2010-05-21 / Top Stories

City Council Regulates Process Servers

Earlier this month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law new restrictions on how process servers do business in New York City.

“Process servers deliver legal papers to people who are being sued. Debt collection agencies and attorneys often hire private process serving companies to deliver these documents in person or through the mail.

While in many instances the service of these documents is performed effectively, each year thousands of New Yorkers have their wages garnished and their bank accounts frozen - all because they have defaulted on debts they didn’t know they owed,” Bloomberg said. “The process serving industry is responsible for ensuring that consumers are aware that legal claims have been made against them so that they have a chance to defend themselves, and the enactment of this legislation will bring this essential component of our justice system into the 21st Century.”

The new law requires process servers to pass an exam, as well as post a surety bond or pay into a trust fund established by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Perhaps most importantly, the bill requires process servers to provide an electronic record of their work. A GPS device will automatically and independently verify the service of process at the location where such service was made or claimed to have been made. From now on, the Department of Consumer Affairs will have the tools it needs to conduct audits efficiently - and crack down on fraudulent service.

“I would like to thank Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz and his staff and my office of City Legislative Affairs for their work on this bill. I would also like to thank the City Council for approving this legislation,” Bloomberg said.

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