial requirements of domestic and international companies. This category encompasses thirteen distinct industry areas, including business finance, corporate banking, commercial real estate, insurance, and credit risk. In finance, the term wholesale has a somewhat different connotation than it does everywhere. Numerous banks omit the word entirely. However, it is a catch-all term at Wells Fargo for underwriting and trading asset-backed securities, as well as other forms of lending for major companies and also other banks.

Community Banking: This division of the bank’s activities provides daily banking services to retail and small business customers. Among the programs offered are checking and investment accounts, as well as loans and mortgages. The bank services these customers through its locations and automated teller machines (ATMs).

Wealth and Investment Management: Wealth and Investment Management is a term that refers to financial services provided to the wealthy. Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM) is the trade name for the mutual fund division of Wells Fargo & Co. This division of Wells Fargo’s company does more than offer guidance; it moreover assists clients in establishing foundations and resolving inheritance problems when they occur. Any affluent citizen understands—at minimum in the United States—that maintaining one’s fortune may be about as difficult as acquiring it. In total, Wells Fargo posted net profits of two billion USD in 2019 from asset management, brokerage, and retirement. Wealth and Investment Management, however, form one of the smallest portions of Wells Fargo’s business

Additionally, Wells Fargo manages crop insurance, commercial real estate, and syndicated energy loans. Numerous Fortune 500 businesses work with Wells Fargo for at least certain wholesale banking transactions. Of course, this is when they are not risk-shifting. Becoming a Wells Fargo wholesale client would actually have to require the individual to have total sales of at least USD five million.


Subpoenas may be served according to process service guidelines at any Wells Fargo Branch. Essentially, the branch will accept process service as done with the Subpoena Processing Chandler.  Further, information may be procured by contacting Wells Fargo over the phone. A subpoena can also be faxed to Wells Fargo Bank. Legal Order Processing often deals with legal information, wherein there are two different addresses for the same, a fact that must be considered when enacting process service.

Wells Fargo will only respond to subpoenas if they are served correctly and adhered to process service guidelines. All subpoenas must be served to Wells Fargo, identifying the North American branch considering the different process service requirements for out-of-state subpoenas. It is necessary for every subpoena to include the identity of the court from which the subpoena was issued as well as the identity of the court in which the underlying action is pending, complete with a proper citation of the title of the action and the civil action number. 

The entity in question must be specified to whom the subpoena is directed in order for process service to be considered applicable and not returned.  It should be noted that a request to quash, fix circumstances, or modify a subpoena must be presented as quickly as practicable in the court where the subpoena is recoverable. 

For process servers, the documents have to either be hand-delivered to a local branch or sent to the registered agent. CSC is the registered agent and is thus qualified to accept process service on behalf of the conglomerate. It is vital to procure accurate information about the address, which is why it is highly recommended for process servers when enacting process service to ask what the address is for the State where the subpoena is being issued. However, the address on the subpoena needs to still be their subpoena handling place or in person at the local branch that will be provided the process service. It is crucial to ensure this delivery is done by hand, as Wells Fargo will respond to subpoenas only if they are given to a local branch by hand or sent to the registered agent.

Whether an individual is planning to serve the Secretary of State with regard to Wells Fargo or avail the earlier addresses, it is important to know where one is sending their process service documentation. The server must have an authorized individual signed as a receiver for the process service to progress. If they refuse to accept the process service, there are further requirements for the server regarding the appropriate process.   In order to be effective,  it is important to try and to ascertain whether the summons has been served appropriately and accepted according to process service, with particular diligence to be enacted against the state’s Rule of Civil Procedure with the envelope. So, as long as one complied with the proper notification of process service and evidence delivery requirements on Wells Fargo, then the server would have successfully fulfilled the obligation to serve all documents upon the parties and the case can be initiated or the subpoena can be answered.


An application can also be submitted to the Supreme Court to withdraw or modify the subpoena, accompanied by a motion to quash or alter a document, or to amend the subpoena. In addition, the grant or rejection to cancel or modify a petition can be subject to the required terms by means of fair circumstances, identification of reasonable conditions that could influence the grant of this amendment. Wells Fargo, through its specific division of Subpoena Processing Chandler,  can be compelled to appear or produce by the court if the serving party [A.]  shows a substantial need for the testimony or material that cannot be otherwise met without undue hardship; and [B.]  ensures that the subpoenaed person will be reasonably compensated.

It is necessary to accurately address the subpoena to firms with requisite process service obligations; mailing and personal distribution of subpoenas to an incorrect address would mean that the subpoena request itself may face interruption and denial. Subpoenas may therefore indicate which documents and data are being obtained as per requirements of process service. Any subpoenas issued with broad demands ( for example, ‘any and all’ is a key term that is too broad) can yield restricted responses. The registered agent’s responsibilities include [A.] retaining a New York street address (that does not include a PO box, private postal box, or mail service), [B.] obtaining process service for the company;[C.] receiving other official papers mailed or sent on the behest of the business, such as license renewal notices; and [D.] promptly forwarding all legal papers acquired via process service issued to the business owner.

Professional agents occasionally have additional requirements they offer, such as reviewing and recording registry papers, providing notices when annual reports or license renewals are required, and information storage.


Beginning in 2016, a nearly never-ending string of controversies have embroiled Wells Fargo: the development of phony deposit and credit card accounts, the illegal acquisition of insurance premiums on behalf of customers, inappropriate auto-loan and mortgage procedures, and the modification of consumer data—practices that date back at least fifteen years and were only agreed to after journalistic and regulatory inquiries. Wells Fargo has been fined billions of dollars by the government, settled felony and civil lawsuits, and made payments to injured parties. Nonetheless, it is probable that the bank’s misdeeds would proceed to taint its reputation in the presence of a cynical public.

Owing to Wells Fargo’s ‘widespread consumer abuses,’ the Federal Reserve capped the bank’s assets whose worth extended past USD 1.95 trillion. The limit resulted in the bank’s overall market valuation plummeting by hundreds of billions of dollars.  The Los Angeles Times revealed in December 2013 that frustrated branch workers created phony account balances and credit cards in order to fulfill their sales targets. The bank refuted any of the charges at the time of the story. To qualify for incentives, Wells Fargo workers were required to meet massive revenue targets that many deemed impractical. Instead of acquiring new clients, workers secretly opened accounts for former Wells Fargo customers. Employees also signed them up using fictitious email addresses and personal identifying numbers (PINs), apparently in the hope that no one would know. Small sums of money were also added to these accounts to give them the appearance of legitimacy. 

On April 20, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reported a billion-dollar fine against Wells Fargo for mistreating auto loan and mortgage customers. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had conducted an audit and discovered that Wells Fargo encouraged active trading by brokerage clients on high-fee debt items that were meant to be kept to maturity. The bank agreed without acknowledging or rejecting wrongdoing, promising to refund USD 1.1 million in bad income and fees, as well as a USD 4 million settlement.

For more information on serving legal papers, contact a Professional Process Service (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.


1. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Subpoena Processing Chandler
P.O. Box 29728
Phoenix, AZ 85038

2. Ph: (480) 724-2000

3. email:

4. Fax number 1-866-670-1561

5. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Legal Order Processing
P. O. Box 29779
Phoenix, AZ 85038

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Legal Order Processing
P. O. Box 1416
Charlotte, NC 28201

6. Corporation Service Company: CSC is a company founded on 1 January 1899 that operates in a range of sectors. It is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, CSC has offices in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.

7. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 45. (3) Quashing or Modifying a Subpoena.

(A) When Required. On timely motion, the court for the district where compliance is required must quash or modify a subpoena that:

(i) fails to allow a reasonable time to comply;

(ii) requires a person to comply beyond the geographical limits specified in Rule 45(c);

(iii) requires disclosure of privileged or other protected matter, if no exception or waiver applies; or

(iv) subjects a person to undue burden.

(B) When Permitted. To protect a person subject to or affected by a subpoena, the court for the district where compliance is required may, on motion, quash or modify the subpoena if it requires:

(i) disclosing a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information; or

(ii) disclosing an unretained expert’s opinion or information that does not describe specific occurrences in dispute and results from the expert’s study that was not requested by a party.

8. “FINRA fines Wells Fargo, others $14 mln for records’ changeable format”. Reuters.

9. Wells Fargo fined $185M for fake accounts; 5,300 were fired USA Today, (last visited May 4, 2021) 

10. Blumenthal, Jeff (August 14, 2012), “Wells Fargo paying US$6.5M to settle charges with SEC”, Philadelphia Business Journal,


Bank of New York Mellon

By Akanksha A Panicker

With a very rich history behind this Institution, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation is among the three oldest banking companies in the United States and as one of the forerunner banks in the world via its Bank of New York ancestor. This fact is evidenced by the Bank having been instituted in June 1784 by a party that encompassed American Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

Although The Bank of New York Mellon itself came together in 2007, its veneration is a product of the culmination of a merger of two of America’s most long-standing banks. The Bank of New York was founded in 1784, Mellon Financial in 1869.


The Bank of New York Mellon has operations in thirty-five countries all throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and Asia-Pacific.  The bank’s key responsibilities are the management and service of institutional and high-net-worth clientele’s portfolios. Investment Services and Investment Management are the company’s two major divisions, which would include products for all stages of investing, spanning formation to trade, holding, administration, transmission, and consolidation. A majority of  Fortune 500 firms are among the financial institution’s leading customers.

Bank of New York Mellon follows the tradition of its ancestors and has two separate market monitoring entities that exist as separate business reporting segments being [A.] investment management and investment services. The differentiation is perplexing by its moniker; however, the former is consolidated into a single subsidiary, being The Bank of New York Mellon. However, wealth management that performs the asset services function of the group is managed by a subsidiary called BNY Mellon.


There still exist somewhat more microscale subsidiaries of the BNY, the majority of whom are devoted to trusts, featuring the BNY Mellon Investment Servicing Trust Company, BNY Mellon Trust Company of Illinois, BNY Mellon Trust Company of Delaware, and The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company.

The bewilderingly similar names for the subsidiaries add confusion to understanding the difference in the management of Bank of New York Mellon and its subsidiaries, especially with regards to New York City Process Service efforts in order to determine the entity. Critics may also indicate an international bent to this confusing tendency with reference to The Bank of New York Mellon SA/NV, the firm’s primary European activity. The corporation operates a number of hundreds of branches, the overwhelming bulk of which is incorporated in the United States or the British Isles, although they are frequently reached out to for out-of-state or international New York City Process Service purposes.  

Understanding the two major subsidiaries of the Bank Of New York Mellon is imperative.

  1. Investment Services: Investment Services accounts for a majority of the bank’s income, with over USD thirty trillion in assets under management or control. The company provides financial resources such as wealth management, alternate fund management, broker-dealer services, corporate trust services, and treasury services. Additionally, global liquidity facilities, foreign exchange, bond lending, middle- and back-office outsourcing, and depository receipts are accessible.

Pershing LLC, a division of the group, provides securities facilities such as execution, arbitration, and clearance. Additionally, it assists investment advisors in backroom operations. The business instituted a comprehensive Markets Group in 2014 to provide collateral management, securities financing, foreign exchange, and capital markets services. BNY Mellon Markets is the new moniker for the sector.

  1. Investment Management: BNY Mellon’s Investment Management business generates a smaller amount of the company’s revenue with still about a trillion in assets under management. It operates several asset management boutiques and remains the leading largest multi-boutique investment manager in the world.

BNY Mellon’s Wealth Management unit handles the private banking, estate planning, family office services, and investment servicing and management of high-net-worth individuals and families.  The Wealth Management division has attempted to expand its scope including opening eight new banking offices and launching an awareness campaign for wealth management services through advertising.

Over the past few years and the targeting of its rivals towards a more hi-tech banking system, the bank is focusing on developing an innovative software-driven and digital society. The corporation has been using artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI) to automate end-to-end processes in order to increase efficiency and mitigate operational expenses through infrastructure. Bank of New York Mellon has thus upgraded their storage centers and are working with fintech firms and other financial entities to identify and execute technological solutions.

As a result, the Bank of New York Mellon is expected to continue investing in technology growth. This investment would not only strengthen the company’s current infrastructure but will also allow it to acquire new technologies like its contemporaries.


While providing New York City Process Service and furnishing legal documents to the Bank of New York Mellon, especially a summons, it is important to comply with the requirements of documentation. As per New York City Process Service regulations, details must be provided as to the court and the parties, and it is imperative to address the right entity in order for the summons to be directed to the subsidiary and to include the relevant details as to name and address. Any legal documentation directed must also be signed by the Clerk of the Court and bear the court’s seal.

Rule 4(m) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the rules of New York City Process Service generally requires that the summons and complaint be served within ninety days of the date the complaint is filed. However, the court can extend the time, usually done to serve within ninety days after the date the summons is issued. If the complaint is not served within that time, the plaintiff should request an extension of time for service by complying with New York City Process Service regulations. 

To allow the effective plying of service on Bank of New York Mellon through the U.S. Marshals Service, the Clerk of Court is instructed to fill out a U.S. Marshals Service Process Receipt and Return form (‘USM-285 form’) for the purpose of New York City Process Service. The Clerk of Court is further instructed to issue a summons complying with federal regulations as well as New York City Process Service regulations and deliver to the Marshals Service all the paperwork necessary for the Marshals Service to affect New York City Process Service on the bank. Service will be effective on the date the papers are received provided that New York City Process Service has complied with all statutory requirements for effectuation.


For disclosure, the Bank of New York Mellon provided a listing of the Form 10-K concerning the Annual Reports stipulated with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Considering that a major portion of the firm’s business happens through its trust services, it is necessary for the Bank of New York Mellon to be eligible as a trustee as per the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 and as under the  Securities Exchange Act of 1934. 

