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Legislative Memo

T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

A.7255(Weinstein)/S.4854 (DeFrancisco)

Support

SUBJECT:

File and Serve

 

DATE:

June 7, 2005

 

The Business Council of New York State has reviewed the abovementioned legislation and supports its adoption. This bill would institute “file and serve” for those lower courts that do not presently require it.

Specifically, this bill requires the filing of a summons (e.g. the purchase of an index number) before serving the summons issued by the New York City Civil Court, the District Courts, and the City Courts. This practice is currently followed in the state Supreme Court commercial and small claims courts, as well as the federal courts. Current law permits an attorney to serve a summons on a defendant prior to the purchase of an index number. The attorney has a specified period of time to file the summons and obtain an index number. Unfortunately, some attorneys serve numerous summonses without ever purchasing an index number.

Requiring the lower courts to follow the regular practice will help unclog those lower courts which are experiencing an explosion of lawsuits involving no-fault insurance disputes. No-fault medical mills, which submit questionable bills, are flooding the lower courts with thousands and thousands of frivolous lawsuits. Many of these lawsuits are based upon fraudulent or fictitious accidents.

The purpose of these suits , which are brought without a traceable index number, is to force bulk settlements. Insurance companies are faced with the dilemma of expending considerable expenses defending against non-meritorious claims or settling these claims in an attempt to reduce costs.

The fee per index number is relatively small and thus not an impediment to individuals bringing legitimate issues to the courts - it only becomes an obstacle for mills attempting to generate thousands of suits of questionable merit at one time.

For these reasons The Business Council supports this legislation and asks that it be approved.