New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

 


First-Paper Judgment

 

GUIDELINES FOR ENTERING & FILING FIRST-PAPER JUDGMENTS AGAINST A NATURAL PERSON (SUBSTITUTED SERVICE)

1) There must be a summons. UCCA § 400. Service of Summons must be made in the county in which you are filing or any adjourning county only. UCCA § 404.

2) There must be a complaint. UCCA § 902 (Endorsed complaint may not be used).

3) Affidavit of service must indicate the date of affixing to the door or serving a suitably aged person (whichever the case may be) and attesting to the fact that the papers were also mailed to the defendant within 20 days. CPLR § 308.

4) Affidavit of Service along with the summons must be filed with the Court within 20 days of either delivery, affixing, or mailing, whichever is effected later. Uniform City Court Rules § 210.6 (Service is complete ten (10) days after filing with Court. CPLR § 308).

5) The defendant has thirty (30) days to answer from the date service is complete. Therefore, the summons, complaint and proof of service must be on file with the Court for at least forty (40) days, exclusive of the day of service was made, before a judgment may be entered. Uniform City Court Rules § 210.6.

6) Complaint must be for a sum certain. CPLR §3215(a)

Breach of a promissory note or loan agreement or where defendant failed to pay for goods or services which he contracted either orally or in writing to buy an agreed upon price are sum certains whereby the clerk of the Court can enter judgments.

Motor vehicle accidents, personal injury cases, products liability, professional fees including, but not limited to, attorney fees, rental of equipment, medical and dental malpractice are not sum certains. These actions must be presented to and approved by the Judge.

7) Where there's been a non-payment of a contractual obligation such as a breach of a promissory note or loan agreement or where defendant failed to pay for goods or services which he contracted either orally or in writing to buy at an agreed-upon price, an affidavit of mailing for each defendant stating that the summons was mailed in an envelope marked "personal and confidential" to the defendant simultaneously on or after the date service was made, must be submitted with the judgment. This affidavit must show that mailing was made at least 20 days prior to entry of judgment and must be signed by the person who made the mailing. CPLR § 3215 (g)(3). This requirement does not apply to actions affecting title to or possession of real property. (i.e., deeds, summary proceeding).

8) If the complaint is verified by the plaintiff, then an affidavit of facts constituting the claim and the amount due is not necessary.

If the complaint is not verified by the plaintiff (i.e., not verified at all or verified by the attorney), then the affidavit of facts constituting the claim must be sworn to by the plaintiff. CPLR § 3215(f). However, when the attorney is an employee of the plaintiff and/or has personal knowledge of the facts, the attorney can verify the complaint and no separate Affidavit of Facts will be required.

9) There must be a bill of costs. If attorneys fees are requested, make sure that a Judge has signed the order.

10) There must be a Judgment. Check to see that the amount in the judgment is the same as requested in the complaint.

11) In no event should a Judgment be entered which is more than one (1) year from default unless a Judge has directed same.

Back to First-Paper Judgment Index