SERVING LEGAL PAPERS: UNDERSTANDING PERSONAL SERVICE IN NEW YORK

New York State Rules and Laws

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Without proper service, a suit is impossible. The court needs to acquire personal jurisdiction over a defendant, which cannot be done without proper process service. The CPLR 308 sets forth several methods by which service of process may be effectuated on an individual.

[1.0] OVERVIEW AS TO THE CPLR

The CPLR provides information as to personal service upon a natural person. This could consist of personal delivery, delivery by mail, or through an agent. 

Personal delivery refers to the highest form of service, wherein service is provided within the state to the actual person to be served. Personal service is a part of the actual service, wherein the complaint or the summons is delivered in hand to the respondent. Personal service forms a triad of basic delivery with substituted service and constructive service. 

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