The exhibits within the index of the Form need to be provided for easy access. It is a straightforward process to obtain a few cost copies of the Annual Report or proxy statement as filed with the SEC. Additionally, upon serving a written request either by email or to the physical address of the Corporate Secretary, whichever complies with the requirements of New York City Process Service, further information may be procured. Annual reports on the form itself are made available upon the company website, with quarterly reports as per Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K also being made available.

It is required to provide information as to the reports and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing such materials with or furnish them to, the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the ‘Exchange Act’). Furthermore, there is a necessity to include the signature of a senior officer for securitization or for the servicing function in Form 10-K, required on behalf of the depositor or the issuing entity respectively.  If multiple services are involved in servicing the pool assets, the senior officer in charge of the servicing function of the master servicer (or entity performing the equivalent function) must sign if a representative of the servicer is to sign the report on behalf of the issuing entity.   The materials are made available on the website of the Bank of New York Mellon for easy access via New York City Process Service and may also be availed of by personal written request. 

It is important to supply key information about the Trustee, being [A.] the name and address of the overarching authority who the Bank of New York Mellon would be subject to, [B.] the authority vested within the corporation to implement the powers related to corporate trust and [C.] the potential affiliations that the obligor may have with the Bank of New York. 

For the Bank of New York Mellon, there currently exists a triad of supervisory bodies. This would be the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the New York Clearing House Association.  Process, in the context of New York City Process Service upon the Superintendent, consists of the papers used to commence a lawsuit. These documents would be a summons, notice of petition, order to show cause) pursuant to which a party receives formal notice to appear or respond in court. The process as per New York City Process Service does not include subpoenas, motions, or any other pleadings in a pending lawsuit that are not described 


Each of the forms for the Exchange Act has been created with the need for transparency and above-board functioning for the entity in question. With Form 10-K, it is usually required to ensure the incorporation of the exhibits as such, which would mean that any exhibit that has been submitted as a form of reference to the Commission for the form will have to be incorporated by reference.

The Bank of New York Mellon can thus incorporate any exhibit that they previously submitted to the SEC as a reference to any other report as well. However, New York City Process Service adherent servers must keep in mind that the number of copies that have been made of any exhibit should be specifically understood. If this number falls short of the total required copied, the application must be amended to include all the missing copies for appropriate filing. Further, if there has been any modification done to the text of any incorporated exhibit, it must be filed with a document that specifies the exact text of the modification as well as a date of modification. 

With the Bank of New York, the on record exhibits with the SEC would be the Organization Certificate in order to depict the authority of the Bank of New York Mellon to conduct business and actually exercise its powers of corporate trust, [B.] the by-laws and documents that the Bank would have governing its functioning, [C.] the latest report of the condition of the bank that has been published under the express consent of its supervising authority, and [D.] the consent of the Bank itself.

Risk is an intrinsic component of investment, and Bank of New York Mellon must properly handle both its own and its clients’ risk factors. Apart from the inherent unpredictability of investments, BNY Mellon poses additional obstacles. Due to the bank’s towering daily transaction rate, it is vulnerable to operating risk induced by a device or knowledge failure. Additionally, the organization must respond to persistent legislative and regulatory threats. However, with over a trillion dollars worth of assets under management, Bank of New York Mellon still remains one of the largest asset managers in the world.

For more information on serving legal papers, contact New York City Process Service (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.


1.Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 4. Summons (m) Time Limit for Service. If a defendant is not served within 90 days after the complaint is filed, the court—on motion or on its own after notice to the plaintiff—must dismiss the action without prejudice against that defendant or order that service is made within a specified time. But if the plaintiff shows good cause for the failure, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period. This subdivision (m) does not apply to service in a foreign country under Rule 4(f), 4(h)(2), or 4(j)(1), or to service of a notice under Rule 71.1(d)(3)(A).

2. Meilleur v. Strong, 682 F.3d 56, 63 (2d Cir. 2012) (holding that it is the plaintiff’s responsibility to request an extension of time for service)

3. Samaroo v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon, 21 Civ. 2441 (AT), (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 2, 2021)

4. The Trust Indenture Act of 1939, codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 77aaa–77bbbb, supplements the Securities Act of 1933 in the case of the distribution of debt securities in the United States

5.The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 15 U.S.C. § 78a et seq is a law governing the secondary trading of securities in the United States of America. A landmark of wide-ranging legislation, the Act of ’34 and related statutes form the basis of regulation of the financial markets and their participants in the United States

6. Including those portions of BNY Mellon’s 2011 Annual Report to Shareholders (the ‘Annual Report’),

7. Secretary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, One Wall Street, New York, NY 10286.

8. Materials available;

  1. BNY Mellon’s Directors’ Code of Conduct, which is applicable to the directors; 
  2. BNY Mellon’s Corporate Governance Guidelines; 
  3. BNY Mellon’s Code of Conduct, which is applicable to all employees, including BNY Mellon’s senior financial officers and
  4. the Charters of the Audit, Corporate Governance and Nominating, Human Resources and Compensation, Risk and Corporate Social Responsibility Committees of the Board of Directors

9. Available at under ‘Investor Relations, Corporate Governance’ and also available free of charge in print by written request from the Secretary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation at One Wall Street, New York, NY 10286, or

10. Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services of the State of New York

One State Street, New York, N.Y. 10004-1417and Albany, N.Y. 12203

11. Federal Reserve Bank of New York33 Liberty Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10045Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation550 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20429

12. New York Clearing House Association New York, N.Y. 10005(b)

13. Service may be made by mailing or delivering the papers to the Department as follows:

  • By mail: addressed to New York State Department of Financial Services, Corporate Affairs Unit, One Commerce Plaza – 20th Floor, Albany, New York 12257.
  • In-person: at New York State Department of Financial Services, Office of General Counsel, One State Street, New York, NY 10004, or One Commerce Plaza, Albany, NY 12257.

14. Exchange Act Forms Corporation Finance: Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Forms and Associated Regulations), (last visited May 1, 2021) 


Rite Aid Pharmacy

By Akanksha A Panicker

Drugstores have become well known for their wide array of products, not altogether restricted to healthcare products alone. One of the largest drugstore chains, Rite Aid Corporation has established a strong foothold from its location in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.

 When Rite Aid was initiated in 1962, the chain was dubbed the Thrift D Discount Center at its first location when it was established in Scranton, Pennsylvania. From there, the firm has grown to be listed as one of the biggest companies in the United States based on gross revenues. Rite Aid is currently the East Coast’s leading drugstore chain and altogether the seventh-largest drugstore chain in the United States. 

On September 19, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) authorized a fourth arrangement for Walgreens to buy the Rite Aid stores. Instead of the merger, Walgreens and Rite Aid agreed to this deal for Walgreens to buy nearly two thousand Rite Aid stores and three distribution centers.


Being primarily a pharmaceutical chain of companies, medical information about individuals will be used and disclosed in order to provide service to the individual. Additionally, Rite Aid provides an understanding as to how this information may be accessed.  

The primary governing statute that Rite Aid works with regarding individual privacy is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (‘HIPAA’) Privacy Rule, which deals with national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information. The Privacy Rule applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct health care transactions electronically.

Rite Aid’s policy prior to releasing any protected information is to ask the requesting individual to sign an Acknowledgment that they have received via a Notice of Privacy Practices. This Notice provides insight into circumstances that Rite Aid may use and disclose protected health information to carry out treatment, payment, or health care operations. This notice delineates the purposes wherein Rite Aid may collect information as permitted or required by law. 

Majorly, Rite Aid will use information with regard to treatment, payment, and health care operations. Rite Aid accepts written or fax health information or prescription orders for the individual.  Protected health information will thus kick in in order to appropriately dispense prescription medications. Additionally, information may be provided in coordination with other health care providers, usually for prescriptions, lab work, or other healthcare. 

Since healthcare majorly concerns insurance, acceptable usage of your protected health information would be to obtain payment for products and services. The insurer or the third-party payor can be contacted to determine. 


It must be noted that the pharmacists may disclose any protected health information to another person with a close relationship to them (family, relative, or friend) or any person as identified by the individual as being involved in their health care. This could be as minimal as allowing those persons to pick up filled prescriptions, medical supplies, or medical records on behalf of the individual or even entering into a Business Associate contract to perform third person services.

Rite Aid also requires the disclosure of protected health information in legal circumstances. Federal and state laws allow Rite Aid to disclose this protected health information, especially with regard to circumstances with drugs, foods, supplements, and other health products or to furnish marketing surveillance to aid product recalls, repairs, or replacement. This information goes to the  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relative to adverse events and is important to understand the effects of the health products being offered. These items can also be released to public health or legal authorities who are responsible for preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability. Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic and measures, this information is essential to be provided. 

For the service of legal process, the information is also provided to law enforcement agencies as specifically required by law. This often comes in the context of a subpoena. This legal process information should emanate directly stemming from a court order, administrative order, subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful processes by another person involved in a dispute involving a patient. 

It is necessary for the patient must be intimated or attempted to have been intimated as to details about the request or to obtain an order protecting the requested protected health information, even it is considered necessary to comply with laws relating to worker’s compensation or similar programs established by law. Similar information provided to law or correctional agencies is important considering if the patient is incarcerated, wherein information will have to be provided to a correctional institution or its agents. Thus, if a patient is or becomes an inmate of such an institution, the responsibility of information from Rite Aid would become necessary for the patient’s health or the health and safety of others.


Information may also be provided to agencies that are responsible for supervising health like medical licensing boards. This information is necessary for inquiry by agencies as authorized by law, including audits, investigations, and inspections necessary for Rite Aid’s licensure and for the government to monitor the health care system. These agencies and law enforcement agencies would also comprise the release of information to a coroner or medical examiner when necessary. This could be to identify a deceased person or to determine a cause of death-wherein the law enforcement agency often comes into play-or to funeral directors consistent with applicable law to carry out their duties. 

This may also be necessary for terms of when individuals donate their organs, wherein the information is released to organ procurement or donation organizations or other bodies that may be involved in the procurement, banking, or transplantation of organs and transplant, consistent with applicable laws. 

It must be kept in mind that the main reason why the information would be provided from Rite Aid boils down to whether the release of the information is important in that situation. This is especially necessary to prevent a serious threat to the patient’s health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. This would also include when information is provided to a government authority, such as a social service or protective services agency, and if the patient agrees to the disclosure, or if the disclosure is allowed by law.

In the event that Rite Aid reasonably believes the patient to be a victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence and Rite Aid believes it is necessary to prevent serious harm to the patient or to someone else or the law enforcement or public official that is to receive the report represents that it is necessary and will not be used against the patient.


The Privacy Rule can also be superseded by a more stringent law or regulation than the HIPAA Privacy Rule if this regulation exists in that specific state.  Providing information about privacy is the responsibility of the Rite Aid Privacy Office for individual state law protections.  

Even for authorized uses and disclosures of protected health information, it is necessary to obtain this authorization in writing by the individual before using or disclosing any protected health information. This is especially true for marketing purposes or if the goal is to sell the protected health information. This Authorisation is not perpetual and can be in writing at any time. Upon receipt of the written revocation, Rite Aid is mandated to stop using or disclosing protected health information about you, except to the extent that the information has already been used based on the pre-existing Authorization.

The restriction of information in carrying out treatment, payment, or health care operations can also be ensured via a written request to the Privacy Officer. This restriction is immediately carried out if in context of a disclosure that is made for [A.]  carrying out payment or health care operations, [B.]  not otherwise mandated by law and [C.] concerning a healthcare item or service for which the individual has paid in full by virtue of their own financial capacity. Under these circumstances, Rite Aid would be required to follow the affirmative request not to disclose that information to a health plan. Other restrictions are not always binding unless Rite Aid specifically agrees to the same.,

Any individual can avail themselves of the right to request any communication to be made regarding protected health information is to be done via alternative means or locations. Rite aid can communicate through mail or calling one’s telephone, but can also comply with a reasonable request is done via written communication. 


Any individual has the right to inspect and obtain a copy of their protected health information as well as access and copy protected health information about them. The information that is contained in the designated record maintained as per general retention of document requirements. 

The designated record set usually will include prescription and billing records. To receive a copy, a written request should be sent to the Privacy Officer. Additionally, access is relatively simple to comply with, with forms for access requests being available in pharmacies. Any request made often comes with a  reasonable fee for the costs of copying, mailing, or other supplies that are necessary to grant the request. However, requests may be denied to inspect and copy, although this denial can be reviewed or appealed.  

Specific to pharmacies and healthcare providers, amending the protected health information maintained can be requested by the patient or any individual, especially if the information is incomplete or incorrect. This request can be made to enforce the amendment for as long as the information has been recorded. When mailing the request to the Privacy Office, it is imperative to include a reason that supports the request, which can sometimes be denied.  On the chance that the denial takes place, the individual has the right to file a statement of disagreement with the decision, to which a  rebuttal may be furnished.


For most disclosures of protected health information other than those made for treatment, payment, or health care operations, the individual has the right to receive an accounting of the disclosures that Rite Aid may have made in the six years before the date of the request for an accounting of disclosures of the protected health information. 

