HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS ON NEW YORK CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY

New York

By Akanksha A. Panicker

The New York City  Housing Authority (NYCHA) develops and manages public housing in New York City in its capacity as a New York State public development corporation. The NYCHA (“NYCHA Board”) consists of seven members, of which the chairman is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Mayor of New York City, while the others are appointed for three-year terms by the mayor. New York State public benefit corporations and authorities operate like quasi-private corporations, with boards of directors appointed by elected officials overseeing publicly operated and privately operated systems. Public authorities share characteristics with government agencies, but they are exempt from many state and local regulations. 

[1.0] WHO CAN RECEIVE SERVICE AT THE NYCHA

The New York City Housing Authority aims to strengthen the prospects of low- to moderate-income individuals by housing them and assisting with social services. A “public corporation” includes a municipal corporation, a district corporation, or a public benefit corporation.

The Law Department provides legal counsel and representation to the Authority. After November 5, the NYCHA Law Department began to accept process service at the service window. If service is done electronically, process service may be accepted via email for papers like Orders to Show Cause, Notices of Claim, Summonses, or Subpoenas. Essentially, all legal papers that may be served at the service window can be done electronically. However, on individuals, the process service should continue to proceed in the manner required by applicable law.

[1.1] PROCESS SERVICE OF SUBPOENAS

Subpoenas must be personally served at NYCHA’s Law Department between the hours of business. It is important to identify the right location for service. If the subpoena is served at the wrong NYCHA location, it will be rejected.   Additionally, there is a USD 15.00 subpoena fee that must be complied with. Sometimes a judge will waive the fee. In that case, the waiver must be stated in the subpoena and signed by the judge.  

Before service is levied upon the Law Department, the individual must pay the fee at NYCHA’s Central Office Cash Control Receiving Center.  It is mandatory to supply proof of payment when the subpoena has been served on the Law Department. A subpoena must be ‘so ordered’ or signed by a judge.

Sometimes, an entity has independent subpoena power and can issue a subpoena without a judge’s signature. If the office has independent subpoena power, the relevant legal provision should be included in the subpoena body.  The NYCHA usually requires a lead time. To respond to a subpoena. Subpoenas must be served at least 24 hours in advance of a court date or return date, but NYCHA requests that subpoenas be served at least two weeks before the court date or return date to give it sufficient time to comply. Subpoenas served on less than 24 hours notice are usually rejected. 

A subpoena must be specific about the documents or information it seeks rather than vague and undefined. Including time periods or particular types of documents or information, the person is seeking to substantially augment the case, especially since subpoenas containing no details will be rejected. 

[2.0] NYCHA AS A PUBLIC CORPORATION

General Construction Law states that a public corporation’s definition encompasses all municipal, district, and public benefit corporations. However, this does not provide for publicly traded corporations.  Therefore,  process service on the corporation is required to ensure the furnishing of the Notice. It is simple to set up this operation to serve a Claim on the New York Department of State’s office. It is necessary to include two copies of the notice of claim of argument. The cumulative fee owed for issuing the Notice of Claim is USD 250.

The ethical principle that the entire legal system relies on is that defendants must be aware of litigation against them in a case. Personal delivery might not always be possible, so  New York City process service can be obtained by methods other than personal hand delivery and still pass constitutional muster. This is especially relevant since personal delivery has been considerably more complex given the pandemic. Although typical Notice of Claims rarely occurs via mail in New York City, there have been a few changes made in response to the COVID restrictions.

[2.1]RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE

The public corporation of the NYCHA has designated the Secretary of State of the State of New York as its agent upon whom a Notice of Claim against the public corporation may be served. The Secretary of State is the statutory agent for process service on most business corporations, not-for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships formed in this State and for most corporations, not-for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships which were formed in jurisdictions other than this State and which filed applications for authority to do business or conduct activities in this State. 

All public corporations are entitled to have served upon them notice of claim as a condition precedent to an action’s commencement. However, these corporations did specifically require to have filed a certificate with the secretary of state. This certificate was imperative in designating the secretary as the agent for process service of a Notice of Claim and additionally, provided the particulars that the secretary of the state would require to send the corporation future requests accurately as well as to store the information in the record, being the in such the name, post office address and electronic mail address, of an officer for the transmittal of notices of claim, served upon the secretary as the public corporation’s agent.

It is necessary that any designated post office address or electronic mail address to which the secretary of state is has been sent. The notice of the claim would remain as such until formal intimation is provided that the corporation has changed its particulars. The Secretary of State should also be intimated as to the new address as well.

