Our client was sued at an address in a county where he had not resided for 17 years. Obsolete is an understatement. Consequently, he defaulted and needed to hire us to quickly stop a garnishment and contend with the lawsuit. Attaching a copy of his relevant lease to our papers, we rebutted each allegation in the affidavit of service with specificity. The affidavit of service was created and sworn by an individual accused of sewer service in the class action, Sykes v. Mel Harris, currently pending in the Southern District of New York.
We pointed out that such a garnishment premised on a venue violation could result in a countersuit against Cavalry Portfolio Services suit and/or Schachter Portnoy, LLC. Both entities are considered "debt collectors" under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The affidavit of service alleged "nail-and-mail" service, permissible under New York law only after more reliable methods of service are first attempted. Nail-and-mail service requires delivery of the summons and complaint "to the door of either the actual place of business, dwelling place, or usual place of abode..." Delivering the papers to the door of a grossly obsolete address, we argue, falls short of satisfying New York State's requirements.
New York City has long been challenged by improper service of lawsuits to outdated addresses. A substantial portion of our clientele have been deprived of due notice, a defense that forms a strong basis to overturn the resultant judgment and can steer the lawsuit towards a dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction.