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Civil Practice Laws & Rules 304
CPLR 304: Method of commencing action or special proceeding

CPLR 304
Method of commencing action or special proceeding

An action is commenced by filing a summons and complaint or summons with notice. A special proceeding is commenced by filing a petition. Where a court finds that circumstances prevent immediate filing, the signing of an order requiring the subsequent filing at a specific time and date not later than five days thereafter shall commence the action. For purposes of this section, and for purposes of section two hundred three of this chapter and section three hundred six-a of this article, filing shall mean the delivery of the summons with notice, summons and complaint or petition to the clerk of the court in the county in which the action or special proceeding is brought or any other person designated by the clerk of the court for that purpose together with any fee required as specified in rule twenty-one hundred two of this chapter for filing. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such delivery may be accomplished by facsimile transmission or electronic means, as defined in subdivision (f) of rule twenty-one hundred three of this chapter, where and in the manner authorized by the chief administrator of the courts by rule. At the time of filing, the filed papers shall be date stamped by the clerk of the court who shall file them and maintain a record of the date of the filing and who shall return forthwith a date stamped copy, together with an index number, to the filing party. Where filing is by facsimile transmission, the clerk of the court need only return a date stamped copy of the first page of the papers initiating the lawsuit, together with the index number. Where filing is by electronic means, the clerk shall, in accordance with rules promulgated by the chief administrator, forthwith notify the filing party of the index number and the date and time of filing. A confirmation record produced by the filing party`s facsimile machine or computer and an affidavit of filing by the filing party, shall be prima facie evidence that the filing party transmitted documents consistent with the date, time and place appearing on the confirmation record.

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 304 are frequently amended, and no representation is made that the above version of CPLR 304 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.

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J. Douglas Barics, Esq. – Divorce, family, matrimonial, trial and appeals lawyer in Long Island, New York.