The accounting will exclude disclosures that have been direct to the individual or friends or family members involved in their care, or for disclosures for purposes specifically authorized in writing. The time period for the requested accounting should be specified and it cannot span longer than six years. The first accounting that has been requested within a twelve-month period is free. Any additional accountings within this year are chargeable, although Rite Aid will notify f the cost involved and the request at that time can be changed or revoked. Any individual is required to receive a paper copy of Notice Of Privacy Practices even if they  received the Notice electronically 


A Subpoena, Warrant, or Court Order will almost always be from [A.] a law enforcement agency  [B.] a health oversight agency (Board of Pharmacy, etc.), or [C.] a court or emanating from a court. It is necessary to direct these documents as addressed specifically to the individual store and being decided in its scope. This means that it must lay out whether the subpoena is issued in an effort to obtain prescriptions or copies of prescriptions or other related medical documents. 

If the subpoena, warrant, or court order does indeed seek out these prescriptions or medical records, the pharmacist should accept it and forward immediately to the Legal Department who will send out the records request. In the alternative, the subpoena, warrant, or court could also be issued in an effort to procure business records that do not concern necessarily prescriptions or medical information. It must be remembered that a subpoena, warrant, or court order should be faxed to the Legal Department at the corporate office upon receipt.

Information may be faxed to the Office, as long as the fax is prefaced by a cover sheet that includes a confidentiality disclaimer that can be procured from the files that the Rite Aid Portal Forms includes. It is also necessary to detail the date that the store received the document and any other information that the faxing individual may have concerning it.  Additionally, after the information is failed, the original version of the form should be provided to the Legal Department in a white postage-paid envelope.

A summons and complaint on Rite Aid or its employees should see that the documents are hand-delivered and directed to Rite Aid Corporation instead of being guided to the individual store in its intention to declare the initiation of a lawsuit.

Rite Aid Corporation has currently engaged CT Corporation as its registered agent and official receiver of process wherein the agent receives the summons on behalf of Rite Aid Corporation. CT Corporation maintains multiple office locations in several states and the individual or firm serving the summons must be aware of the location wherein service should be provided. Information can also be mailed in a Rite Aid postage-paid envelope to the legal department to the attention of the person responsible for the state. 

Apart from providing COVID-19 testing, Rite Aid is present to assist in the processing of vaccines in some areas with allocation and appointment availability continuing to increase.  This accessibility is dependent on the state or jurisdiction where the individual may reside or if they are eligible to receive a vaccine. 

For more information on serving legal papers, contact a Professional Process Service (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.


1. Walgreens Expands Covid-19 Vaccines To 49 States Forbes, (last visited Apr 29, 2021) 

2. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA or the Kennedy–Kassebaum Act Pub.L. 104–191 

3. Rite-aid, (last visited Apr 29, 2021) 

4. Independence Blue Cross and Rite Aid work together to help members secure COVID-19 vaccine appointments, (last visited Apr 29, 2021

5. Rite Aid Privacy Office at Privacy Office, Rite Aid, P.O. Box 3165, Harrisburg, PA 17105.

6. Subpoenas for Rite Aid Pharmacy should be addressed to:

Rite Aid Corporation
Attn: Legal Dept.
P.O. Box 3165
Harrisburg, PA 17105
Ph: (717) 761-2633 x6526
Fax: (717) 975-5952


Alycia Pote

(717) 761-2633 X5288

(717) 975-5952 Fax

Mail the SUBPOENAS, WARRANTS, OR COURT ORDERS after faxing to the attention of the associate in question (Legal Dept.) using a white postage-paid envelope.

8. A multi-national information services company based in the Netherlands with operations in over 35 countries

9.   If the person seeking to serve the Summons needs more information, they may contact CT Corporation by telephoning (800) 624-0909 or e-mailing at


By Akanksha A. Panicker

Smartphones have connected billions of people together, drawing the world to the touch of one’s fingertips.  Telecommunications companies have consequently boomed and Verizon has been one of them. Telecommunications companies have thus had the benefits of hosting the networks for these smartphones. 

Verizon Communications Inc. is an American international telecommunications corporation and a Dow Jones Industrial Average member. Verizon Communications (formerly Bell Atlantic) is a company providing communications, information, and entertainment products and services. Verizon currently  operates as two strategic business units: [A.] Verizon Consumer Group (Consumer) and [B.] Verizon Business Group (Business).

Verizon’s Consumer segment offers wireless and wireline communications services and equipment as well as sells residential fixed connectivity solutions, including Internet, video and voice services, and wireless network access to resellers on a wholesale basis. However, the Business segment provides wireless and wireline products and services organized by the primary customer groups, being Global Enterprise, Small and Medium Business, Public Sector and Other, and Wholesale as the groups.


AT&T’s anti-trust lawsuit meant that the United States Department of Justice directed the  Bell System to be split into seven entities, each one a Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC), colloquially known as ‘Baby Bells.’ Bell Atlantic, one of the Baby Bells, was established in 1984.

Many of Bell Atlantic’s service firms took on the identity of the parent firm as a key component. This was especially so since there was an entire overhaul of the Baby Bells throughout the 1990s. Bell Atlantic merged with partner Baby Bell NYNEX to spread into New York and the New England states. The remaining corporate name was Bell Atlantic, and the combined company relocated its headquarters from Philadelphia to NYNEX’s former headquarters in New York City. 

Post the 1990s and into the new millennium, Bell Atlantic purchased GTE, consolidating the network of telecommunications firms from the areas of the world beyond Bell Atlantic.  Bell Atlantic then changed its name to Verizon, a portmanteau of veritas (Latin for ‘truth’) and horizon.

Verizon moved into copyright ownership in 2015 with the acquisition of AOL, and two years later with the acquisition of Yahoo! Later,  AOL and Yahoo were merged under a single division called Oath Inc., which is now branded as Verizon Media. Verizon has been one of the remaining three businesses with origins in the old Baby Bells. The other two, including Verizon, are the product of mergers between former Baby Bell participants. SBC Communications purchased the Bells’ previous parent company, AT&T Corporation, and adopted the AT&T branding.



The Verizon Security Assistance Team (VSAT) ensures court orders, search warrants, subpoenas, and other legal demands served upon Verizon are processed confidentially and in compliance with all applicable laws, and coordinates court appearances for Verizon Custodian of Records. Correspondence can be communicated with the address provided for the VSAT specifically for records. 

Verizon Security Assistance Team only accepts some legal process which would include subpoenas, court orders, or search warrants for records. Most legal requests would have to be specifically addressed to the entity. However, legal demands for Subpoena can be faxed to VSAT at a specific number, distinct to the court orders or search warrants number. 

For Verizon Wireless, the mailing address is where the relevant documents may be provided. VSAT has a web-based interface that enables users to upload legal demands and receive responsive records via fax, secure email, or secure portal. Verizon encourages interested parties to inquire about this service.


Verizon Internet Services- dubbed Verizon Online-provides wholesale online dial-up, remote Internet access, and high bandwidth dedicated access.  Information from Verizon Online may be requested by the individual as long as it is accompanied by court order, considering that the information is highly sensitive. 

If the legal demand for IP information is required, often information like the IP address or the date of connection and time zone information is in question.  Consequently, Verizon cannot provide information that is not highly specific in its breadth and explicitly sought by court order for content information.   

Verizon’s Electronic Surveillance assistance team is also the team that deals with court requests. It aids in law enforcement and processes court-ordered traps and traces, which would also include features like 48-hour emergency court orders or pen registers. The Verizon Electronic Surveillance Assistance Team processes all court orders, which would also include information like Caller ID. Verizon’s ESAT is thus responsible for these specific requests and is responsible for court-ordered requests for pen registers and wire intercepts. 

It is imperative for court orders to layout the information that Verizon would have to furnish in order to be considered viable.  Typically, all court orders should include the following information, [A.]  specific information, facilities and details with regard to the form of assistance that would be imperative to undertake the installation of the wire intercept to the trap and trace or the pen register, [B.] the identity of the individual whose name has been specified with the telephone line or the intercept’s target as well as the identity of the individual who is at the center of the criminal investigation, [C.] the identity of the agency that has been authorized to collect the information from the interception as well as the agency that is to be billed for these interceptions, if they were not the same, [D.]  the contact telephone numbers, with each number being listened once only, with multiple numbers to be referenced under the same heading. 

Verizon cannot disclose the information as asked by the court order to anyone unless specifically mandated by the court and signed by the appropriate authority. Verizon also has a certain number of policies for the provision of information, wherein the law enforcement will not be provided with actual equipment like dial number recorders (DNRS) or Caller ID blocking units. Additionally, Verizon cannot allow for equipment to be connected inside central offices. 

It must be noted that Verizon will accept court orders via facsimile, mail, or in person.  Additionally, if necessary, Verizon Security can be allotted court order extensions n comply with the order if the original order expires before the interception has been completed, as long as the particular law enforcement submits the necessary documentation in time and prior to the expiration date of the original order. Verizon is liable to be compensated for the court order services or any other additional services. 


Verizon requires a court order for any attachments to Verizon-owned poles, including surveillance cameras.  For installations involving connection to the Verizon network, on a pole that is wholly owned by another utility company, Verizon requires a letter from the utility, advising that they have approved the installation.  

The Verizon Legal Compliance Team is a point of contact for processing legal requests concerning telephone records as set forth in Title 18, United States Code, Section 2703(c)(2), the main criminal code of the federal government of the United States. These requests concern information like the basic subscriber information like their name and address and the basic billing information and usage records. These also involve toll records that can be applied to the particular customer. 

The legal compliance team also deals with miscellaneous requests for records and specifiable compliance records. This would include employee records and Verizon Business records. Special computer searches can also be applicable here, wherein they process the incoming and outgoing calls for a highly specific telephone number on a particular day or time. Special Computer Searches are processed to identify available incoming or outgoing calls for a particular telephone number on a specific day or period of time. These calls are not usually kept through the normal course of business which is why there is a charge for this service, as records of these calls are not kept in the normal course of business. The governing statute is Section 2706(a) of the Stored Communications Act.  

A Special Computer Search will produce a report displaying the date, time, and duration of the available calls found and is verified as they are depicted upon the report. These verifications are also done with regard to other carriers.  For Verizon Wireless, the Corporate name will usually be required for serving subpoenas, search warrants, and court orders. It is necessary to provide specific requests as well as the timeframe for which the information may be provided.   For subpoenas, wording like ‘any and all records cannot be conducive to an adequate legal process. Specific information would include subscriber information.  If this subscriber information involved information like call details and records, this could likely entail the outbound digits, inbound numbers, and the date, time, and length of the call. This would also include address location information and even the payment history of the customer.  

Verizon’s subsidiary Verizon Wireless is the second-largest wireless carrier in the United States, Additionally, Verizon also is also the second-largest telecommunications company by revenue after AT&T. It also commercializes communications products and enhanced services, including video and data services, corporate networking solutions, security, and managed network services, local and long-distance voice services, and network access to deliver various Internet of Things products and services.

For more information on serving legal papers, contact a Professional Process Service (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.


1. Bell Atlantic comprised the operating companies New Jersey Bell, Bell of Pennsylvania, Diamond State Telephone, and C&P Telephone, with a trade region spanning New Jersey to Virginia.

2. Later,  CenturyLink purchased Qwest (formerly US West) in 2011 and then rebranded as Lumen Technologies in 2020.

3. Address- Attn: VSAT

180 Washington Valley Road

Bedminster, NJ 07921

4. Subpoena faxing number: 1.888.667.0028

5. Search warrants number: 1.888.667.0026.

6. For accurate results, Verizon often specifies: 

  1. Internet Protocol (‘IP’) address 
  2. Date of connection 
  3. Time of connection  
  4. Time zone (time zone information is critical, as the time zone is determined by the machine on which the connection is logged, regardless of the geographic location of the machine or of the end-user)

7. Electronic Surveillance Assistance Team (ESAT)  800-483-0722

8. The capacity of the ESAT would also include, DNR/Pen Registers, Feature Checks, Caller ID, Title 3 Oral Intercepts, FISA Orders, CALEA Solutions, and 48 Hour Emergency Court Orders.  

9. At the federal level the All Writs Act, 28 USC Section 1651, provides a basis for court orders for surveillance cameras.

10. Verizon Legal Compliance Team: 888-483-2600

11. 18 U.S.C. § 2703 – U.S. Code – Unannotated Title 18. Crimes and Criminal Procedure § 2703. Required disclosure of customer communications or records

(c) Records concerning electronic communication service or remote computing service.–(1)A governmental entity may require a provider of electronic communication service or remote computing service to disclose a record or other information pertaining to a subscriber to or customer of such service (not including the contents of communications) only when the governmental entity–(A)obtains a warrant issued using the procedures described in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (or, in the case of a State court, issued using State warrant procedures) by a court of competent jurisdiction
(B)  obtains a court order for such disclosure under subsection (d) of this section;
(C)  has the consent of the subscriber or customer to such disclosure;

(D)  submits a formal written request relevant to a law enforcement investigation concerning telemarketing fraud for the name, address, and place of business of a subscriber or customer of such provider, which subscriber or customer is engaged in telemarketing (as such term is defined in section 2325 of this title);  or
(E)  seeks information under paragraph (2).
(2)  A provider of electronic communication service or remote computing service shall disclose to a governmental entity the–
(A)  name;
(B)  address;
(C)  local and long-distance telephone connection records, or records of session times and durations;
(D)  length of service (including start date) and types of service utilized;
(E)  telephone or instrument number or other subscriber number or identity, including any temporarily assigned network address;  and
(F)  means and source of payment for such service (including any credit card or bank account number), of a subscriber to or customer of such service when the governmental entity uses an administrative subpoena authorized by a Federal or State statute or a Federal or State grand jury or trial subpoena or any means available under paragraph (1).

