2019 New York Laws
NAV - Navigation
Article 4 - Vessels
Part 4 - Non-Resident Owners and Operators
74 - Service of Summons and Complaint on Non-Residents.

Universal Citation: NY Nav L § 74 (2019)

§ 74. Service of summons and complaint on non-residents. 1. The use, operation, navigation or maintenance by a non-resident, or in his business, of a vessel in waters of this state; or owned by a non-resident and used, operated, navigated or maintained with his permission in waters of this state, shall be deemed equivalent to an appointment by such non-resident of the secretary of state to be his true and lawful attorney upon whom may be served the summons and complaint in any action against him, growing out of any accident or collision in which such non-resident may be involved while using, operating, navigating or maintaining such vessel in waters of this state, or in which such vessel may be involved while being used, operated, navigated or maintained in such waters in the business of the non-resident, or with the permission, expressed or implied, of such non-resident, and such use, operation, navigation or maintenance shall be deemed a signification of his agreement that any such summons and complaint against him which is so served shall be of the same legal force and validity as if served upon him personally within the state and the territorial jurisdiction of the court from which the summons issues, and that such appointment of the secretary of state shall be irrevocable and binding upon his executor or administrator. Where such non-resident has died prior to the commencement of an action brought pursuant to this section, service of summons and complaint shall be made on the executor or administrator of such non-resident in the same manner and on the same notice as is provided in the case of the non-resident himself. Where an action has been duly commenced under the provisions of this section against a non-resident who dies thereafter, the court must allow the action to be continued against his executor or administrator upon motion with such notice as the court deems proper.

2. A summons and complaint in an action described in this section may issue in any court in the state having jurisdiction of the subject matter and be served as hereinafter provided. Service of such summons and complaint shall be made by mailing a copy thereof to the secretary of state at his office in the city of Albany, or by personally delivering a copy thereof to one of his regularly established offices, with a fee of five dollars, and such service shall be sufficient service upon such non-resident provided that notice of such service and a copy of the summons and complaint are forthwith sent by or on behalf of the plaintiff to the defendant by registered mail with return receipt requested. The plaintiff shall file with the clerk of the court in which the action is pending, or with the judge or justice of such court in case there be no clerk, an affidavit of compliance herewith, a copy of the summons and complaint, and either a return receipt purporting to be signed by the defendant or a person qualified to receive his registered mail, in accordance with the rules and customs of the post office department; or, if acceptance was refused by the defendant or his agent, the original envelope bearing a notation by the postal authorities that receipt was refused, and an affidavit by or on behalf of the plaintiff that notice of such mailing and refusal was forthwith sent to the defendant by ordinary mail. Where the summons is mailed to a foreign country, other official proof of the delivery of the mail may be filed in case the post-office department is unable to obtain such a return receipt. The foregoing papers shall be filed within thirty days after the return receipt or other official proof of delivery or the original envelope bearing a notation of refusal, as the case may be, is received by the plaintiff. Service of process shall be complete when such papers are filed. The return receipt or other official proof of delivery shall constitute presumptive evidence that the summons mailed was received by the defendant or a person qualified to receive his registered mail; and the notation of refusal shall constitute presumptive evidence that the refusal was by the defendant or his agent. Service of such summons also may be made by mailing a copy thereof to the secretary of state at his office in the city of Albany, or by personally delivering a copy thereof to one of his regularly established offices, with a fee of five dollars, and by delivering a duplicate copy thereof, with the complaint annexed thereto, to the defendant personally without the state by a resident or citizen of the state of New York or a sheriff, under-sheriff, deputy-sheriff or constable of the county or other political subdivision in which the personal service is made, or an officer authorized by the laws of this state, to take acknowledgments of deeds to be recorded in this state, or an attorney and/or counselor at law, solicitor, advocate or barrister duly qualified to practice in the state or country where such service is made, or by a United States marshal or deputy United States marshal. Proof of personal service without the state shall be filed with the clerk of the court in which the action is pending within thirty days after such service. Personal service without the state is complete when proof thereof is filed. The court in which the action is pending may order such extension as may be necessary to afford the defendant reasonable opportunity to defend the action.

3. Service of summons on residents who depart from state and on residents' executors or administrators who are nonresidents or who depart from state. The provisions of section seventy-four of this chapter shall also apply (a) to a resident who departs from the state subsequent to the accident or collision and remains absent therefrom for thirty days continuously, whether such absence is intended to be temporary or permanent, and to any executor or administrator of such resident, and (b) to an executor or administrator of a resident if such executor or administrator is a nonresident or if, being a resident, he departs from the state and remains absent therefrom for thirty days continuously, whether such absence is intended to be temporary or permanent.

4. As used in this section "vessel" means a vessel commonly known as a "houseboat" and every vessel or floating craft propelled in any manner, except a vessel having a valid marine document issued by the United States or a foreign government.


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