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Legislative Memo

Ken Pokalsky
Vice President of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.5533 (Bonacic) / A.8455 (Weinstein)

Support

SUBJECT:

Service of Process to Secretary of State

 

DATE:

March 19, 2012

 

The Business Council opposes this legislation which would allow for the service of process on the Secretary of State either at the office of the Department of State (DOS) in the City of Albany or at any of his or her regularly established offices when filing a claim against corporations and similar organizations.

This bill will needlessly complicate a system that already works efficiently. Extending these functions of review and acceptance of service of process at local branch offices of DOS may cause disruptions due to the potential lack of staff and experience in these matters at the local offices. The result could mean more delays and dismissals, denying relief for damages suffered by injured parties.

This legislation could be detrimental to the more than thirty small businesses in the Capital District whose business is process service, affecting more the 300 jobs. Current law mandates that service of process on a corporation must be done at the main office of the DOS in the City of Albany. This bill would no longer centralize this service, putting many capital region employees at risk.

These capital district companies have decades of experience reviewing and amending legal documents to comply with the formalities and detailed requirements of state statutes, and other court rules and administrative regulations. Over the years they have forged relationships with the experienced staff of the Department of State who provide highly disciplined and focused expertise in this sensitive legal process.

New York already has a centralized system of experienced professionals who work with local companies to provide effective service.  We question the need to significantly restructure this system.

For these reasons The Business Council opposes enactment of S.5533 (Bonacic)/A.8455 (Weinstein).