12. Special Computer Searches were  also formerly known as files, AMA searches, data dumps UMS searches, and tape edits

13. 18 U.S. Code § 2706 – Cost reimbursement


Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), a governmental entity obtaining the contents of communications, records, or other information under section 2702, 2703, or 2704 of this title shall pay to the person or entity assembling or providing such information a fee for reimbursement for such costs as are reasonably necessary and which have been directly incurred in searching for, assembling, reproducing, or otherwise providing such information. Such reimbursable costs shall include any costs due to necessary disruption of normal operations of any electronic communication service or remote computing service in which such information may be stored.


The amount of the fee provided by subsection (a) shall be as mutually agreed by the governmental entity and the person or entity providing the information, or, in the absence of agreement, shall be as determined by the court which issued the order for production of such information (or the court before which a criminal prosecution relating to such information would be brought, if no court order was issued for the production of the information).


The requirement of subsection (a) of this section does not apply with respect to records or other information maintained by a communications common carrier that relates to telephone toll records and telephone listings obtained under section 2703 of this title. The court may, however, order a payment as described in subsection (a) if the court determines the information required is unusually voluminous in nature or otherwise caused an undue burden on the provider.

14. Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless Mailing address:   

180 Washington Valley Road                            

 Attn:   Custodian   of  Records 

 Bedminster, NJ  07921

15. Subpoenas normal business hours are usually accepted from  7 a.m. – 8 p.m. from

Sunday – Saturday 

Court Orders normal business hours:  7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday – Saturday Exigent situations

16. Fax numbers:  888-667-0028 for subpoenas and search warrants 908-306-7491 & 908-306-7492 for court orders and exigent situations

17. name, address, social security number, contact numbers, activation date and number of mobiles



By: Akanksha A. Panicker

AT&T Inc. is the world’s leading telecommunications service and the second leading cell phone service provider. In 2018, AT &T became the parent organization of popular culture and mass media giant WarnerMedia, rendering it one of the biggest global media and production companies when it comes to sales. The multimedia conglomerate is a Delaware-registered American international corporation holding firm based in Downtown Dallas, Texas. 

AT&T Inc. is among the leading telecommunications providers, earning its revenue by virtue of being a controlling firm that offers multinational telecommunications, advertising, and infrastructure services. 


AT&T provides a diverse selection of goods and services that differ by sector and functions in three reportable industry segments. These industry segments comprise AT&T’s units. 

  • AT&T Communications: AT&T Communications provides mobile, broadband, video, and other communications services to U.S.-based consumers and over a million companies globally — from the smallest business to nearly all the Fortune 1000 companies. The Communications segment provides companies and customers with a wide variety of packaged goods. AT& T Mobility offers cellular networks and hardware while Video provides subscription services and promotes multi-platform advertisement content. Additionally, Broadband provides network and legacy mobile network access and Business Wireline provides specialized IP-based facilities along with speech and communication services.
  • WarnerMedia: WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands. The WarnerMedia division creates, publishes, and distributes feature films, tv shows, video games, as well as other material in a variety of personal and interactive forms. It comprises Turner, which runs multichannel basic TV networks and digital assets and sells advertisements; Home Box Office, which provides premium pay-TV as well as the HBO Max subscription platform and worldwide streaming; and Viacom, which manages omnichannel basic Television networks and digital properties and sells advertisement. WarnerMedia also comprises Warner Bros., which manufactures, distributes, and licenses television programming and feature films, as well as distributes other home media and gaming items
  • AT&T Latin America: AT&T Latin America offers mobile services to people and businesses in Mexico and digital entertainment services in South America and the Caribbean. The platform’s Vrio unit provides video services to residential users in Latin America and the Caribbean through satellite and streaming technology. Its Mexico unit provides cellular access and facilities to Mexican clients.
  • Xandr: Xandr provides marketers with advanced advertising solutions enhanced with valuable customer insights from AT&T’s TV, mobile and broadband services, combined with extensive ad inventory including WarnerMedia’s cable networks and premium content from third-party media brands 

AT&T is divided into three major market segments: Communications, WarnerMedia, and Latin America. It delineates the sales and operating profits in most of the said divisions. The group often publishes performance reports for a Corporate and Other division, which unifies the abovementioned divisions’ results with AT&T’s overarching goals and contains numerous capital expenditures, acquisition-related products, eliminations and mergers and acquisitions, and some other important items. 


AT&T Inc. was established in 1878  as the American District Telegraph Company. Via a number of mergers, it expanded its services, becoming Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in 1920. The latter was the successor to Alexander Graham Bell’s initial Bell Telephone Company, which was established in 1877.  In 1885, the American Bell Telephone Company founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) subsidiary, later taking up the mantle of the parent company and renaming itself to  AT&T Corp. 

The 1982 antitrust case, United States v. AT&T, culminated in the divestiture of AT&T’s (Ma Bell’) local operating divisions, erstwhile organized into seven Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs.) Interestingly, these RBOCs were colloquially known as ‘Baby Bells.’ 

The divestiture resulted in seven separate companies, including Southwestern Bell Corporation (SBC). SBC later absorbed the previous parent company, AT&T Corp., in 2005, and adopted its name, calling the merged firm AT&T Inc. 

AT&T Inc. later purchased BellSouth Corporation in 2006, the penultimate independent Baby Bell group, and rebranded the previously joint project Cingular Wireless (which had absorbed AT&T Wireless in 2004) as AT&T Mobility. 


It is highly important to address the subpoena to the appropriate AT&T Legal Entity. AT& T’s different subsidiaries have different compliance centers that are to process subpoenas. For example, AT&T Mobility, LLC would render subpoenas to the  National Compliance Centre, and AT&T Wireless (AW)  would levy it upon the National Subpoena and Court Order Compliance Centre (NSCC).  Both of these centers are a team of specialized, wireless subpoena and court order compliance professionals who are tasked with providing law enforcement, officers of the court, Public Safety Answering Points, and other legal contacts with customer service in the wireless industry. These Centres respond to all subpoena, search warrant, and court-ordered requests nationwide for wireless customer records. 

The entire requirement of the compliance centers is to conform with the civil and criminal process and provide assistance to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, attorneys, and customers pursuant to that process.  Every subpoena must include [A.] the text of FRCP 45(c) and (d), which set out the witness’ rights and duties in responding, objecting, or moving to quash the subpoena, [B.] time and place for either the production or inspection of documents or for attendance at a hearing, trial or deposition (known as the return date), [C.] categories of documents sought (if the subpoena commands the production or inspection of documents) and [D.] the method for recording testimony (if the subpoena seeks testimony.) AT&T currently charges USD 40 per hour to process subpoenas. An email address is required for a response.

AT& T additionally devotes an entire website in order to properly comply with their subpoenas. To a large extent, AT& T does not accept subpoenas via mail, although faxing the subpoena circumvents this situation.  It must be noted that sensitive information like cellular site or the tower location or phone location cannot be provided by AT &T without a court order. 

 It is important to include a full description of the information requested using the same wording as the online form whenever possible for requested account information. This would be relevant for sensitive information like that of the subscriber or their usage records and timeframes for outgoing calls. The information required should be specific and include a complete listing of target telephone numbers including area code as well as an electronic method for return of records produced. This return method is acceptable whether it is an email address or fax number. Upon levying the legal process, it is necessary to use the corresponding AT&T legal entity/affiliate fax number. For process Service and fax, it is also possible to use the ‘online tool’ for certain requests in order to expedite them. 


AT&T  and its subsidiaries are bound by statute to cooperate with judicial proceedings, subpoenas, statutory search demands, and other legal provisions in an effort to supply access to government and law enforcement agencies, as well as parties to civil cases. AT&T publishes a Transparency Report that includes [A.] clear detail on the amount and categories of legal demands to which it replied in the particular half of the year that the information is furnished for as well as [B.] details allowed by statute to be published about Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act demands in the preceding sector that can be released in the latter half of the year.

The Transparency Report also includes reports on legal demands that were partly or fully denied, as well as requests for location information, emergency requests, and foreign legal demands. Release of the Transparency report and the detail of the legal demands within the same would often require AT&T to include details about [A.]  correspondence and requested communication and [B.] the customers. 

AT&T has often been a center of litigation regarding disclosures by virtue of the sensitive nature of the information it accrues. Subscriber personal information is a major part of AT&T’s services. Consequently, the company has reached out and on multiple occasions cited exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act. A landmark judgment concerning the breadth of the FOIA and its applicability on AT&T was put forth by the Supreme Court, which discussed the trade secrets exemption in AT&T Communications of West Virginia, Inc. v. Public Service Commission of West Virginia. In this case, AT&T Communications applied for an order of protection against the Public Service Commission, requesting to bar access to all information altogether by competitors that may be provided in its annual reports mandated by the Public Service Commission. 

The broadness of the request saw it overruled, especially since the Public Service Commission functions as an administrative agency with the responsibility of West Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act to disclose the information it possesses to the public. Depending upon the circumstances that may surround the suit, guidance can be procured regarding the trade secrets exemption as made available through comparison with the privacy interest arising under the second exemption of West Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act. Additionally, under certain situations, the individual or the corporation supplying trade secret information to a public body may seek to enjoin disclosure of the information under the State’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act

The Supreme Court has also had to separately lay down that AT&T did not enjoy the ‘personal privacy’ provision of the Freedom of Information Act as the telecom also claimed. The Act exempts the government from publicly disclosing law enforcement records if they ‘constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.’ In this case, the trade group CompTel put an FOIA request in 2005 for records forwarded to the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC disregarded AT&T’s objections, said the records could be released to the public because the company has no ‘personal privacy.’ In the case in the Third US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of AT&T and declared corporations to be ‘persons’ subject to protection from public disclosure.

The Supreme Court overturned this ruling, with several advocacy groups lauding the same citing the possibility of escape of public oversight by declaring corporate personhood.

However, disclosure of information can still be sought from AT&T. Interested individuals can seek information for disclosure about consumer privacy based personal information, including [A.] the categories and specific pieces of personal information that AT &T has collected, [B.]  the categories of sources from which the personal information was collected, [C.] the purposes for collecting or selling the personal information and [D.]  the categories of third parties with whom AT & T has provided the personal information, including with service providers who provide services for AT &T, like processing of bills.  

 AT&T faces considerable competition from companies offering wireless, video and broadband, voice and data, media, and advertising services.  The current AT&T reconstitutes much of the former Bell System and includes four of the seven ‘Baby Bells’ along with the original AT&T Corp., including the long-distance division. In 2020, however,  the sale of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Xandr, DirecTV including AT&T U-Verse and AT&T TV, Crunchyroll (to Sony Pictures’ Funimation), and Rooster Teeth was proposed to cover debts, with only Warner Bros. currently being retained. 

For more information on serving legal papers, contact a Professional Process Service (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.


1. HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC Entertainment, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies are included under the umbrella of WarnerMedia

2. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company was then a division of American Telephone and Telegraph Company

3. United States v. AT&552 F. Supp. 131 (D. D.C. 1982)
The Federal Communications Commission suspected that the American Telephone and Telegraph Company was using monopoly profits from its Western Electric subsidiary to subsidize the costs of its network, which was contrary to U.S. antitrust law

4. Reference information for AT&T:
Phone number: (800) 635-6840
Fax: (877) 971-6093

5. AT&T Wireless
Subpoena Compliance Center
11760 US Highway 1, Ste. 600
North Palm Beach, FL 33408

6. National Compliance
Fax: (888) 938-4715


8. Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552

9. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (‘FISA’ Pub.L. 95–511, 92 Stat. 1783, 50 U.S.C. ch. 36) is a United States federal law that establishes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of ‘foreign intelligence information’ between ‘foreign powers’ and ‘agents of foreign powers’ suspected of espionage or terrorism.

10. AT&T Communications of West Virginia, Inc. v. Public Service Commission of West Virginia, 188W. Va.250, 423S.E.2d859(1992)

11. The Court held, in Syllabus point 2: ‘In order to obtain a protective order from the Public Service Commission to prevent the disclosure of annual report information, a utility must make a credible showing that the information is a `trade secret ‘as described in W. Va. Code, 29B-1-4(1).’

12. EXEMPTION NO. 2:  INFORMATION OF A PERSONAL NATURE This exemption, found in W. Va.Code§ 29B-1-4(a)(2), bars release of information that constitutes an unreasonable invasion of privacy, unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the public interest under the circumstances requires disclosure. The purpose of this exemption is to protect individuals from the injury and embarrassment that can result from the unnecessary disclosure of personal information. The individual’s right of privacy must be weighed against the public’s right to know

13. State’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act, W. Va.Code §§ 47-22-1 et seq. [1986]

14. These records were forwarded to the FCC’s enforcement bureau concerning AT&T’s admitted overpricing of telecom equipment and services to Connecticut schools under the graft-ridden E-Rate program

15. ‘This is not to say that corporations do not have correspondence, influence, or tragedies of their own, only that we do not use the word ‘personal’ to describe them,’ Chief Justice John Roberts

16. Information collected can be:

  1. Address and other identifiers – such as name, postal address, email address, account name, Social Security number, driver’s license number, passport number, or other similar identifiers.
  2. Unique and online identifiers – IP address, device IDs, or other similar identifiers.
  3. Commercial information – such as records of personal property, products or services purchased, obtained, or considered, or other purchasing or consuming histories or tendencies.
  4. Internet, gaming or other electronic network activity information – such as browsing history, search history, and information regarding an individual’s interaction with an internet website, application, or advertisement.
  5. Professional or Educational Information. 
  6. Video Footage (e.g., CCTV); Audio Recordings; Photographs; Calendar Information. 
  7. Location Information 
  8. In-Game or Online Viewing Activities (e.g., videos viewed, pages viewed).
  9. Inferences drawn from CCPA PI, such as individual profiles, preferences, characteristics, be

17. This sale was significantly regarding a 30% stake to TPG Capital owned jointly with AT&T



By: Akanksha A. Panicker

At the helm of the winds and the seas, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is responsible for observing the oceans and weather systems in the country. NOAA is an American scientific agency subsisting within the United States Department of Commerce that monitors the oceans, river systems, and the environment.

