In New York City and the rest of the state, the Secretary of State is the designated statutory agent of all domestic and authorized foreign entities. These include corporations, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, and not-for-profit corporations.
This means if you have a process, such as a Summons and Complaint, Notice of Petition, or other legal papers, served to a business operating in New York City or New York State, you should serve it to the Secretary of State.
When to Serve Process to the New York Secretary of State
A person or company needs to serve process to the Secretary of State if they have filed a lawsuit against a domestic or authorized foreign corporation in New York City or New York State. Part of the lawsuit process, whether it’s filed in a civil, federal, or Supreme Court, is the sending of a copy of the Summons with Notice or Summons and Complaint to the defendant.
The Summons and Complaint are documents that notify the defendant that legal action is being taken against them. These detail what the lawsuit is about. Meanwhile, the Summons with Notice asks the defendant to request a complaint; otherwise, the plaintiff will request a judgment from the court.
Since the defendant is a business and the Secretary of State acts as the statutory agent of businesses, legal papers must be served to the Secretary of State or a person authorized by their office to accept service. The Secretary of State will then forward the papers to the named defendant.
Depending on the type of proceeding initiated by the plaintiff, other types of service may be needed, such as a notice of petition or an order to show cause.
Failure to serve the papers properly can lead to the dismissal of the case. For this reason, it is critical to choose the right individual or business to serve process to the New York State Secretary of State.
Who Can Serve Process to the New York State Secretary of State?
Parties of a case are not allowed to serve papers unless approved by a judge. Service of process within the five boroughs of New York and throughout the State can be done by:
- A process server
- A process serving agency
- An attorney licensed to practice in the state of New York
- A city, state, or federal department or agency employee acting within the scope of their job duties
Technically, any person over the age of 18 can serve process to the Secretary of State. However, it’s important to note that while any 18-year-old individual is legally allowed to serve legal papers, they are unlikely to possess enough knowledge of the process to ensure that no complications occur.
Accuracy and Efficiency: A Must for Process-Servers
Service of process to the New York Secretary of State requires multiple steps to accomplish. First, the process server must identify the correct entity to name in the summons or notice, typically by utilizing the New York Department of State (DOS) database.
Next, the process server must print out the search result from the DOS database and accurately fill out the Service of Process/Notice of Claim cover sheet.
Two copies of the process must be hand-delivered to the office of the Department of State in Albany, and applicable fees must be paid to an authorized person. Process servers in New York City must also keep track of their serves using GPS.
Any mistake or alteration in the documents will cause it to be rejected, as will serving copies that are not duplicates.
For this reason, it is critical that the process server you choose understands the steps required by the Department of State, pays attention to detail, and ensures accuracy.
Licensed and Experienced Process Servers in New York City
Serve Index LLC provides process service solutions to individuals and businesses. Among our areas of specialization is serving legal documents to the Secretary of State.
We perform our duties as your chosen process server with precision and efficiency, going the extra mile to prevent the complications that arise when legal documents are not served correctly or promptly. As proof of our confidence in our team and our solutions, we offer a No-Hassle Service Guarantee.
Contact Serve Index LLC today to learn more about how we can help you with your process service needs in New York City.