The initial filing with the Secretary Of State shall also contain the applicable time limit for filing a notice of claim upon that public corporation. If later changed by statute, a new filing shall be made detailing the new time limit. Any public corporation that does not have a current and timely statutory designation filed with the secretary of state shall not be entitled to the portion of the fee to which it would otherwise be entitled from the Secretary of State for effectuating service. Failure of the public corporation to file with the secretary of state, however, will not invalidate any service of a notice of claim upon the public corporation which the secretary of state has received.

[2.2] PROCEDURE FOR PROCESS SERVICE WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE 

The New York Secretary of State is the statutory representative for public corporations who would have to be informed of the claim against them before any prosecution or action against the organization. To serve a Notice of Claim on the New York Secretary of State as a statutory agent of a public corporation, the Notice of Claim Server will be required to [A.] determine the identity of the public corporation intended to be served; [B.] complete the requisite cover sheet, [C.] file duplicate copies of the Notice of Claim with the Service of Process/Notice of Claim Cover Sheet and a copy of the first page of the filed Certificate of Designation for Service of Notice of Claim stapled to an authorized person at the New York Department of State’s office and finally [D.] pay the service fee of USD 250.  the notice of claim must point out the proper body (Corporation, LLC, agency) since only the Notice of Claim server instead of the DOS is liable for servicing the public corporation and describing whether the intention was to serve that particular corporation.

A notice of claim form shall supply DOS with the name of the corporation. From there, DOS may subsequently use the database and determine whether or not it has the details of a corporation whose details line up to those provided by the server.   DOS can also provide the Notice of Claim server with a register bearing its formal name, which is often recognized on the lawsuit as the firm’s corporate defendant’s name. Additionally, the Notice server is charged with deciding one of the public corporations that have been matched to the correspondent.  o Only publicly corporations that have not yet filed a Certificate of Designation of Service for Notices of Claim would be omitted from being  listed on the registry but can still be served on the Secretary of State

The service must also be made on a public entity that has not obtained a Certificate of Service on Demand. If the title specified in the Formal Notice of Claim is inconsistent with the public corporation’s actual name, DOS’s search results may not have that identity. 

[2.2] CONDITIONS THAT NEED TO BE FULFILLED

Process Service of a notice of claim requires both the duplicate copy and the statutory fee as a vouchsafe by the server. They imply that the documents are replica exact copies of the Claim’s original Notice, responsible for accuracy and verification, becoming the server’s responsibility. Since the influx of documents to the DOS is so heavy, it is impossible to accurately and exhaustively review every single claim put forth to it. However, the DOS still has the responsibility to ascertain that the notices received are actually duplicates of each other. If the Notice of Claim copies is not duplicated, the service should be dismissed immediately.  The service is invalid even if the DOS overlooks the inconsistency since the incorrect service directly abridges the laws it has been set under.

For service upon a public corporation that has filed a Certificate of Designation for Service of Notice of Claim, DOS delivers a singular copy to the party presented on the Notice of Claim. When the server submits a claim, the  DOS is obliged to send the corporation’s request identified on the form. It must be reiterated that if the claims are raised against the wrongly-identified public corporation according to the DOS list, the intended recipient will not receive the DOS mailing. Service being provided is ineffective when referred to the public corporation that it is intended service being provided is inadequate when referred to the public corporation that it is intended for.

The New York City Housing Authority aims to strengthen the prospects of low- to moderate-income individuals by housing them and assisting with social services. Of particular importance, they can issue their own debt, allowing them to bypass limits on state debt contained in the New York State Constitution. 

Additionally, the New York City Housing Authority administers a citywide Rented Housing 8 initiative of rented units referred to as projects or developments, comprising single and two- and three- and multi-family residences, as well as small apartment buildings. This agency was the first of its kind in the United States to reach low- to moderate-income people and communities from across New York City.

For more information on serving legal papers, contact our 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.

Source

1. Public Housing Law § 401; “The New York City Housing Authority is hereby constituted and declared to be a body corporate and politic with all the powers, rights and duties outlined in article five of the former state housing law.”

2. The Law Department is divided into the following practice groups: Appeals; Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation; Corporate Affairs; Housing Litigation; Labor and Employment; Real Estate and Economic Development; Strategic Initiatives and Special Polices; Technical Services and Torts

3. The window will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 AM to 5 PM.

4. ServiceECF@nycha.nyc.gov.

5. 90 Church Street, 11th Floor, New York, New York 10007,

6. Between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m

7.Located at 90 Church Street, 6th Floor, New York, New York 10007, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m

8. Such entities are often referred to as “domestic entities.”

9. Such entities are often referred to as “authorized foreign entities.”

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