NOAA forecasts severe weather, maps oceans, advises the usage and conservation of ocean and maritime assets, and performs studies to enhance environmental stewardship. 


NOAA traces its history back to multiple agencies, some of which were among the oldest in the federal government: The most direct predecessor of NOAA was the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA), into which several existing scientific agencies such as the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Weather Bureau and the uniformed Corps were already absorbed in 1965. 

NOAA was established within the Department of Commerce via the Reorganization Plan Number 4 and formed on October 3, 1970. under the direction of President Nixon. Interestingly, an internal feud between President Nixon and his interior secretary Wally Hickel over Nixon’s Vietnam War policy was what allotted the NOAA to the Department of Commerce instead of the Department of Interior.  In 2013, NOAA, unfortunately, closed over six hundred weather stations. 

NOAA’s specific roles are trifold in nature, are centered around providing information about the state of the ocean, managing environmental use, and conducting further research into global ecosystems. By providing information on environmental products, NOAA provides intelligence about the status of the oceans and the environment to its clients and collaborators. This would be evident in the National Weather Service’s output of weather alerts and predictions. Still, NOAA’s knowledge commodities often provide geography, habitats, and trade with vital know-how as well. 

NOAA is also the leading environmental steward and provides services in its protective capacity of coastal and aquatic environments in the United States. NOAA’s stewardship means working alongside federal, municipal, territorial, and foreign officials to police and preserve the usage of the ocean and its species and habitats and manage fisheries and protected areas of significance to ensure the survival of vulnerable and endangered species. This also means that NOAA has to conduct independent scientific research and thus further impartial and relevant statistics for the management and scientific challenges regarding the four topics of national and global importance, being ecosystems, climate, weather and water, and commerce and transportation. 

The five ‘fundamental activities’ that the NOAA conducts are [A.] using tools and data acquisition networks to track and observe Earth structures, [B.] understanding and explaining Earth processes by data study and interpretation, [C.] evaluating and forecasting the evolution of these processes over time. [D.] providing valuable resources to the public and partner organizations through engaging, advising, and informing them and [E.] managing capital to benefit society, the community, and the climate. 


NOAA works toward its mission through six major line offices: the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the National Ocean Service (NOS), the National Weather Service (NWS), the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) and the Office of Marine & Aviation Operations (OMAO). 

  1. National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service: The purpose of NESDIS is to administer and maintain the US environmental satellite systems and manage NWS data and that of other government agencies and departments. NESDIS’s National Centres for Environmental Information (NCEI) preserve information gathered by NOAA, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force, the Federal Aviation Administration, and meteorological services across the world, and includes the Centre for Weather and Climate (previously NOAA’s National Climatic Data Centre), the National Coastal Data Development Centre (NCDDC), and the National Oceanographic Data Centre (NODC).
  2. The National Weather Service (NWS) is responsible for weather, hydrogeologic, and environment predictions and alerts for the United States, its territories, adjacent seas, and ocean zones to the conservation of life and property and the stimulation of economic growth of the country.  This is accomplished through national and regional centers and river forecast centers (RFCs), and even local weather forecast offices (WFOs). On a routine basis, they are responsible for providing weather and river reports, advisories, alerts, and notices.  NOAA data is often applicable to global warming and ozone depletion problems.
    The NWS also manages NEXRAD, a nationwide organization of Doppler weather radars capable of detecting precipitation and determining its velocity. Almost all of their items are transmitted on NOAA Weather Radio, a radio transmissions channel that delivers weather reports, extreme weather announcements, forecasts, and warnings around the clock.
  3. National Ocean Service: NOS  is responsible for keeping the ocean and coastal areas protected, secure, and sustainable. NOS biologists, natural resource professionals, and experts support America by maintaining secure and reliable maritime transportation, encouraging creative coastal community protection strategies, and conserving marine and coastal places.
  4. National Marine Fisheries Service: NMFS was established in 1871 with the main objective of researching, protecting, managing, and restoring commercial and recreational fisheries, as well as their biodiversity and endangered organisms. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has twelve headquarter offices and multiple other centers located in the United States and U.S. territories that conduct the study and protect marine resources. 
  5. Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR): NOAA study, carried out by the OAR, is the guiding force behind NOAA sustainable goods and services that preserve life and property while also promoting economic development. Tornadoes, earthquakes, atmospheric instability, solar flares, increases in ozone, air emission transport and dispersion, El Nino/La Nina incidents, fisheries production, ocean tides, deep-sea thermal vents, and coastal habitat protection are among the environmental patterns studied in OAR labs and through extramural projects. NOAA research also creates cutting-edge technology and observation systems.
  6. Office of Marine & Aviation Operations (OMAO): OMAO administers the NOAA fleet of ships and aircraft. Additionally, OMAO is responsible for training divers to facilitate Earth observation safely. In addition to research and monitoring activities critical to NOAA’s mission, OMAO ships and aircraft provide immediate response capabilities for unpredictable events. Following

President Biden’s administration has currently proposed a budget increase for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that would be the biggest in the agency’s history if approved by Congress, providing USD 6.9 billion in funding. 


Subpoenas requesting certified weather data may be issued from NOAA’s National Data Climatic Centre (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina. The NCDC is the custodian of weather records and certifies that the documents are authentic and true copies of meteorological records on file at NCDC. The NCDC may be contacted via telephone, fax, or email by the COVID pandemic. 

While service is levied on the NOAA, several considerations are to be kept in mind when delivering a subpoena on any of the NOAA’s line offices. In fact, taking the NWS alone, it must be remembered that  Department of Commerce (DOC) regulations generally prohibit NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) employees from appearing as witnesses in litigation not involving the United States.

Employee evidence via testimony is strictly regulated and is rarely permitted. In cases where it actually is permitted, the United States Government almost always has a vested interest in the litigation. Furthermore, an NWS employee does not offer expert or opinion witness evidence with another body or a party other than the United States.  The regulations are originally based on expenditure and workforce constraints. The Department has cited the manifold nature of demands for testimony and the vast amount being issued each year to properly answer all inquiries whilst also carrying out the NWS task of providing weather predictions, alerts, and notifications for the safety of life and property.  Officially, the issuance restriction on subpoenas stems from this reasoning.

Under the Department of Commerce and the cited policy considerations, if a warrant served on an NWS employee is not revoked, the NOAA Office of General is expected to call the US Attorney’s office and recommend the office submit a motion quash. Such applications are almost always authorized. Under these cases, a sound legal precedent provides for federal workers to be exempt from civil subpoenas imposed by state courts, and the NOAA follows this.

If it is not practicable to get the subpoena quashed until the implementation date due to scheduling limits, the employee would be advised to report at the time and position specified in the subpoena. The employee would also be required to provide a copy of the DOC rules, notify the legal tribunal that counsel has directed them not to provide the requisite testimony, and politely refuse to testify. 


In principle, state evidence laws allow the inclusion of NWS accredited documents without any need for validating testimony by an NWS employee. Interpreting the documents is needed; a private meteorologist is usually required to provide testimony for the court. The NWS keeps a directory of private, licensed meteorologists on file that can be called upon to offer expert testimony.

The NOAA National Climatic Data Centre (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina, is the official custodian of the weather records of the NWS.  The NCDC receives a large number of applications for certified documents for legal purposes. As the custodian of the records, the NCDC certifies that the certificates are genuine and true versions of climatological statistics on file at the NCDC.

Differential litigation can be dealt with through two means offered by the  NCDC, being through [A.] a Department of Commerce Certification which requires authorization by the NCDC Records Custodian and Director or designated representatives with an attached blue ribbon and the official gold embossed seal of the agency and [B.] a General Certification that is sufficient by authorization from a  designated officer with no ribbon or seals.   Both certifications have been drafted to comply with general evidentiary requirements for documents introduced under exceptions to the hearsay rule. NCDC does not require a subpoena to provide certified records.

Climate change is affecting the globe from warmer ocean temperatures to longer and more intense droughts and heatwaves. On Earth Day, the efforts of scientists at NOAA to track, understand and predict how climate change is progressing and impacting ecosystems, communities, and economies should be recognized. As a scientific agency, the research that the NOAA is important to facilitate a better planet. 

For more information on serving legal papers, contact a Professional Process Service (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.


1. United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, formed in 1807.

Weather Bureau of the United States, formed in 1870.

Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, formed in 1871 (research fleet-only).

Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps, formed in 1917.

2. Reorg. Plan No. 4 of 1970, 3 C.F.R. xx (1970)

3. Since January 2020, NOAA has been headed by Benjamin Friedman, acting Under the Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA interim administrator. NOAA has not had a confirmed leader since January 2017. President Trump nominated two different candidates during his term, but neither was ever confirmed, and President Joe Biden has yet to name a nominee

4. U.S. President Richard Nixon proposed creating a new agency to serve a national need for ‘better protection of life and property from natural hazards… for a better understanding of the total environment… [and] for exploration and development leading to the intelligent use of our marine resources  

5. Nixon did not like Hickel’s letter urging Nixon to listen to the Vietnam War demonstrators, and thus punished Hickel by not putting NOAA in the Interior Department.

6. Since February 25, 2019, Neil Jacobs, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, has served as acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere at the US Department of Commerce and NOAA’s interim administrator

7. Not including more than a dozen staff offices, including the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology, the NOAA Central Library, the Office of Program Planning and Integration (PPI).

8. Also recognized as NOAA Fisheries

9. The NMFS also runs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement in Silver Spring, Maryland, which is the principal location for aquatic resource law enforcement.

10. 151 Patton Avenue, Room 120
Asheville, NC 28801-5001

11. Website:

12. Telephone: 828-271-4800
Fax:: 828-271-4876

13. 15 CFR § 15.18 – Testimony of Department employees in proceedings involving the United States.

The following applies in legal proceedings in which the United States is a party:

(a) A Department employee may not testify as an expert or opinion witness for any other party other than the United States.

(b) Whenever, in any legal proceeding involving the United States, a request is made by an attorney representing or acting under the authority of the United States, the General Counsel, or the Solicitor, or appropriate agency counsel will make all necessary arrangements for the Department employee to give testimony on behalf of the United States. Where appropriate, the General Counsel, or the Solicitor, or the appropriate agency counsel may require reimbursement to the Department of the expenses associated with a Department employee giving testimony on behalf of the United States.

14. 15 CFR § 15.13 – Demand for testimony or production of documents: Department policy.

No employee shall in response to a demand, produce any documents, or provide testimony regarding any information relating to, or based upon Department of Commerce documents, or disclose any information or produce materials acquired as part of the performance of that employee’s official duties, or because of that employee’s official status without the prior authorization of the General Counsel, or the Solicitor, or the appropriate agency counsel. The reasons for this policy are as follows:

(a) To conserve the time of Department employees for conducting official business;

(b) To minimize the possibility of involving the Department in controversial issues that are not related to the Department’s mission;

(c) To prevent the possibility that the public will misconstrue variances between personal opinions of Department employees and Department policy;

(d) To avoid spending the time and money of the United States for private purposes;

(e) To preserve the integrity of the administrative process; and

(f) To protect confidential, sensitive information and the deliberative process of the Department.

15. United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951)

Under Department of Justice Order No. 3229, issued by the Attorney General under 5 U.S.C. § 22, a subordinate official of the Department of Justice refused, in a habeas corpus proceeding by a state prisoner, to obey a subpoena duces tecum requiring him to produce papers of the Department in his possession.

 It was held that the order was valid, and the subordinate official properly refused to produce the papers. Pp. 340 U. S. 463-468.

16. See,  


By Akanksha A. Panicker

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is one of two companies that offer deposit insurance to depositors in U.S. deposit accounts. The other is the National Credit Union Administration, which mostly oversees and protects credit unions. The FDIC is a United States government agency that insures deposits of commercial and investment institutions in the United States. 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was established by the 1933 Banking Act, passed after the Great Depression, to rebuild confidence throughout the United States banking sector. Upwards of one-third of banks collapsed in the years preceding the establishment of the FDIC, and bank runs were normal. The insurance cap was originally set at USD 2,500 per ownership group, although it has since been raised many times. 

After the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act was passed in 2011, the FDIC has insured funds in member banks up to USD 250,000, which is the cap afforded to each ownership group.


The FDIC and its resources are still not provided by federal funds; the FDIC’s principal source of financing is participant bank insurance dues. Also, the FDIC has a USD 100 billion credit facility with the US Department of Treasury. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) would be an autonomous federal entity that insures deposits of United States banks and thrifts in the case of a bank collapse. 

The FDIC was founded in 1933 to promote sound lending practices to preserve public confidence and stability in the financial sector.  As of 2020, the FDIC will insure amounts up to USD 250,000 per depositor if the entity is a participant firm. It is important for customers to check whether or not their financial company is FDIC insured. The FDIC frequently investigates and supervises such financial entities for stability and adequacy, serves as a public advocate, and oversees receiverships of failing banks. This would require every individual group with the depositor’s money to come under the insurance limit per back. This would entail that the ownership groups and the individual depositors under these groups have individual USD 250,000 insurance caps. Cumulatively, this cap will add up based on the number of depositors in the ownership groups. 

