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Mailing Copies of the Papers

When Substituted service or Conspicuous service is used to deliver legal papers starting a case, the papers also have to be mailed to the defendant or the respondent the right way. The law tells you how. Papers do not have to be mailed if personal delivery is used.

 

How the Papers are Mailed

How the papers are mailed is different for civil cases and landlord-tenant cases. In civil cases, a full set of the papers has to be sent by regular mail to the defendant’s home. Or, the papers can be sent by regular mail to the defendant’s job but must be in an envelope that says, “Personal and Confidential” on it. The envelope can’t say that it is about a case or from an attorney.

In landlord-tenant cases, a full set of papers has to be sent by regular mail and a full set of papers has to be sent by certified mail to the respondent. The sets of papers are mailed to the respondent at his or her home. If the petitioner knows that the respondent is living at another address, the petitioner should also mail the papers there, like if the respondent is in jail or in a rehab center.

In all cases, every defendant and respondent in the case must be mailed full sets of the papers, even if they are all going to the same address.

 

When the Papers are Mailed

When the papers have to be mailed is different for different kinds of cases. In a Supreme Court case, like foreclosures, the papers must be mailed to the defendant no more than 20 days after the papers are delivered.

In District, City, Civil, Town and Village cases, the papers do not have to be mailed by any number of days after they are delivered. But, the defendant’s time to Answer doesn’t start to run until the papers are mailed and the Affidavit of Service is filed.

In landlord-tenant cases, the papers have to be mailed by the day after they are delivered, unless the next day is a weekend or holiday.

 

Filing the Papers

After the papers are mailed, service is not done until an Affidavit of Service is filled out and filed with the Court. This must be done the right way. Read Filing an Affidavit of Service.

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