1. The Laws of New York
  2. Court Acts
  3. Surrogate's Court Procedure
  4. Article 3: Proceedings, Pleadings and Process


Section 307 Service of process 1

Surrogate's Court Procedure (SCP)

Service of process

  1. Service by personal delivery. Service of the process may be made on any person by personal delivery to him of a copy of the process either within or without the state.

  2. Service by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by special mail service, upon non-domiciliaries. Service of the process may be made by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by special mail service, upon non-domiciliaries, whether or not they be natural persons.

  3. Service by court order. As an alternative to service under subdivisions 1 and 2, service may be made in the manner directed by the court; but such service, except as provided by subdivision 6, shall not be ordered upon a domiciliary natural person unless it be shown that, with due diligence, service by personal delivery within the state cannot be effected, or where for good cause shown, personal service within the state would be impracticable. Any proof necessary hereunder may be submitted in the petition or by affidavit. The court may take into account the size of the estate and the remoteness of kinship of any person to be cited in determining the appropriate due diligence necessary to permit alternate service under this section. The court may direct service by any one or more of the following methods, which shall not, however, be exclusive:

  (a) service by publication, such as is provided by CPLR 316, subject to 308 and 309, and to such variations of CPLR 316 as the court may provide, except that

  (i) where persons are to be served by publication, publication in only 1 newspaper shall be required, or

  (ii) where a person is alleged to be within a country with which the United States of America is at war or a place with which the United States of America does not maintain postal communication, the court may direct that a copy of the process shall be mailed on behalf of such person to the officer who may have been appointed to take possession of the property of alien enemies, or

  (iii) where the person to be served is an absentee or alleged to be deceased, the court may direct that in addition to the foregoing requirements, the process be published in a newspaper published at or near the place where the absentee was last known to be, or

  (iv) in an adoption proceeding under article seven of the domestic relations law or in a proceeding under section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law, a single publication in only one newspaper shall be sufficient.

  (b) service by mail, by registered or certified mail with or without return receipt requested, or by any manner of special mail service, as the court may direct;

  (c) substituted service such as is provided by CPLR 308 (2) and (4), within or without the state, subject to 308 and 309, and to such variations of CPLR 308 as the court may provide;

  (d) service within or without the state, by personal delivery to a person duly designated by respondent to receive process in his behalf, or to a person whose relationship, whatever its character, and by blood or otherwise to the respondent, indicates in the circumstances the probability that actual notice will reach the latter through him;

  (e) if the interest of a non-domiciliary alien in the estate is less than $2,500 or his address is unknown or such estate's gross assets are less than $25,000, by delivery of a copy of the process to a consular official of the alien's nation.

  4. Service upon an infant. Service upon an infant requires that service of process be made upon any one of the following, unless any such one of them is the petitioner, in which case no such service shall be required: his father, his mother, his guardian, any adult person having the care and control of him or with whom he resides, or such person interested in his welfare or education as the court shall by order direct, where it appears to the satisfaction of the court that need for such order exists; and if the infant be of the age of 14 years or over, also upon the infant in person.

  5. Service upon an incompetent, conservatee and persons other than natural persons. Unless this act otherwise provides or the court in a given proceeding otherwise directs, CPLR 307, 309 (b), 309 (c), 310, 310-a, 311, 311-a, 312 and 1025 are applicable to service under the foregoing subdivisions of this section.

  6. Service upon creditors. Process may be served upon creditors, regardless of the number thereof, by mailing a copy of the process to each of them whether or not they be natural domiciliaries.