The distinct ownership categories are what help organize single accounts (accounts not falling into any other category), which would include [A.]  retirement accounts like Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), [B.] accounts with more than one owner, and joint accounts with equal rights to withdraw, [C.] revocable trust accounts characterized by language like ‘ “Payable on death,” “In trust for,” et cetera, [D.]  irrevocable trust accounts [E.] Employee Benefit Plan accounts (deposits of a pension plan) [F.] corporation or partnership or unincorporated Association accounts and [G.] government accounts


A certain depositor’s sums of deposits of any single ownership group at a specific bank are tallied and secured up to USD250,000. If considering the case of joint accounts, every co-owner is considered to hold the equal percentage of the account as the other co-owner (unless the account expressly specifies otherwise) (this may be the truth even if each co-owner is entitled to withdraw all funds from the account). Each depositor USD 250,000 is insured, and the total account balance is also insured based on this co-ownership.

A revocable trust account’s owner is typically insured up to USD 250,000 by each unique beneficiary (dependant on specific rules if there are more than five of these beneficiaries). Therefore, whenever a single person has an account designated as being in confidence with and in trust for the (payable on the death of, etc.) multiple additional beneficiaries, the assets in the account are guaranteed up to however many depositors have insured for the USD 250,000.

To receive this benefit, member banks must follow certain liquidity and reserve requirements. Banks are classified into five groups according to their risk-based capital ratio:

Whenever a bank appears undercapitalized, the primary regulator sends an alert to the institution. As the figure falls beneath 6%, the primary regulator has the authority to adjust governance and compel the bank to undertake further disciplinary actions. Whenever a bank continues down this path to become critically undercapitalized, the chartering authority freezes the bank and closes the institution, designating the FDIC as a receiver.


A state of flux compels a bank’s chartering authority; being a state banking agency or the United States Office of the Department of the Treasury, it will be necessary to determine the entity’s insolvency consequently appoint the FDIC as a receiver. As a receiver, the FDIC is responsible for defending depositors and optimizing recovery rates for the bankrupt institution’s creditors. The FDIC operating as the receiver is technically and theoretically distinct from the FDIC acting as deposit insurer; it’s an otherwise corporate habit. Courts have long understood that these dual and distinct capabilities have distinct responsibilities, roles, and obligations.

 The objectives of receivership will be to allocate a failing institution’s properties, recapitalize them, and transfer the profits to the institution’s creditors. The FDIC, as a receiver, assumes the rights, abilities, and prerogatives of the institution and its stockholders, officers, and directors. It has the authority to recover all liabilities and money owed to the organization, retain or liquidate its properties and property, and fulfill some other duty of the institution compatible with its assignment. It would have the authority to combine a collapsed entity with yet another insured depository institution and to move its assets and liabilities even without support or authorization of any other government, tribunal, or contractually entitled group. It may establish a new entity, such as a bridge bank, to assume the failed institution’s assets and liabilities, or it could transfer or pledge the failed institution’s assets to the FDIC in its corporate ability.

To fulfill its role as a receiver and resolve a closed institution, two avenues open for the FDIC. This would be either a  [A.] Purchase and Assumption Agreement or [B.] deposit payoff. 

  • Purchase and Assumption Agreement (P&A): Under this method,  an open bank assumes deposits (liabilities) while simultaneously purchasing any or more of the collapsed bank’s debts (assets). The bank’s securities that are transferred to the FDIC as receivers are marketed and auctioned off in various ways, including electronically and by consultants and contractors. 
  • Deposit Payoff: The FDIC is named receiver immediately after the relevant chartering authority shuts the bank or thrift. The FDIC, as a creditor, returns the entire sum of insured deposits to all depositors of the collapsed institution that used insured assets. Depositors of uninsured funds and other generalized creditors (such as retailers and service providers) of the bankrupt institution do not offer automatic or absolute recompense; rather, the FDIC acts as receivers and grants receivership certificates. A receivership certification obligates the applicant to share the receiver’s collections on the properties of the collapsed institution.

To conform with regulations, the FDIC revised its loss settlement policies in 1991 to reduce the losses to deposit insurance funds. The procedures enable the FDIC to select the best value settlement option for the deposit insurance fund among all feasible options for resolving the collapsed entity. Bids are sent to the FDIC, which reviews them and determines the lowest cost.


The FDIC requests that a party serve a hard copy document on the FDIC in a new matter and provide an electronic courtesy copy to their designated email account. This request is intended as a temporary aid for communicating during the response to COVID-19, considering precautions to be taken to prevent the spread of  COVID-19. An emailed courtesy copy does not substitute for service of process requirements. This request does not apply to pending matters in which parties already serve the FDIC electronically.

Typically, the Secretary of State is the registered agent for a corporation. However, with the appropriate Certificate, any domestic corporation or authorized foreign corporation can appoint a registered agent in the state upon whom the process against such corporation may be served. The agent must be a natural person who resides in the state or is authorized to do business in this state. In New York, CT or the Corporation Trust Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer, is the registered agent for the FDIC.  CT Corporation is the largest registered agent service firm globally, representing hundreds of thousands of business entities worldwide.

Service of process on the FDIC absolutely must be made upon their registered agent at their address. This is because the FDIC has numerous agents for service of process listed on their website, and service of process must be completed on the right agent to be recognized. 

If the FDIC has been named in any capacity as a party to a lawsuit in federal or state court, it is imperative to remember that service of process on any of the agents listed does not, by itself, complete service of process on the FDIC. If it is necessary to serve process on the FDIC as a party to a lawsuit in either federal or state court, service must be done on one of the agents listed, specified in the appropriate jurisdiction, as well as the Attorney General of the United States in Washington, D.C., and the United States attorney for the district in which the lawsuit is brought. The service of process on the FDIC is not complete until all three of these steps are completed.


Any subpoena or other legal process to obtain information maintained by the FDIC shall be duly issued by a court having jurisdiction over the FDIC. This subpoena is served upon either the Executive Secretary (or their designee) or the Regional Director or Regional Manager of the FDIC reg. The legal action from which the subpoena or process was issued is pending. This would also include the agent designated to receive the process in the jurisdiction in which any insured depository institution is located.

Identification of the designated agent in the state can be made by consulting the Executive Secretary or the General Counsel’s Office. The Executive Secretary, Regional Director, or designated agent must promptly forward any subpoena or legal document to the General Counsel. The corporation is entitled to charge some amount of fee for the depiction of these records. 

If any current or former employee of the Corporation is served with a subpoena for their attendance as an official witness or for production of any exempt record of the Corporation, it is necessary to intimate the General Counsel of such service to determine if they are authorized to testify, or the records should be produced. Without written authorization to disclose the requested information, any employee compelled to respond to the subpoena will attend the proceeding but decline the record production or giving of testimony, 

In the context of the authorization of the disclosure of information,  the General Counsel, or designee, may disclose or authorize the disclosure of any exempt record or testimony by an employee of the Corporation in conjunction with any proceeding or investigation without the service of a judicial subpoena. This is based on their discretion and dependent on whether they determine that the records or testimony are not prohibited by Federal statute. Customer financial records are not disclosed to any federal agency unless the records are sought under the Federal Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure. 

Alluding to its past and evolution, the FDIC has been a key player in ensuring bank deposits against bank failure. It has amassed a fund that it assumes will indemnify borrowers against anticipated bank defaults by calculating premiums based on bank reserves and expected probability of failure.

For more information on serving legal papers, contact a Professional Process Service (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.


1. The Banking Act of 1933 (Pub.L. 73–66, 48 Stat. 162, enacted June 16, 1933)

2. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (commonly referred to as Dodd-Frank Pub.L. 111–203)

3.  The Categories are: 

Well capitalized: 10% or higher

Adequately capitalized: 8% or higher

Undercapitalized: less than 8%

Significantly undercapitalized: less than 6%

Critically undercapitalized: less than 2%


5. N.Y. Bus. Corp. Law § 306

Service of process on the secretary of state as an agent of a domestic or authorized foreign corporation shall be made by personally delivering to and leaving with the secretary of state or a deputy, or with any person authorized by the secretary of state to receive such service, at the office of the department of state in the city of Albany, duplicate copies of such process together with the statutory fee, which fee shall be a taxable disbursement. Service of process on such corporation shall be complete when the secretary of state is so served. The secretary of state shall promptly send one of such copies by certified mail, return receipt requested, to such corporation, at the post office address, on file in the department of state, specified for the purpose. If a domestic or authorized foreign corporation has no such address on file in the department of state, the secretary of state shall so mail such copy, in the case of a domestic corporation, in care of any director named in its certificate of incorporation at the director’s address stated therein or, in the case of an authorized foreign corporation, to such corporation at the address of its office within this state on file in the department.

6. A multi-national information services company based in the Netherlands with operations in over 35 countries.

7. New York Address: 

CT Corporation System
28 Liberty Street
New York, New York 1000

8. DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION 5 U.S.C. 552; 12 U.S.C. 1819 “Seventh” and “Tenth

9. FDIC, 550 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20429

10. A list of the FDIC’s regional offices is available from the Office of Public Affairs, FDIC, 550 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20429 (telephone 202-898-6996).

11. A list of the FDIC’s regional offices is available from the Office of Public Affairs, FDIC, 550 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20429 (telephone 202-898-6996)..”


Capitol Hill

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

The journey for a bill to become law is difficult and arduous. Between endless debates and regulations, it can seem impossible to enact a law quickly. However, with majorities in the House and Senate, leaders may well use a special legislative process called ‘reconciliation to advance high-priority fiscal legislation quickly. In the Senate, reconciliation bills are among the very few instances of legislation not being subject to filibuster. Additionally, the scope of amendments is also limited, which renders this process a real advantage for enacting controversial budget and tax measures.

Reconciliation legislation on expenditures, taxes, and the federal debt ceiling should be enacted, and the Senate can pass one bill each year on each issue. Congress will therefore approve a limit of three reconciliation bills each year, but in reality, a single reconciliation bill involving both expenditure and revenue can sometimes be enacted. Extraneous policy amendments are prohibited by the ‘Byrd Rule,’ which often forbids reconciliation legislation from raising the federal debt or deficit after ten years or incorporating adjustments to Social Security.

The Senate Parliamentarian is the in-house rules specialist. In April 2021, it was decided that the Senate would approve multiple budget reconciliation bills in 2021: one for the fiscal year 2021 and one for the fiscal year 2022. Furthermore, the Senate could approve new budget reconciliation measures by referring to them as an updated budget resolution with budget reconciliation guidance included.

The reconciliation process was created by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and was first used in 1980.


Reconciliation is a legislative mechanism used by the United States Congress as a parliamentary procedure to speed up budgetary bills through the United States Senate. The Senate filibuster ultimately takes a sixty-vote supermajority for the approval of any bills in the Senate. Still, reconciliation includes a mechanism to prohibit filibuster usage and, in doing so, encourage the Senate to enact a bill through simple majority support. The reconciliation process remains in the United States House of Representatives; however, due to the lack of a supermajority threshold for House bills, reconciliation has had less of an effect on that political body.

Reconciliation is an alternative component of the yearly spending mechanism of Congress. The reconciliation phase usually starts as the president submits a proposal to Congress sometime early in the fiscal year. As a result, each chamber of Congress initiates a concurrent budget mechanism, beginning with the Senate Budget Committee and the House Budget Committee. Every budget committee recommends a budget resolution that establishes funding priorities for the coming fiscal year; to trigger the reconciliation phase, each house of Congress may adopt similar budget resolutions that provide reconciliation guidance. Such committees then pass bills that exceed the funding goals set by their own budget committees, and all separate bills are merged into a single omnibus bill. Thus, through their respective discussion rules, each house of Congress starts debating their corresponding omnibus bills.

The reconciliation mechanism has a limited effect in the House of Representatives, but it has far-reaching consequences in the Senate. Senators could not indeed use the filibuster to block approval of a reconciliation bill endlessly, unlike under most laws, since Senate discussion on reconciliation measures is restricted to twenty hours. As a result, reconciliation measures need just a mere simple majority of Senate votes to succeed, rather than the sixty-vote supermajority needed to trigger cloture to overcome a filibuster. Senators could potentially block the approval of a reconciliation bill by proposing an unrelenting list of changes through a procedure regarded as a ‘Vote-a-Rama,’ however, unlike the current filibuster, senators presenting these amendments would have to get up and deliver the amendments orally.

Although this reconciliation framework requires a bill to circumvent the filibuster in the Senate, it has little effect on the other fundamental provisions for proposal adoption outlined in the Constitution’s Presentment Clause. The House and Senate would still approve an identical bill and send it to the president. The president may sign or veto the measure, and Congress can overturn the president’s veto by a two-thirds majority vote of both chambers.


The Byrd Rule, named after Senator Robert Byrd, was implemented in 1985 and revised in 1990. The Byrd Rule grants senators the opportunity to object to any amendment that does not affect the amount of expenditure or revenues or anything under which the change of spending or revenues is ‘merely incidental,’ to prohibit ‘extraneous’ laws from benefiting from the expedited reconciliation phase.

The Byrd Rule distinguishes a clause as ‘extraneous,’ and therefore unavailable for reconciliation, in the following six cases when it [A.]  may not result in a change in outlays or revenues; [B.]  results in an upward movement of outlays or a decline in revenues while the instructed committee is not following the directives, [C.] it is beyond the jurisdiction of the committee that sent the title or provision for implementation in the reconciliation measure; [D.] it results in a change in outlays or revenues that is only incidental; [E.] it would increase the deficit for a fiscal year beyond those covered by the reconciliation measure (usually a period of ten years); or [F.]  it recommends changes in Social Security. 

