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Wilner v. Beddoe

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.
Jan 29, 2013
102 A.D.3d 582 (N.Y. App. Div. 2013)

Summary

In Wilmer, the court held that service of process was insufficient after the ECB failed to make a “reasonable attempt” at personal service.

Summary of this case from In re Chaitan

Opinion

2013-01-29

In re Rywa WILNER, et al., Petitioners–Appellants, v. Suzanne A. BEDDOE, etc., et al., Respondents–Respondents.

Cohen, Hochman & Allen, New York (Robert B. Hochman of counsel), for appellants. Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel, New York (Michael J. Pastor of counsel), for respondents.



Cohen, Hochman & Allen, New York (Robert B. Hochman of counsel), for appellants. Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel, New York (Michael J. Pastor of counsel), for respondents.
ANDRIAS, J.P., SWEENY, DeGRASSE, FREEDMAN, RICHTER, JJ.

Order and Judgment (one paper), Supreme Court, New York County (Judith J. Gische, J.), entered on or about September 19, 2011, which denied Wilner's, Gladys's, and Palazzdo's petitions seeking an order vacating their defaults before respondent Environmental Control Board (ECB), and granted Plan B Engineering's petition to the extent of remanding that matter to ECB for a determination of Plan B's application to vacate its default, unanimously modified, on the law, to grant Gladys's, Palazzdo's, and Plan B's petitions to the extent of vacating the default judgments against them, and otherwise affirmed, without costs.

Section 1049–a of the New York City Charter, the enabling legislation which underlies Section 3–82 of the Rules of the City of New York (Rule 3–82), governing procedures for vacating defaults before ECB, requires that notices of violation (NOV) of matters overseen by ECB be “served in the same manner as is prescribed for service of process by [CPLR Article 3] or [Business Corporation Law Article 3]” (N.Y.C. Charter § 1049–a[d][2][a] ). Among four enumerated exceptions to this provision are two relating to service of NOVs of City Charter or Administrative Code provisions enforced by various departments, including, as pertinent here, the New York City Departments of Buildings and Environmental Protection ( see N.Y. City Charter §§ 1049–a[d][2][a][i]–[ii] ). Such NOVs may be served by delivery to “a person employed by the respondent or in connection with the premises where the violation occurred” (N.Y. City Charter § 1049–a[d][2][a][i] ), or “by affixing such notice in a conspicuous place to the premises where the violation occurred” (N.Y. City Charter § 1049–a[d][2][a][ii] ), coupled with mailing of a copy of the NOV “to the respondent at the address of such premises” (N.Y.C. Charter § 1049–a[d][2] [b] ). Even with respect to these two exceptions, however, such substituted service may not be effected unless “a reasonable attempt has been made to deliver such notice ... as provided for by [CPLR Article 3] or [Business Corporation Law Article 3]” (N.Y. City Charter § 1049–a[d][2][b] ).

CPLR Article 3, in turn, establishes a regime of service upon, as pertinent here, natural persons, which permits substituted service, such as “nail and mail service,” only where service by personal delivery to either the respondent or a person of suitable age and discretion “cannot be made with due diligence” (CPLR 308[4] ). BCL Article 3 similarly requires that service of process, as a rule, be made by personal delivery to the corporation's registered agent or to the secretary of state ( seeBusiness Corporation Law § 306, § 307).

Of the four petitioners here, the record indicates that efforts were made to personally serve only Wilner. Gladys, Palazzdo, and Plan B were all served by alternative means of affixing copies of the NOVs at the premises, coupled with service by mail, but with no prior attempt at personal service. The failure to make any effort at personal service runs afoul of the New York City Charter's directive that a “reasonable attempt” at personal service be made prior to resort to alternative means of service ( see Matter of Oparaji v. City of New York, 2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 33265[U], 2011 WL 6738696 [Sup. Ct., Queens County 2011] ).

We have considered petitioners' remaining arguments, including their contention that Rule 3–82 is violative of their rights to due process, and find them unavailing.


Summaries of

Wilner v. Beddoe

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.
Jan 29, 2013
102 A.D.3d 582 (N.Y. App. Div. 2013)

In Wilmer, the court held that service of process was insufficient after the ECB failed to make a “reasonable attempt” at personal service.

Summary of this case from In re Chaitan
Case details for

Wilner v. Beddoe

Case Details

Full title:In re Rywa WILNER, et al., Petitioners–Appellants, v. Suzanne A. BEDDOE…

Court:Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

Date published: Jan 29, 2013

Citations

102 A.D.3d 582 (N.Y. App. Div. 2013)
958 N.Y.S.2d 388
2013 N.Y. Slip Op. 415

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