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You know there is an old saying out there that – Figures Lie and Liars Use Figures. Now you look at the DCA website of all the process serving agencies who got busted and fined. Of which I’m not one of them. There are 122 of them to date. (see link above) Which represent to date the renewal of 2012. Right now there are 120 process serving agencies. So obviously what they are doing worked. They are getting rid of some of them and some people are saying the heck with it I don’t want do it anymore. But even the 122 isn’t what it appears. I was going through this list of DCA fined agencies, not all of them, but a majority of them. Are them guilty? Yes, they are guilty of one maybe two things. One is a form they didn’t turn in, the Process Serving Compliance Plan Affirmation. And to accompany that you have to turn in a Compliance Plan.
When we first started doing this regulations, we tried calling the DCA, (and if you have ever tried calling the DCA, good luck), to try to get some guidance for some of these rules and regulations. We didn’t get very far. Basically they just said, well it’s not up to us, it’s up to you guys, the industry. So I think the industry did a pretty good job putting all this compliance stuff together.
I don’t think the press lied but they have misrepresented what was going on to the public. Because all you keep hearing from the press is; sewer service, process servers bad, lawsuits, fines, and things like that. If that is the way they want to represent us in the press so be it. Process serving agencies we are going to have to take the lead on this.
Now the three things; sex, kitties, or money. The kitty thing we can help with. We can start pulling kitties out of trees. The news likes that. The sexy part, I don’t know. How about a process serving calendar? But we have to start doing it ourselves. Because we are not getting any help. We are not getting any help from the NYC DCA. For goodness sake they sent out 300 and some odd subpoena’s right before the renewal date as part of their (remember this is their favorite saying), “Ongoing investigation.” Of those 300 and some odd subpoena’s we don’t know what happened to them.
We may never know what happened to them. Just like the 100,000 default judgment the Attorney General said had to be over turned. (see link above) How many of them were over turned? I don’t know. Do you know? Does anybody know? No! Because it’s good press. How many people went to jail over this? One that I could find. A guy in Long Island. Not even New York City. A guy in Nassau County. (see link above) Now Nassau county they’re not regulated. But we are. You know why? Because we got on this press thing then the politicians got on it. So the politicians got said we have to do something about it because all process server are throwing the papers in the ( I hate saying this ) the sewer.
So then the bill passed and the DCA was charged with the authority to watch out over us, to make sure we are doing everything right. So we can’t really put the blame on the DCA it’s not really their fault. They are just the enforcement arm. The real place that this law came from is the politicians. Which I am not even going to get into now. I am going to tough a little bit on it later.
So this is what happened. People got subpoenaed. On their subpoena it says, don’t tell anyone about it. So the process server came in and they got drilled by the DCA. Most of it was because of the form. But are they guilty? Yes. They are guilty. So how was it reported to the press? We are finding more and more process servers guilty but we still have an ongoing investigation.
So what did the process servers do? They file a law suit right before the renewal date. Plus right before the national conference. So you tell me what it was for. Was it to impress the conference? Was it to scare New York City? Because they scare easy don’t they? What was it all about? Was it for good press? Maybe. But one thing I found out, when I did my research on this, is once you agree to regulations your kind of struck with it. You can’t agree to it and then like the first lawsuit, sue someone because you think they are going to beat you up. No you have to wait till after.
But anyway, now it has been found groundless. This is what set me off with the press. New York Times once again brings up sewer service, ongoing investigation, subpoena’s that were sent out. (see link above) But nobody tells anybody what the results of those. Why? Because there isn’t any sex in it. There is no little kittens in it. And there isn’t a lot of money in it. Except when it comes to the process servers.
Which by the way it came out that one administrative judge says that she is getting directed by her superiors to fine the max. (see link above) She would either not fine them or fine them a little bit. And her superiors would say no fine the max. I don’t know which one that is, sex, kitties or whatever. I think it is more like scandalous. But that is the only thing that we really had, to go out after them about. Did it make any difference? I don’t know. The Mayer said he’d try to do something, whatever but it’s a politician again.
But you have to remember what we are up against. The guys who work for the DCA what are they supposed to do? Sit there and drink coffee all day? Or run over to Zeytuna for lunch and a donut and sit outside? No, their job is what their bosses tell them to do. So their job is to take complaints for instance and investigate them. So I think that is where the subpoena’s come from.
Now process servers, you and I both know, because of the New York Times article said that there are 40 complaints a year, against process servers. We know that when you’re in front of their door, people lie to us. When your serving somebody and they say they are somebody else and they are not going to give us their id. Or maybe they are a friend visiting, who knows. They may throw the law suit out and not tell their friend about it. I don’t know. But when we ask if somebody is John Doe and they say yes that’s me, what are we supposed to do? I think that is where most of the complaints come from.
