2:13 am - Friday October 31, 2014

Sloppy service has legal consequences

Opening a door to a potential defense that apparently has largely or entirely gone unnoticed in mortgage foreclosure cases, a New York judge last month overturned a bank judgment because a process server didn’t keep records required by law.

Gary Cardi, a former police officer working for A&J Process Service admitted to state Supreme Court Justice F. Dana Winslow that he kept no records in the Nassau County case of Soledad Murillo or in thousands of others over the past six years. According to the judge, failure by a process server to keep records concerning efforts to serve a complaint on the defendant homeowner violates New York’s General Business Law, Article 8. Victor Spinelli, a lawyer for the Steven J. Baum, P.C. foreclosure law firm, which had a local office on the same floor of the same building as A&J, argued unsuccessfully that a process server’s failure to keep records wasn’t a reason to overturn a foreclosure judgment.

“The duty to keep comprehensive records may have been unnoticed, or underestimated, by litigants and the courts,” the judge said in a Dec. 22 written opinion. “Past practice, however, cannot be the motivating force for future conduct and determinations.” An article by Reuters also quotes Lawrence Yellon, president of the National Association of Professional Process Servers, and may be found at: News Insight

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