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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 1803-A
Commencement of action upon commercial claims
Uniform City Court Act (UCT) CHAPTER 497, ARTICLE 18-A
§ 1803-A. Commencement of action upon commercial claims.

(a) Commercial claims other than claims arising out of consumer
transactions shall be commenced upon the payment by the claimant of a
filing fee of twenty-five dollars and the cost of mailings as herein
provided, without the service of a summons and, except by special order
of the court, without the service of any pleading other than a required
certification verified as to its truthfulness by the claimant on a form
prescribed by the state office of court administration and filed with
the clerk, that no more than five such actions or proceedings (including
the instant action or proceeding) have been instituted during that
calendar month, and a statement of its cause of action by the claimant
or someone in its behalf to the clerk, who shall reduce the same to a
concise, written form and record it in a docket kept especially for such
purpose. Such procedure shall provide that the commercial claims part of
the court shall have no jurisdiction over, and shall dismiss, any case
with respect to which the required certification is not made upon the
attempted institution of the action or proceeding. Such procedure shall
provide for the sending of notice of such claim by ordinary first class
mail and certified mail with return receipt requested to the party
complained against at his residence, if he resides within the county in
which the court is located, and his residence is known to the claimant,
or at his office or place of regular employment within such county if he
does not reside therein or his residence within the county is not known
to the claimant. If, after the expiration of twenty-one days, such
ordinary first class mailing has not been returned as undeliverable, the
party complained against shall be presumed to have received notice of
such claim. Such notice shall include a clear description of the
procedure for filing a counterclaim, pursuant to subdivision (d) of this
section.

Such procedure shall further provide for an early hearing upon and
determination of such claim. The hearing shall be scheduled in a manner
which, to the extent possible, minimizes the time the party complained
against must be absent from employment.

Either party may request that the hearing be scheduled during evening
hours, provided that the hearing shall not be scheduled during evening
hours if it would cause unreasonable hardship to either party. The court
shall not unreasonably deny requests for evening hearings if such
requests are made by the claimant upon commencement of the action or by
the party complained against within fourteen days of receipt of the
notice of claim.

(b) Commercial claims in actions arising out of consumer transactions
shall be commenced upon the payment by the claimant of a filing fee of
twenty-five dollars and the cost of mailings as herein provided, without
the service of a summons and, except by special order of the court,
without the service of any pleading other than a required statement of
the cause of action by the claimant or someone on its behalf to the
clerk, who shall reduce the same to a concise written form including the
information required by subdivision (c) of this section, denominate it
conspicuously as a consumer transaction, and record it in the docket
marked as a consumer transaction, and by filing with the clerk a
required certificate verified as to its truthfulness by the claimant on
forms prescribed by the state office of court administration.

Such verified certificate shall certify (i) that the claimant has
mailed by ordinary first class mail to the party complained against a
demand letter, no less than ten days and no more than one hundred eighty
days prior to the commencement of the claim, and (ii) that, based upon
information and belief, the claimant has not instituted more than five
actions or proceedings (including the instant action or proceeding)
during the calendar month.

A form for the demand letter shall be prescribed and furnished by the
state office of court administration and shall require the following
information: the date of the consumer transaction; the amount that
remains unpaid; a copy of the original debt instrument or other document
underlying the debt and an accounting of all payments, and, if the
claimant was not a party to the original transaction, the names and
addresses of the parties to the original transaction; and a statement
that the claimant intends to use this part of the court to obtain a
judgment, that further notice of a hearing date will be sent, unless
payment is received by a specified date, and that the party complained
against will be entitled to appear at said hearing and present any
defenses to the claim.

In the event that the verified certificate is not properly completed
by the claimant, the court shall not allow the action to proceed until
the verified certificate is corrected. Notice of such claim shall be
sent by the clerk by both ordinary first class mail and certified mail
with return receipt requested to the party complained against at his
residence, if he resides within the county in which the court is
located, and his residence is known to the claimant, or at his office or
place of regular employment within such county if he does not reside
therein or his residence is not known to the claimant. If, after the
expiration of thirty days, such ordinary first class mailing has not
been returned as undeliverable, the party complained against shall be
presumed to have received notice of such claim.

Such procedure shall further provide for an early hearing upon and
determination of such claim. The hearing shall be scheduled in a manner
which, to the extent possible, minimizes the time the party complained
against must be absent from employment. Either party may request that
the hearing be scheduled during evening hours, provided that the hearing
shall not be scheduled during evening hours if it would cause unreason-
able hardship to either party. The court shall not unreasonably deny
requests for evening hearings if such requests are made by the claimant
upon commencement of the action or by the party complained against
within fourteen days of receipt of the notice of claim.

(c) The clerk shall furnish every claimant, upon commencement of the
action, and every party complained against, with the notice of claim,
and with information written in clear and coherent language which shall
be prescribed and furnished by the state office of court administration,
concerning the commercial claims part. Such information shall include,
but not be limited to, the form for certification and filing by the
claimant that no more than five such actions or proceedings have been
instituted during that calendar month, and an explanation of the
following terms and procedures: adjournments, counterclaims, jury trial
requests, evening hour requests, demand letters in cases concerning
consumer transactions, default judgments, subpoenas, arbitration and
collection methods, the responsibility of the judgment creditor to
collect data on the judgment debtor's assets, the ability of the court
prior to entering judgment to order examination of or disclosure by, the
defendant and restrain him, and fees. The information shall be available
in English and, if the chief administrator determines it is appropriate
or necessary, in Spanish. Large signs in English and if the chief
administrator requires it, in Spanish shall be posted in conspicuous
locations in each commercial claims part clerk's office, advising the
public of its availability.

(d) A defendant who wishes to file a counterclaim shall do so by
filing with the clerk a statement containing such counterclaim within
five days of receiving the notice of claim. At the time of such filing
the defendant shall pay to the clerk a filing fee of five dollars plus
the cost of mailings which are required pursuant to this subdivision.
The clerk shall forthwith send notice of the counterclaim by ordinary
first class mail to the claimant. If the defendant fails to file the
counterclaim in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision, the
defendant retains the right to file the counterclaim, however the
claimant may, but shall not be required to, request and obtain
adjournment of the hearing to a later date. The claimant may reply to
the counterclaim but shall not be required to do so.