The New York Attorney General announced today that they are suing 35 law firms for improper service of default judgments. A party obtains a default judgment when the defendant does not appear in a lawsuit. American Legal Service, a process server located in Long Island has been named by the Attorney General as providing improper \”sewer\” service. The 35 law firms have not been accused of any wrongdoing.
If you wish to re-open a default judgment against you due to improper service based on the Attorney General\’s action today you should:
1. Go to the county clerk in the county where the default was filed and obtain the court file. Check the affidavit of service to see if American Legal Service was the process server.
2. If you are unable to ascertain the name of the process server, check the law firm who started the lawsuit. If it is one of the 35 law firms listed in the Attorney General\’s complaint then:
3. File a motion to vacate the default for improper service of process.
At this point, it is unclear what the remedies would be for instituting an action, especially in cases where the statute of limitations has run for vacating a default. In New York, the statute of limitations is one year. However, the court or some other governmental body may fashion new law based on this mass fraud.