The Byrd Rule would not ignore the insertion of extraneous clauses and objected to senators to delete provisions through formal opposition. Any senator can present a procedural objection to an extraneous clause, which the Presiding Officer would then rule on, usually on the recommendation of the Senate Parliamentarian: a majority of sixty senators is necessary to reverse their ruling. Although the Vice President (as President of the Senate) has the authority to overrule the parliamentarian, this has not occurred since 1975.

The Byrd Rule binds only if a senator specifically raises a ‘point of order.’ If one does, it takes the consent of sixty senators to overturn a point of order. Items removed from a reconciliation bill following this rule are dubbed as ‘Byrd droppings’ in a tongue-in-cheek instance of Congressional humor and often are dropped before a bill comes to the floor. The process of deleting those provisions is similarly known as a ‘Byrd bath.’

Congress has the authority to approve three reconciliation measures annually, with every bill tackling the three main aspects of reconciliation: taxes, expenditures, and the federal debt ceiling. However, once Congress passes a reconciliation bill that addresses more than one of those issues, it cannot pass another reconciliation bill later in the year that addresses one of the prior reconciliation bill’s topics of revenue, spending, or debt. In fact, reconciliation measures are normally passed just once a year.


Reconciliation is basically a means for Congress to pass bills on taxation, budgets, and the debt ceiling by just a simple majority in the Senate (fifty-one votes, or fifty if the vice president breaks a tie) while eliminating the possibility of a filibuster, which takes sixty votes to defeat. 

The budget reconciliation mechanism is a discretionary apparatus under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 that works in conjunction with the periodic budget resolution system. The primary goal of the reconciliation phase is to strengthen Congress’ power to amend existing legislation aiming to retain tax and expenditure amounts in line with the budget resolution’s initiatives. As a result, for a significant majority of the budget, reconciliation could be the most powerful budget control mechanism open to Congress.

Reconciliation is a dual-stage configuration in which directives are contained in the budget agreement, authorizing the relevant committees to produce legislation implementing the intended fiscal results. The resulting legislation (usually inserted into an omnibus spending bill) is debated in the House and Senate under augmented protocols for expedition.


The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act requires the House and Senate to pass a minimum of one budget bill annually. The budget proposal is in the format of a concurrent resolution and is therefore not submitted to the President for approval or veto. It acts as a general legislative declaration on effective income, expenditures, and debt strategies and a reference to subsequent review of legislation incorporating those policies at the organizational and programmatic levels. Budget settlement policies are applied using several methods, including points of control. The 1974 act established the House and Senate Budget Committees, which have sole authority over budget proposals and are responsible for overseeing their implementation.

The House and Senate Budget Committees depend on baseline budget estimates compiled by the Congressional Budget Office in preparing a budget resolution. A budget resolution normally reflects several predictions about policy activity that are likely to occur throughout a session that could allow revenue and expenditure levels to vary from baseline rates. However, by permanent legislation, the majority of taxes and direct investment happens immediately next year. As a result, if the committees with authority over revenue and direct spending services do not report legislation amending current law to carry out the budget resolution policies, income and direct expenditures for these activities will possibly remain unaffected.

The budget reconciliation protocol is an optional procedure that works in tandem with the budget resolution procedure. The primary goal of the reconciliation phase is to strengthen Congress’ power to amend existing legislation to keep tax and expenditure amounts in line with the budget resolution’s policies. As a result, with a considerable majority of the budget, compromise is likely the most powerful budget control mechanism open to Congress.

The method of reconciliation is multi-staged. Initially, the budget agreement includes reconciliation directives that guide the relevant committees to produce legislation that achieves the required budgetary results. The instructed committees send their policy proposals to their corresponding Budget Committees by the timeline specified in the budget resolution. The Committees further merge them without major changes into an omnibus budget reconciliation package.

The second phase is for the House and Senate to examine the resulting reconciliation bills under expedited procedures. The Senate’s discussion on every reconciliation bill is restricted to twenty hours (and ten hours on a conference report), and changes should be salient. During the review of reconciliation proposals in the House, the House Rules Committee usually limits discussion and the offering of amendments.

When only one committee is briefed, the procedure requires the committee to present the reconciliation legislation effectively to its parent chamber, without the Budget Committee. In certain years, budget proposals contained reconciliation guidelines that enabled the House and Senate to discuss multiple reconciliation bills. The procedure is completed until the reconciliation provisions requested in the budget agreement are signed or vetoed by the President. In the aftermath of a veto, Congress may establish another reconciliation bill only after passing another budget resolution comprising reconciliation guidelines.

Most recently, President Joe Biden proposed the American Rescue Plan, a USD 1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill, to hasten the United States’ rebound from the economic and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing downturn. It was intended to be one of the first bills introduced in the 117th Congress. The package, which was first proposed on January 14, 2021, drew on several of the provisions used in the CARES Act from March 2020 and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. According to the Byrd Law, the United States Senate Parliamentarian decided on February 21st  that a clause of the American Rescue Plan asking for a USD 15 minimum wage raise should not be included under Reconciliation. On March 11th, 2021, the bill was signed into law.

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1. Bills passed using the reconciliation process include the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

2. The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (Pub.L. 93–344, 88 Stat. 297, 2 U.S.C. §§ 601–688) is a United States federal law that governs the role of the Congress in the United States budget process.

3. What’s in a Vote-a-Rama? The New York Times, rama.html (last visited Apr 17, 2021) 

4. ‘Vote-aromas (1977 to Present) U.S. Senate: ‘Vote-aromas (1977 to Present), (last visited Apr 17, 2021) 

5. The Presentment Clause, which is contained in Article I, Section 7, Clauses 2 and 3 of the Constitution, provides:

‘Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approves he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two-thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such cases, the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House, respectively. If the President does not return any Bill within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which case it shall not be a Law. Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the case of a Bill.’

6. Section 313 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 Pub.L. 93–344

7.Byrd Brains, (last visited Apr 17, 2021)

8. What Is ‘Reconciliation’? Democrats Face Hurdles To Use It For COVID Relief NPR, (last visited Apr 17, 2021)

9. The United States Senate voted 50–49 to open debate on the resolution, which would allow Democrats to pass the relief package without support from Republicans through the process of reconciliation. The House voted 218–212 to approve the budget resolution. On February 4, a vote-a-Rama session began. The Senate introduced amendments to the relief package, including an amendment in a 90–10 vote that would provide direct relief to the restaurant industry. Vice President Kamala Harris cast a tie-breaking vote as President of the Senate for final Senate passage of the reconciliation bill, sending it to the House approval of the change

10. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Pub.L. 116–136

11. Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 H.R. 133. December.




By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Legal documents can be numerous and difficult to navigate. However, behind the jargon is the requirement of every piece of paperwork to provide a RECORD of fact to ensure that all proceedings are done in a fair manner. The high stakes of Real Property Law attest to this. Thus, to help the NY commercial debt recovery litigation, affidavits may be sworn outside New York State. For the consideration for the out-of-state affidavit as documented proof in the New York Court case, it should be accompanied by a Certificate of Conformity.

The Certificate of Conformity includes documents that ensure the Court that the notarization is in accordance with the statute of the state where the Affidavit was registered.


The paperwork must be authenticated before a Notary Public by an attorney practicing in the same state as where the Affidavit was generated. In reality, it should be done concurrently with the affidavit. Since this is a New York State statute that is only applied in New York State, it is normal for an attorney working outside of New York State to be unaware of the provision. After all, a private debt recovery and collection litigation practitioner in New York is unlikely to be acquainted with the rules of another jurisdiction (unless they were practicing in that state).

Through executing the Certificate of Conformity, that attorney confirms that the Affidavit was properly notarized. This forms the essence of the Certificate of Conformity. The attorney may not need to be acquainted with the prosecution’s specifics since they are not testifying anything else related to the case. A clear illustration of this principle is the Notary Public. A Notary is solely liable for ensuring that a certificate is signed correctly and by the right individual. The same logic applies to the counsel who signs the Certificate of Conformity.


The New York State Law CPLR 2309(c) and RPL-299-a work in conjunction with the conformity certificate. The requirement of this certificate, however, was a recent one. Courts actually allowed NY commercial debt collection litigation attorneys and others to merely submit affidavits signed and notarized outside of New York State without the Certificate.

Almost all New York courts. Presently follow the statute and are required to now mandate the affidavit of conformity to be combined with the affidavit to process applications. There will be a problem if affiants conduct their affidavits outside of New York state, however.


The acknowledgment of proof is the most important factor of the Certificate of Conformity in the context of New York’s statutes. If the acknowledgment or proof is taken anywhere outside the state in the manner prescribed by that state or other place, it would require specifically to be proved to be in accordance with those laws. Consequently, it must be accompanied by a certificate to the effect that it conforms with such laws.  The Certificate of Conformity essentially simplifies this requirement by existing as the document of proof. 

Only individuals who are qualified and authorized by law can create a Certificate of Conformity. Such certificate may be made by an attorney at law who is [A.]  admitted to practice in the state of New York, resident in the place where the acknowledgment or proof is taken, or by [B.] by law admitted to practice in the state where the acknowledgment or proof is taken. However, this requirement is not exhaustive. Any individual can create this Confirmation if they are deemed qualified to do so by any court of the state of New York. The precondition is that in any action or proceeding pending before that court,  the acknowledgment as emanating from that individual should not abrogate the laws of that state or territory.  The application for this certificate should not be manifestly unfounded on the application for such determination.

The judge or other presiding judicial officer is required to append to the instrument their signature. Essentially, this judicial officer is required to so acknowledge or prove via their signed statement that they deemed such a person qualified to make such a certificate. The working assumption is that the signature is genuine and held against the credibility of the signer.  To ensure the same, it is necessary to establish the person’s qualification whose name is signed in their authorized capacity to make the certificate. This is established in the recital of the certificate at the end. 

It must be noted that it is this statement the officer makes that states they deemed the person making such certificate qualified. This way, it shall establish the qualification of the person designated therein to make such a certificate. This also means that the recording, filing, registering, or use as evidence of the instrument is not dependant on the court’s power to make the statement. Consequently, the Certificate is sufficient on its own, and there is no need for more proof of any action, proceeding, matter, or application to corroborate the certificate.

Additionally, whenever the instrument in question is accompanied by The Certificate of Conformity and the officer’s statement, it is sufficient that any further acknowledgment adheres to the proofs of the state in question. This is done to ensure that the filing of records and the authentication of proof can be applied with any records office in the state. Additionally, this can be registered and protected upon tendering of any fees required. In fixing the fees of a recording, filing, or registering officer, the Certificate of Conformity and a judicial officer’s statement appended, if any, shall be treated as certificates of authentication.


Case laws have had to be put forth the clarify the requirement of this Certificate of Conformity since it is a relatively recent requirement. Midfirst Bank v. Agho is an important judgment in this context. The judgment was pronounced on August 13, 2014, clarifying the legislation pertaining to the conformity of out-of-state affidavits as required by CPLR 2309. (c).

In this case, the relevant judgment was reversed in the appeal. The reversal specified the application of the CPLR 2309 by the Second Department. A Certificate of Authentication and a Certificate of Conformity were separated herein, providing that a Certificate of Conformity referred to the form taken by a foreign oath. The Certificate of Authentication stemmed from the vested power of the individual to administer the oath. In this case, this distinction was important because of the presence of the notarization of the document. Since the document was notarized, no ‘Certificate of Authentication was needed, and the ‘Certificate of Conformity which was provided was adequate under New York law:

The statutory aim of CPLR 2309(c ) is to ensure that sworn documents that have been executed outside of New York, perhaps under various conditions or protocols, are executed in a way that satisfies New York’s reliability standards, as similar to the execution specifications for documenting a deed.

The certificate required by CPLR 2309(c), the Certificate of Conformity, may include terminology attesting that the oath administered in the foreign state was undertaken in conjunction with the laws of that jurisdiction or the laws of New York. A Certificate of Conformity is distinct from a Certificate of Authentication, which attests to the oath giver’s authority to conduct oaths within the other jurisdiction. 

At this juncture, Real Property Law 299 has also specifically distinguished those officers who can recognize the conveyance of real property outside of New York for the express purpose of conveyance of real property located in New York.  These specific officers are [A.] judges of an out-of-state court with a seal, clerk, or other certifying officers; [B.]  mayors or other chief civil officers of foreign political subdivisions; [C.] notaries public of the other state; [D.] commissioners of deed designated by the other state to take acknowledgments; and[E.] all other persons approved by the external state to adopt acknowledgments or proof of deed for the record.  In New York, the notary public is the external state official who is more often seen acknowledging affidavits and other records for filing in the state of New York.

This provision essentially provides that a document that the foreign state’s notary already acknowledges does not require a separate Certificate of Authentication. However, it must be noted that the Certificate of Conformity is imperative whenever an oath is acknowledged in writing outside of New York by a non-New York notary. If this is not done, the document cannot be acceptable in New-York centered litigation. 

A combined reading of CPLR 2309(c) and Real Property Law § 299 and 311(5) leads to the unavoidable implication is that when a foreign state notary recognizes a report, no special Certificate of Authentication’ is needed to testify to the notary’s competence to administer oaths. In sum, where an oath is accepted as written evidence outside of New York by a non-New York notary. The declaration is provided for use in New York litigation; a Certificate of Conformity is needed.

For more information on serving legal papers, contact a Professional Process Service (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.


