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First-Paper Judgment


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 or an endorsed complaint. UCCA § 902.

3) There may be two types of service. The corporation could have been personally served by delivering the summons to an officer, director, manager, cashier, or secretary. CPLR § 311. In such case, the judgment may be entered ten (10) days after service. Uniform City Court Rules § 210.6.

The other type of service is service upon the secretary of state which is made personally by delivering the summons to a person authorized to receive such service at the office of the secretary of state. Service is complete the day service was made on the secretary of the state. The corporation then has thirty (30) days from the date service was complete to answer the summons. CPLR § 3012(c). An Endorsed Complaint may not be used when this method of service is employed.

4) When the secretary of the state is served, an affidavit of mailing stating that the summons was mailed to the defendant/corporation in an envelope marked "personal and confidential" simultaneously on or after the date of personal 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 or possession of real property. (i.e., deeds, summary proceeding).

5) 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 it contracted either orally or in writing to buy at an greed upon price are sum certains whereby the clerk of the Court can enter judgments. The amount in complaint must be the same as amount on statement of judgment.)

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

6) If the complaint is verified by the plaintiff, then an affidavit of facts constituting the claim, and the amount due is not necessary. (must state what the plaintiff's title is).

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 must be sworn to by the plaintiff. CPLR § 3215(f). However, if the attorney is also an employee of the plaintiff and has personal knowledge of the facts. (i.e., Wegman's attorney), the attorney can verify the complaint without the need for an additional Affidavit of Facts.

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

8) There must be a Judgment. Check to see if amounts agree with those in the complaint.

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

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