How To Serve Legal Papers on the New York Police Department: A Step-by-Step Guide

This article will provide guidance on How To Serve Legal Papers on the New York Police Department: A Step-by-Step Guide. Serving legal papers on the New York Police Department (NYPD) is crucial for legal actions. The NYPD, established in 1845, is one of the oldest and most significant law enforcement bodies in the United States. This guide simplifies the process, ensuring your legal proceedings advance smoothly. Click here to watch our introduction video

Understanding NYPD’s Structure

Firstly, the NYPD’s vast structure includes various bureaus dedicated to different aspects of law enforcement, such as public order and investigations. It boasts 77 patrol precincts and additional units for transit and housing. Recognizing whom to approach is the first step in serving legal papers effectively. Click here for information on How CPLR 308 Enhances Service of Process in New York.

Submitting a FOIL Request

Moreover, the NYPD’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Unit now requires appointments for records requests, a change post-COVID-19. These requests, crucial for accessing public records, must be precise. A well-detailed request ensures a faster and more efficient search. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

Record Request Protocol

Additionally, for specific records like Certificates of Conduct or criminal records, the NYPD outlines clear procedures. These steps are vital for various legal and personal reasons and often require in-person visits. Following these guidelines closely avoids delays. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

Certificate of Conduct and Non-Criminal Fingerprinting

Furthermore, obtaining a Certificate of Conduct involves fingerprinting at Police Headquarters. This process, essential for background checks, comes with a fee and specific documentation requirements. Preparing adequately speeds up this process.

Requesting Criminal Records

Similarly, the Criminal Records Section maintains crucial reports on crimes and lost property. Requests for these reports, submitted online or by mail, must include detailed information to facilitate identification. This service is indispensable for verifying incidents or claims.

Key Tips for Successful Submission

  • Appointments Are Essential: Now, more than ever, making an appointment is mandatory for submitting legal papers or FOIL requests to the NYPD.
  • Be Specific: Clearly and specifically describe the records you seek in your FOIL requests to ensure an efficient process.
  • Prepare the Necessary Documentation: When applying for a Certificate of Conduct, having the correct documents and fees ready is crucial.
  • Use Mail for Certain Requests: Some documents, like aided records, must be requested through mail. Including a self-addressed stamped envelope is critical for these submissions.


To serve legal papers on the New York Police Department requires a clear understanding of its procedures. Whether you’re submitting a FOIL request, seeking specific records, or needing a Certificate of Conduct, adhering to the NYPD’s guidelines ensures your legal needs are addressed effectively and efficiently. This guide aims to streamline these processes, facilitating the smooth progression of legal actions involving the NYPD.


New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
Brooklyn: (347) 983-5436 – 300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Queens: (646) 357-3005 – 118-35 Queens Blvd, Suite 400, Forest Hills, New York 11375
Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
Westchester: (914) 414-0877 – 50 Main Street, 10th Floor, White Plains, New York 10606
Connecticut: (203) 489-2940 – 500 West Putnam Avenue, Suite 400, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
New Jersey: (201) 630-0114 – 101 Hudson Street, 21 Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 – 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 300, Washington DC 20004


Pick up the phone and call Toll Free (800) 774-6922, or click the service you want to purchase. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to assist you. We can handle all your New York City process service needs; no job is too small or too large! For a complete list of our New York City Process Service Coverage Areas, Click Here!

Contact us for more information about our process-serving agency. We are ready to provide New York City service of process to all our clients globally from our offices in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C.

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