1. Or by the laws of the state, District of Columbia, territory, possession, dependency, or other places where the acknowledgment or proof is taken

2. New York Consolidated Laws, Real Property Law – RPP § 299-a. Acknowledgment to conform to the law of New York or place were taken; Certificate of Conformity

 (c)When an instrument so acknowledged or proved is accompanied by the Certificate of Conformity and the statement of a judicial officer, if any be required, the acknowledgment or proof of the instrument, for recording, filing, or registering in any recording or filing office in this state or for use as evidence, shall be equivalent to one taken or made in the form prescribed by law for use in this state; and if the acknowledgment or proof is properly authenticated, where authentication is required by law, and if the instrument is otherwise entitled to record, filing or registering, such instrument, together with the acknowledgment or proof, the Certificate of Conformity and any Certificate of Authentication or statement of a judicial officer, may be recorded, filed or registered in any recording or filing office in this state, and shall be so recorded, filed or registered upon payment or tender of lawful fees therefor. In fixing the fees of a recording, filing, or registering officer, the Certificate of Conformity and the statement of a judicial officer appended, if any, shall be treated as certificates of authentication required by other provisions of this chapter.

3. Midfirst Bank v. Agho, 2014 NY Slip Op. 05778, the Second Department prefaced its decision with an explanation of the salience of the foreign affidavit issue:
Our Court is observing a significant upswing in the number of appeals where the parties contest the admissibility of affidavits executed outside of the state, without CPLR 2309(c) certificates of conformity. The issue has arisen in varied summary judgment and default motion contexts, including motions in residential mortgage foreclosure actions reliant upon affidavits of out-of-state bank employees, motions in medical malpractice actions reliant upon out-of-state physician experts, motions in slip-and-fall actions reliant upon out-of-state witnesses, motions in actions brought pursuant to Insurance Law § 3420(a), motions in motor vehicle negligence actions reliant upon out-of-state experts, and motions in contract actions reliant upon out-of-state expert contractors. We use the instant appeal as an occasion to clarify the law relating to the conformity of out-of-state affidavits as required by CPLR 2309(c).

4. As CPLR 2309(c) provides that an ‘oath or affirmation taken without the state shall be treated as if taken within the state if [a] certificate accompanies it. . . as would be required to entitle a deed acknowledged without the state to be recorded within the state.’ 

5. Further, Real Property Law § 311(5) provides that no Certificate of Authentication shall be required to entitle a conveyance to be . . . recorded in this state when acknowledged or proved before any officer designated in section 299 of the Real Property Law which, as noted, are foreign judges, mayors, notaries, commissioners, and other persons designated by such state to take acknowledgments or proof of deeds to be recorded supra note 3

6. A Certificate of Authentication becomes necessary when an out-of-state acknowledgment is provided by a foreign officer other than one enumerated in Real Property Law § 299, or when the acknowledgment is taken in foreign countries other than Canada, or by foreign mayors or chief civil officers not under seal (see Real Property Law § 311[2]-[4]). supra note 3

7. Real Property Law § 311(5) exempts the officers enumerated in Real Property Law § 299, such as foreign notaries, from the requirement for a Certificate of Authentication., supra note 3

8. Nevertheless, CPLR 2309(c) requires that even when a notary is the foreign acknowledging officer, there must still be a ‘Certificate of Conformity’ to assure that the oath was administered in a manner consistent with either the laws of New York or the foreign state. supra note 3


Port Authority

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Transportation infrastructure is essential to keep traffic moving. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is responsible for keeping both states moving by air, land, rail, and sea.   The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is a collaboration between the United States jurisdictions of New York and New Jersey established in 1921 by an interstate compact ratified by the United States Congress. The Port Authority is in charge of most metropolitan transit facilities, such as bridges, tunnels, airports, and seaports, within the Port of New York and New Jersey’s geographical jurisdiction. The Port Authority’s main office is located at 4 World Trade Centre.

Established in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was created to establish the authority’s position in handling freight rail operations in the two states. When the time elapsed, most of the mass transit migrated from railroads to highways; the Port Authority’s attention turned to other transportation forms.


The Port Authority runs the Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal, which regulated the third-highest level of ships in the United States in 2004, and the oldest on the Eastern Seaboard. The Port Authority currently runs six bi-state crossings: three between New Jersey and Manhattan and three between New Jersey and Staten Island. The Port Authority also operates the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the PATH train system and LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Teterboro Airport, and Stewart International Airport. 

Presently, the bi-state body — a partnership seen between states of New York and New Jersey — is the recognized provider, operator, and administrator of all real estate assets, as well as transportation and distribution services, located throughout the port area. Five main airports (including JFK and LaGuardia), four seaports, bridges and tunnels inside and between the two states, bus stations, rail transport, and real estate assets are among the public infrastructure facilities managed (including One World Trade Centre).

All in all, the Port Authority covers over a thousand miles, extending from the Statue of Liberty. With its massive geographic area and the multitude of activities and transport and logistics operations within, it’s not surprising that lawsuits emerge against the Port Authority. 


The Port Authority is collectively governed by the governors of New York and New Jersey, who select representatives of the agency’s Board of Commissioners and hold power to overturn decisions taken by Commissioners from their respective states. Every governor gets to appoint six representatives of the Board of Commissioners, who are reviewable by the state senate and fulfill six-year terms without pay. The Board of Commissioners appoints an Executive Director to oversee daily operations and carry out the Port Authority’s initiatives. The Governor of New Jersey appoints the Chairman of the Board and the Deputy Executive Director inside an implicit power-sharing arrangement. In contrast, the Governor of New York appoints the Vice Chairman and Executive Director. 

Following the September 11th attacks, a Security Committee was created to monitor the Port Authority Police Department, infrastructure security, and Homeland Security for all Port Authority facilities, the majority of which are prime targets for terrorists.

In terms of finances, the Port Authority has no taxing jurisdiction and receives no tax income from municipal or state governments. Instead, it is funded by the taxes generated by its leases, tolls, fees, and services.


The sessions of the Board of Commissioners are open to the community. Bystanders are welcome to contact the Board at these sessions but must first register by email. The Secretary’s Office can request the Port Authority’s public documents by an internal Freedom of Information policy that is meant to be compliant with and close to the federal Freedom of Information laws of both New York and New Jersey. Members of the Board of Commissioners are generally corporate goliaths and political force players with strong ties to their respective governors. 


When attempting to sue a Municipality or Government Agency, one must be aware of the concept of sovereign immunity. As an agency of the State, the Port Authority enjoys the same sovereign immunity as the State of New York. A city, county, the State of New York, or other government agencies cannot be sued unless they consent to the suit being instituted. The requirement in New York is the filing of a Notice of Claim. A Notice of Claim must be filed within a specific period of time, or the lawsuit cannot be filed at all. Customarily that time period is 90 days.  However, the Port Authority requires at least sixty days to have elapsed. 

In addition to the bi-state arrangement that established the Port Authority in 1951, New York and New Jersey agree to the responsibility for claims arising from ‘tortious acts’ committed by its officers. It potentially encourages individuals to pursue restitution from the Port Authority in the same way they would from a private corporation paying for physical injury and other illegal activities. Despite recent discussion about the efficaciousness of the remedy that the agreement fosters,  the community can still file lawsuits against the authority. Even workers within the Authority are equipped to file a lawsuit under the corporation, after the landmark case of Burke v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in which a federal judge ruled that workers would file lawsuits against the corporation under the 1951 addition to the New York-New Jersey Port Authority Compact as well as the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD).

Suits against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey must be addressed appropriately. A Notice of Claim shall have the information as to the parties as a minimum, including [A.] the identity and address of the party bringing the suit, as well as the attorney defending the party filing the lawsuit; [B.] the nature of the incident (what occurred), including the exact period, date, and site of the accident; [C.] the details of the injuries and [D.] the damages sought. It is also important to ensure the document’s verification, and the document must be sworn to. A document of this importance should be prepared in the first place by an accomplished local liability attorney. 

The Notice of Claim is the Port Authority’s first warning of the incident. It is intended to remind them of which entity or organization is involved and any details regarding the accident. Too little detail can render the record null and void, while too many details can function against the defendant at a later point of the proceeding. It is necessary to furnish them with full and sufficient facts of the case. 

If a notice of claim is required to be filed against the Port Authority, it is vital to ensure that this Notice has been provided to the right address. This is because the misfiling of the claim to an authority that already has a significant number of claims against it can often lead to a rejection of the claim. Without an appropriate address, the authority is not qualified to hear and return said notice would render it void, often leaving the claimant without remedy. Especially since Notice of Claim is time-bound, it is necessary to ensure that the ninety-day period for filing has not run its course. It is very seldom that a Court permits the filing of a late Notice of claim.  


Filing a claim within the notice period is not the same as complying with the Statute of Limitations. The Statute of Limitations is an explicit timeframe within which a lawsuit must be filed. However, the Statute of Limitations only comes into play once the minimum requirements for filing a Notice of Claim have been reached. Personal service of Notices of Claim, Summonses, and Complaints, or Subpoenas for records and other documents on the Port Authority or its wholly-owned corporate entities (including the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH), the Newark Legal and Communications Centre Urban Renewal Corporation, or the New York and New Jersey Railroad Corporation) must be served upon an officer of the Port Authority itself or upon an officer of the respective entity in the State of New York.  

In the State of New York, the same process service may be followed. Personal service of Notices of Claim, Summonses, and Complaints, or Subpoenas for records and other documents that must be served upon an officer of the Port Authority or of the respective entity in the State of New Jersey may be made at the New Jersey offices of the Law Department of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It is necessary at both these locations to furnish appropriate photo identification. 

Lawsuits against the Port Authority have a one-year statute of limitations. Moreover, claimants should file claims from the agency at least sixty days before filing their complaints.  The lawsuit must be started within one year from the date of the accident.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port Authority accepts process service by registered mail. Additionally, mask protocol has been mandated. Any individual utilizing Port Authority services, such as airport terminals, PATH stations and trains, AirTrain stations and trains, and bus terminals, is expected to use face coverings to shield fellow travelers and staff from transmitting COVID-19. Travelers who do not wear a mask or face protection are faced with a USD 50 penalty. This policy was initiated on Monday, November 2.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey follows the health and safety protocols for the novel coronavirus established by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health, and the New Jersey Department of Health.  In reaction to COVID-19, the agency altered its buildings’ operational footprints, altered protection and repair procedures, and introduced new cleaning and disinfecting protocols. If required, the Port Authority has sworn to continue reviewing and upgrading its procedures in the face of the pandemic.

For more information on serving legal papers, contact a Professional Process Service (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.


1. This 1,500-square-mile (3,900-square-kilometer) port district is normally bounded by a 25-mile (40-kilometer) radius around the Statue of Liberty National Monument

2.The Port Authority is headquartered at 4 World Trade Centre in Lower ManhattanThe agency was headquartered at 1 World Trade Centre in the first World Trade Centre complex,  where it occupied 22,411 square feet (2,082.1 m2) of space. It had been headquartered in the WTC complex beginning in 1973. After the previous headquarters were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Port Authority moved into 225 Park Avenue South in Midtown Manhattan, with employees divided between offices in New York and New Jersey,  before returning to the World Trade Centre in 2015.

3. Including Commissioner David Mack as Chairman and Commissioner Bruce Blakeman as Vice Chairman

4. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie named former New Jersey Attorney General David Samson as the Port Authority’s new chairman on February 3, 2011. In March 2016, Gov. Christie declared Samson’s resignation due to the “Bridgegate” corruption probe.

5. Trippe v Port of N.Y.Auth.,14 NY2d119,123[1964]

6. Addressed to:

4 World Trade Centre, 150 Greenwich Street,

 New York, NY 10007.

7. McKinney’s Unconsolidated Laws of NY § 7108 further provides that “The notice of claim . . . shall be in writing, sworn to by or on behalf of the claimant or claimants, and shall set forth (1) the name and post office address of each claimant and his attorney, if any, (2) the nature of the claim, (3) the time when, the place where and how the claim arose, and (4) the items of damage or injuries claimed to have been sustained so far as then practicable. Such notice may be served in the manner in which process may be served, or in lieu thereof, may be sent by registered mail to the port authority at its principal office.”

8.Tort claims against some Authorities should not be served on the Comptroller’s Office and must be served on the Authority or its designated agent:


  1. New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA)
  2. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
  3. Triboro Bridge & Tunnel Authority
  4. Port Authority of NY and NJ
  5. Manhattan, Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MABSTOA)
  6. New York City School Construction Authority
  7. New York City Health + Hospitals (HH)
  8. Staten Island Rapid Transit Authority
  9. MTA Bus Company (MTABC)
  10. Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
  11. Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority

9. New Jersey address at: at 2 Montgomery Street, 3rd Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302

10. Relevant New Jersey statute: NJ Rev Stat § 32:1-163 (2015)

32:1-163. Limitations; notice of claim; workmen’s compensation claims
The foregoing consent is granted upon the condition that any suit, action, or proceeding prosecuted or maintained under this act shall be commenced within one year after the cause of action, therefore, shall have accrued. Upon the further condition that in the case of any suit, action or proceeding for the recovery or payment of money, prosecuted or maintained under this act, a notice of claim shall have been served upon the Port Authority by or on behalf of the plaintiff or plaintiffs at least sixty days before such suit, action or proceeding is commenced. This section’s provisions shall not apply to claims arising out of provisions of any workmen’s compensation law of either State.

L.1951, c. 204, p. 741, s. 7.

11.McKinney’s Unconsolidated Laws of NY § 7107 provides that “…any suit, action or proceeding prosecuted or maintained under this act shall be commenced within one year after the cause of action, therefore, shall have accrued, and upon the further condition that in the case of any suit, action or proceeding for the recovery or payment of money, prosecuted or maintained under this act, a notice of claim shall have been served upon the port authority by or on behalf of the plaintiff or plaintiffs at least sixty days before such suit, action or proceeding is commenced.”