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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Proposed Rule Requires GPS to Track and Record Process Server Activity

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs has given notice that it  intends to adopt new rules regarding the licensing of process servers.   The new rule 2-233b Electronic Record of Service, would among other things require all process servers in New York City to have a GPS enabled device for the purpose of tracking, monitoring and recording electronically all the activities a process server engages in to affect service.

The DCA hearing is set for January 27, 2011 at 10:00 a.m., 66 John Street, 11th floor hearing room, New York, N.Y. 10038.

The proposal new rule dictates what records physical and electronic must be kept, how they are to be maintained and for how long.  Process servers will be is responsible for turning those records over upon request to the Department of Consumer Affairs.  

This rule is an additional requirement imposed by the NYC council last year.  As I understand it some of the details are still being worked out, but all process servers will also be required to purchase a $10,000.00 surety bond and all process serving agencies will be required to have a bond in the amount of $100,000.00.
All of this is the result of a few rouge process serving agencies that allegedly engaged in "Server Service".  This blog has reported on a few of those agencies in prior posts.  

At least two of those process serving agencies, "American Legal Process" and "Serves You Right, Inc" have been investigated by the NY State Attorney General Office and as a result have been either formally charged with crimes or closed down. 

Another NYC process serving agency "SamServ" was in the news this week.  The American Bar Association Journal ran a story entitled "Federal Judge OKs RICO Conspiracy Class Action Against Law Firm in ‘Sewer Service’ Case" the story refers to a lawsuit that alleges a scheme where debt buyers, a law firm and a process serving agency worked with one another to defraud consumers in collections cases. 

This Federal Court decision could not have come at a worse time for New York process servers given the Department of Consumer Affairs hearing later this month. 

If these and other agencies did commit fraud or worse, they should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.   Unfortunately all other process serving agencies will have to also pay a steep price as a result as a result of the new rules and regulations.  Some fear that many process serving agencies will be forced out of business as a result.