Civil Practice Laws and Rules 2103
CPLR 2103: Service of papers
Service of papers
(a) Who can serve. Except where otherwise prescribed by law or order of court, papers may be served by any person not a party of the age of eighteen years or over.
(b) Upon an attorney. Except where otherwise prescribed by law or order of court, papers to be served upon a party in a pending action shall be served upon the party's attorney. Where the same attorney appears for two or more parties, only one copy need be served upon the attorney. Such service upon an attorney shall be made:
1. by delivering the paper to the attorney personally; or
2. by mailing the paper to the attorney at the address designated by that attorney for that purpose or, if none is designated, at the attorney's last known address; service by mail shall be complete upon mailing; where a period of time prescribed by law is measured from the service of a paper and service is by mail, five days shall be added to the prescribed period if the mailing is made within the state and six days if the mailing is made from outside the state but within the geographic boundaries of the United States; or
3. if the attorney's office is open, by leaving the paper with a person in charge, or if no person is in charge, by leaving it in a conspicuous place; or if the attorney's office is not open, by depositing the paper, enclosed in a sealed wrapper directed to the attorney, in the attorney's office letter drop or box; or
4. by leaving it at the attorney's residence within the state with a person of suitable age and discretion. Service upon an attorney shall not be made at the attorney's residence unless service at the attorney's office cannot be made; or
5. by transmitting the paper to the attorney by facsimile transmission, provided that a facsimile telephone number is designated by the attorney for that purpose. Service by facsimile transmission shall be complete upon the receipt by the sender of a signal from the equipment of the attorney served indicating that the transmission was received, and the mailing of a copy of the paper to that attorney. The designation of a facsimile telephone number in the address block subscribed on a paper served or filed in the course of an action or proceeding shall constitute consent to service by facsimile transmission in accordance with this subdivision. An attorney may change or rescind a facsimile telephone number by serving a notice on the other parties; or
6. by dispatching the paper to the attorney by overnight delivery service at the address designated by the attorney for that purpose or, if none is designated, at the attorney's last known address. Service by overnight delivery service shall be complete upon deposit of the paper enclosed in a properly addressed wrapper into the custody of the overnight delivery service for overnight delivery, prior to the latest time designated by the overnight delivery service for overnight delivery. Where a period of time prescribed by law is measured from the service of a paper and service is by overnight delivery, one business day shall be added to the prescribed period. “Overnight delivery service” means any delivery service which regularly accepts items for overnight delivery to any address in the state; or
7. by transmitting the paper to the attorney by electronic means where and in the manner authorized by the chief administrator of the courts by rule and, unless such rule shall otherwise provide, such transmission shall be upon the party's written consent. The subject matter heading for each paper sent by electronic means must indicate that the matter being transmitted electronically is related to a court proceeding.
(c) Upon a party. If a party has not appeared by an attorney or the party's attorney cannot be served, service shall be upon the party by a method specified in paragraph one, two, four, five or six of subdivision (b) of this rule.
(d) Filing. If a paper cannot be served by any of the methods specified in subdivisions (b) and (c), service may be made by filing the paper as if it were a paper required to be filed.
(e) Parties to be served. Each paper served on any party shall be served on every other party who has appeared, except as otherwise may be provided by court order or as provided in section 3012 or in subdivision (f) of section 3215 . Upon demand by a party, the plaintiff shall supply that party with a list of those who have appeared and the names and addresses of their attorneys.
(f) Definitions. For the purposes of this rule:
1. “Mailing” means the deposit of a paper enclosed in a first class postpaid wrapper, addressed to the address designated by a person for that purpose or, if none is designated, at that person's last known address, in a post office or official depository under the exclusive care and custody of the United States Postal Service within the United States;
2. “Electronic means” means any method of transmission of information between computers or other machines designed for the purpose of sending and receiving such transmissions, and which allows the recipient to reproduce the information transmitted in a tangible medium of expression;
3. “Facsimile transmission” means any method of transmission of documents to a facsimile machine at a remote location which can automatically produce a tangible copy of such documents.
This section of the Civil Practice Law and Rules is provided as part of a free educational service by J. Douglas Barics, attorney at law for reference only. Statutes and codes such as CPLR 2103 are frequently amended, and no representation is made that the above version of CPLR 2103 is current. Updated statutes and codes may be available at the New York State Legislature Website. No statute should be relied on without understanding controlling case law which may further interpret it. An attorney should be consulted for legal advice.
J. Douglas Barics, Esq. – Divorce, family, matrimonial, trial and appeals lawyer in Long Island, New York.