Process Server Didn't Knock on Apartment Door
LVT Number: 8291
Landlord sued to evict tenant. Tenant claimed landlord's petition wasn't properly served. The court held a hearing to determine if service was proper. The process server stated that she made two attempts to personally serve the petition. Tenant wasn't home either time, so she served the petition by leaving it at a conspicuous place at tenant's door. However, the first time the process server came to the building, the concierge informed her that tenant wasn't home. The process server then simply left. The court found that since she didn't even attempt to approach the apartment to check, the process server's first attempt at service was invalid. Under Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law section 735(1), the process server is required to use "due diligence'' by signalling her presence at tenant's door and waiting for a response. In other words, process server must knock or ring apartment doorbell and wait long enough to assess whether tenant will answer. Landlord's petition was dismissed because two attempts at service weren't made.
Elizabeth Broome Realty Corp. v. Sakas: NYLJ, p. 22, col. 5 (10/13/93) (Civ. Ct. NY; Wendt, J)