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A process server is trying to serve me papers right now over

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A process server is trying to serve me papers right now over a credit card bill I owe to them.I have some questions as to process serving.We are dodging him at this time.

1) I live in upper New York State and the other afternoon there was a knock at the door and we did not answer it and all our shades are drawn down ,so no one can see into the house at all.We also have dogs and leave the TV or music on all day for them.We could see his car on the street with flashers on. Now since we didn't come to the door and he could not see us I assume he will come back 2 more times and then nail and mail to us as he could not do personal service.He may have thought people were at home when he came as the TV was on.Can he say we are served if he heard voices like on the TV.?Trying to see how this works and also what HRS of the day they have tofollow.I know they can't serve on Sundays.??? Do they have to see you or make you come to the door even when they might think your in the house,but can't prove it.?

2) second question is after we get served I know we can answer it .The debt is ours and we owe it ,but we both got laid off and no jobs for now.I need to stall this by answering Pro-Se to get as much time as possible.I know about the 20 or 30 day rule to respond to the answer to whom I have to.The question for you is what do I put down as my answer to to defend against this.Something like asking for every single bill with my signatures . Can you give me a list of what to say in my pro-se.The debt is only 6 months old and overdue.I need to tie this up in court to april 2011 if I can giving us time to get new jobs.You know the game we need to play here.We owe the money but can't pay the bill and couldn't get them to agree to anything 6 months ago to pay it off.

3) Once served I have 20 to 30 days to answer depending on service done.Then we do discover based on the answer and we get a court date .I'm trying to see how long this process takes.I know I can make them appear in court and ask for one extention and a new court date.But what does this all mean as to how much time can zi really tie this up by.We are in Mid December right now.I need a timeline in new york state as to how much time I can get roughly.I need to make them go back and find alot of paperwork in my case ,so they stall and lots of time goes by.

4) Not a spot I want to be in ,but I need to tie this up for awhile is I can and my guess is 4 to 6 months ,but I'm guessing here.How my discover is done will make all the difference.

Thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.


  1. I am a licensed attorney with civil litigation and consumer protection law experience including debtor representation in creditor collection cases. I will be glad to try and answer your questions. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information.
  2. The answer to the first part of your inquiry, concerning service of process, goes like this. Papers cannot be served on Sundays. Likewise, they cannot be served on Saturdays for anyone who can show they keep that day as holy time. Hearing the television on or other evidence of thinking people are home will only count a an attempt, not as completed service of process. You are correct that the likely scenario will be three in-person attempts followed by affixing the summons to your door along with mailing it. Should that also fail, eventually the Court may authorize service by newspaper publication. If service is not affected by actually serving you in person (handing you the notice), the law also provides for the remedy of reversing an adverse judgment but only provided you had a meritorious defense. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that you can buy some time, but eventually the creditor will effect service of process one way or the other. In terms of more specific time frames, while I can make no guarantees, it would not be unreasonable to extend the proceedings by a month or two while the plaintiff tries to serve you.
  3. The second part of your question concerning answering suit is a bit more difficult to answer at this initial and very early stage of the proceedings. Providing a definitive answer would require an actual review of the pleadings. That being said, however, generally one could expect to easily delay final judgment six months as you mentioned and very likely even beyond that time frame. Depending upon whether the summons or notice of petition is served with the complaint or petition governs whether you will have 20 or 30 days to file your answer. Ultimately, you will not know exactly where things stand until you see the actual pleadings. Further answers could be found by studying the Local Rules and Uniform Rules (once you know the name of the Court) as well as the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules.
  4. I hope that makes sense, but please do not hesitate to write back if needed. I shall be signing off soon to attend to some other professional obligations. Please rest assured, however, that I will be sure to check for any updated posts from you when I return to this online forum. I am sorry for your circumstances, and I truly hope that things look brighter for you soon as this matter gets resolved appropriately.


I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.


If my answer has been helpful to you, please click "ACCEPT" so that I may be paid. This is the only way that I will receive compensation for the work performed. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done. Clicking "FEEDBACK" to leave your positive comments is always greatly appreciated.


The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Very nice answer to my questions.I know where the court is and where to answer it to,meaning a copy to the lawyer and two copies for the clerks office that they stamp and then give one back to me for my records.Up here where we live in new york state they always serve with the notice of 20 days if handed to me or 30 days if pinned to the door.I also know I have to answer every single item just as they list them or if I don't they consider it as I admit to doing it.The problem I have is what laws govern what I can add as another part of my defense in my complete answer , so that it is done right.I will contact you again when we see the papers as they tried for the 2nd time today to serve and then checked the mail box to see if we still live here.So third time is coming soon.It was filed at the clerks office 11/23/2010 and they tried to serve for the first time 12/8/2010.So it took 8 days for them to start after the holiday.Thankyou for your help with this matter
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I went to the county clerks office and saw who was trying to serve me with papers.Now I'm not sure if the last time was the 2nd or 3rd try to get me.I know they have to file the papers first before they can statr serving me,but do they have to record the fact that I was served and how with the county clerks also,or do they just report to the attorney.The reason I ask is alot of process servers are being sued by the state of new york right nowfor now doing nail and mail.can they mail it and not pin it to your door as I thought both are needed.If they don't pin it but mail it what date counts as the day I have been served --when I get it in the mail.If nothing happens for a week I better get a copy from the clerks office as they are not doing this right --thanks

Hello again,


Thanks for writing back -- good to hear from you.


I will be glad to comment further -- please see below.


Before I address your inquiry, however, I want to take a moment and say a heartfelt thank for your payment, generous bonus, and most of all kind words -- all greatly appreciated!


Now, on to your most recent post. You are absolutely right about some of the recent controversies surrounding private process servers -- especially in the State of New York. Obtaining personal jurisdiction is such a foundational matter. Without it, the Court can simply not exercise its powers over the Defendant. Yes, the server (who, by the way, has to be license -- I am sure you already knew that point), will have to report back by filing a Return of Service. Generally, for this type of action, service of process has to be completed within 120 days of filing suit. NY CPLR § 306-b. You are indeed correct that both "pinning" (affixing) and mail are required. NY CPLR § 308. The law always favors true personal service -- i.e. literally handing the legal papers to the actual Defendant. The further we get from that ideal (i.e. handing them to an adult at the Defendant's residence) requires more proof that lawful service actually took place.


I hope that helps a bit more. Please feel free to request me again by typing your question in the "Ask Your Question" text box on my Profile Page. In any event, it has truly been a pleasure interacting with you.


Take care and thanks again for choosing JustAnswer®!

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I posted a question about forclosures under my name and didn't know if it's in your field.If you can answer it please do --thanks



Many thanks for the honor of requesting me by name. While I greatly appreciate your confidence in my abilities, I will need to go ahead and opt out (without charge).


I send my best wishes for a successful resolution of your legal matters.


Take care and thanks again for choosing JustAnswer®!