By Akanksha A Panicker
As a stage of development of the endeavor to create a shared corporate identity, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 1994 introduced a popular name bestowed upon each of its branches and affiliates. The New York City Transit Authority (NYCT) is now branded MTA New York City Transit (NYCT), (or precisely on the buses, MTA New York City Bus and MTA New York City Subway), although the former persists as its legal name for documents and contracts. Newer RFPs and deals have also used the more common term.
The Authority is referred to as NYCT or NYCT (for New York City Transit Authority), or simply the TA (for Transit Authority). New York City Transit Authority is a public corporation defined in Section 66 of the General Construction Law of the State of New York. It has designated the Secretary of the State as their agent to receive process service.
The chairman and members of the MTA council, by law, also act as the chairman and members of the Transit Authority and operate as the directors of the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority. The MTA executive director is an ex officio appointment to the Transit Authority’s post and does not require Senate confirmation.
The Transit Authority’s day-to-day activities are handled by its executive staff, who report to the agency’s president.
[1.0] WHAT POWERS DO THE MTA HAVE AS A PUBLIC AUTHORITY
The ‘MTA New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA)’ is neither a state nor local government entity. On March 1, 1968, the NYCTA and its subsidiary, the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA), were placed under the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Consequently, the MTA has evolved in its capacity as a public benefit corporation: the quasi-private corporation status of New York public benefit corporations therein means that the board of directors as appointed by elected officials is the authority that can both publicly operated and privately operated systems.
Being a public authority also means that the institution enjoys significant exemptions from state and local regulations. However, to a large extent, they tend to follow the model of government agencies.
[2.0] RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SECRETARY OF 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 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.
[2.1] REQUIREMENTS OF PROCESS SERVICE
The General Construction Law definition of ‘public corporation’ includes municipal corporations, district corporations, and public benefit corporations. It does not include publicly traded corporations. Thus, the said corporation’s service would mean that Claim’s Notice would have to be furnished first and foremost. New York City Proces Service may easily accomplish this upon an authorized individual at the New York Department of State office. It is necessary to furnish two copies of the notice of claim. The fee for serving the Notice of Claim is USD 250.
The legal system’s bedrock principle that parties to litigation must be aware of legal proceedings brought against them. Recognizing that it can be difficult to serve natural persons personally, it is well settled that New York City process service can be obtained by methods other than personal hand delivery and still pass constitutional muster.
However, in light of the pandemic, personal delivery may be significantly more difficult to effectuate. While New York City process service is usually not accepted via mail, the requirements that the COVID-19 restrictions have put into place have since caused modifications to traditional acceptance of a notice of claim.
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 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. The Notice of Claim must specify the proper entity (corporation, LLC, government agency) putting the claim, especially considering that the Notice of Claim server, not the DOS, is responsible for serving the public corporation and identifying whether it was the intended target.
A Notice of Claim New York City Process Service should provide DOS with the name of the public corporation whose claims DOS is attempting to process and can thereinafter ask DOS to review its database for a public corporation whose name matches that of the one be served. On the other hand, DOS can supply the Notice of Claim server with a registry of public entities of which the name submitted in the lawsuit is identical to, or the same as, the full name of the corporate defendant. It is also the duty of the Notice of Claim server to decide the public corporation that has been served corresponds to the list. Note, public corporations that have not filed a Certificate of Designation for Service of Notices of Claim will not be included on the list but may still be served upon the Secretary of State.
The document’s service must also be rendered on a public company that has not filed a Certificate of Designation for Service of Notices of Demand. If the real name of the public company expected to be served varies from the name given in the Notice of Claim, it will not be identified on DOS’s search result list.
[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.
Regarding service on a public corporation that has not filed a Certificate of Designation for Service of Notice of Claim, DOS does not send a copy of Claim’s Notice to the public corporation served.
Throughout the procedure laid down, the Notice of Claim server must provide DOS with a clear and unequivocal indication of the identity of the public corporation to be served.
All is not inescapable bureaucratic rigidity in service. The MTA is responsible for developing and implementing a unified mass transportation policy for the New York metropolitan area. Serving this capacity for public benefit means that the DOS will not reject service of process upon a public corporation solely because the entity named on the service form does not match the entity name as it appears on the record of the Notice of Claim cover sheet.
However, this would mean that the DOS accepts the service precisely. It is identified and issues a receipt that would follow through with the documents under the Service of Process/Notice of Claim Cover Sheet and send the process exactly to those corporations who have been identified. Furthermore, State records would reflect that the service was made on the public corporation recognized on the Service of Process/Notice of Claim Cover Sheet. This laid down procedure is applicable even if the entity served is not the same as the corporation or even if the name of the public corporation specified differs in any way from the name of the public corporation as defined in the Notice of Claim.
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1. The NYCTA operates the following systems:
- New York City Subway, a rapid transit system in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.
- Staten Island Railway, a rapid transit line on Staten Island (operated by the subsidiary Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority)
- New York City Bus, an extensive bus network serving all five boroughs, managed by MTA Regional Bus Operations.
2.New York Consolidated Laws, General Construction Law – GCN § 66. Definitions
A ‘public corporation’ includes a municipal corporation, a district corporation, or a public benefit corporation.
3. The NYC Transit presidency is empty as of Feb 21, 2020, after its last president’s resignation.
4. Inclusive of person, or designee, nominee, or other agent-in-fact
5. In addition to the other methods prescribed by law, a notice of claim against a public corporation may be served on the New York Secretary of State as the public corporation’s statutory agent under Section 53 of the General Municipal Law.
6. One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231. Two
7. brought to the Customer Service Counter located on the 6th Floor. The Customer Service Counter is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m
8 • instead of serving a notice of claim upon a public corporation as provided for in section fifty-e of this article, a notice of claim setting forth the same information as required by such area may be served upon the secretary of state in the same manner as if done with the public corporation. All the requirements relating to the form, content, time limitations, exceptions, extensions, and any other procedural requirements imposed in such section concerning a notice of claim served upon a public corporation shall correspondingly apply to a statement of claim acted upon the secretary of state as permitted by this section. For purposes of this article, the secretary of state shall be deemed to be the agent for all public corporations upon whom a notice of claim may be served before commencement of any action or proceeding subject to this article’s requirements.