Now the other one because it has to do with money says that it represents just a fraction of the problem. You know what when you point out a statistic to me and you back it up by saying that it represents just a fraction of the problem, I need some numbers. Stop lying to me. I need some more numbers. What is it? Because consumers don’t know how to report such cases. Well they should with as much press as we got lately. What’s the matter with you guys?
But anyway this DCA guy has to show his boss that he is working. They have to pay for all the work they do. They pull people in. That where you get this.
DCA: Well you didn’t sign this form.
Process Server Agency: Oh there is a form? I was supposed to sign a form?
DCA: Yes you were supposed to sign it but you didn’t. So you are guilty.
Process Serving Agency: Well yes I am. But are my services ok?
DCA: As far as I can tell your services are fine.
Process Serving Agency: But you’re going to fine me anyway?
DCA: Yes I am because your guilty as heck. But just promise you’re never going to do it again. That way you can sign this that admits your guilt and then you can go back to work. Oh by the way. Also on the document your signing you got to promise not to appeal it.
Process Serving Agency: Does this mean that if I sign this I can go back to work right away? What happens if I don’t pay the fee?
DCA: Well the thing is if you sign it and don’t pay the fee right away, you can’t serve until you pay the fine.
Process Serving Agency: Really!
More | NYC Process Servers Bad Press
Where else are they going to go? What else are they going to do? I don’t know if that is what happened. But that’s what it seems to of happened.
So are they guilty? Yes. Is it misrepresented in the press? Yes it is! Yes it is. 122 process serving agencies were found guilty and fined. There are not 120 process server agencies left in NYC. So DCA is trying to tell us that it is not working. I think it worked pretty good.
You know in the old days the way we used to higher was we didn’t higher process servers who had experience. We would train then in house ourselves. We would start them off as a messenger, then make them up to a court clerk and then a process server in training (following around a process server), before turning them into a process server.
Once in a while we would get hit heavy and I would have to bring somebody in. One time I brought a guy in. He lasted a week and a half. Why? Because whenever a situation happened I would give him a couple of bogus subpoena’s to serve my friends. And because my friends would let me serve them a bogus subpoena, the way I paid them they would get to keep the witness fee. And guess what out of three friends he didn’t show up to any of them. So guess what, he’s out. Then someone else hired him two years later. He was a friend of mine so I told him he had to be careful. Because I didn’t have the best experience with that guy. He was gone two weeks after that. And you know what. I think he is still serving process. But I’m not sure.
But anyway. It is our fault guys we knew what was going on. Shame on us. We regulated our own house back then. And for you guys that specialize in landlord tenant, collections work and foreclosures your whole model is based on the number of papers you get in. And for those of you who are getting hundreds of papers in L&T and stuff like that it’s got to be very hard for you to find the servers that are doing that. As long as nothing shows up in traverse or anything like that you don’t know about it. And I say BULL! You should of known about it. I’ve had one traverse hearing in 12 years, one. And that is because an attorney lied. But anyway I am not going to go in to that.
Now these attorney’s that specialize in L&T and those kind of cases you can’t tell me you didn’t know what was going on. Come on your lawyers. A bunch of jokes come to mind but I am not going to say anything. But you were just looking for bottom line. And it was pretty convenient for everybody when this whole thing started blowing up. The lawyers said well it’s not us we don’t serve the papers talk to the process serving agencies. And then the process serving agencies that made the news, not just in New York but Florida and all over the place, I love their answer. It’s not us we hire independents talk to them. We can’t control them. You know what guys BULL!
So process servers, the smartest thing I’ve ever heard from the association was money for PR campaign. Remember you have three things, and I think two of them might work. The process server calendar. Ok I won’t be on it. And somebody please pull somebody out of a building. Save them from a fire. Something like that. We have to make the news that way. Because what we are do day to day is almost ignored by our clients, unless something goes wrong(which isn’t always a bad thing). We also got bad press right now and the lawsuit just kind of upset everybody. It is kind of stacked against us a little bit and you probably got your own view on this so I would love to hear from you, I would love to hear some attorney’s views, and if the DCA has a view I would love to hear it. So please everybody stop reading the press verbatim because I had a friend of mine who was a detective in Brooklyn and he told me a long time ago to never ever believe what you read in the paper. Well a lot of people are believing it. I think the industry is pretty clean right now in New York City. And I think it wasn’t as bad as what people said it was. Maybe there was on bad apple or even a couple. I don’t know. I think it is pretty much cleaned up right now. So process servers we just got to come up with a better way. But just keep doing what you’re doing right now.
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