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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 253
Service of summons on non-residents
Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) CHAPTER 71, TITLE 2, ARTICLE 3
§ 253. Service of summons on non-residents. 1. The use or operation by
a non-resident of a vehicle in this state, or the use or operation in
this state of a vehicle in the business of a non-resident, or the use or
operation in this state of a vehicle owned by a non-resident if so used
or operated with his permission, express or implied, shall be deemed
equivalent to an appointment by such non-resident of the secretary of
state to be his true and lawful attorney upon whom may be served the
summons in any action against him, growing out of any accident or
collision in which such non-resident may be involved while using or
operating such vehicle in this state or in which such vehicle may be
involved while being used or operated in this state in the business of
such non-resident or with the permission, express or implied, of such
non-resident owner; and such use or operation shall be deemed a
signification of his agreement that any such summons against him which
is so served shall be of the same legal force and validity as if served
on him personally within the state and within the territorial
jurisdiction of the court from which the summons issues, and that such
appointment of the secretary of state shall be irrevocable and binding
upon his executor or administrator. Where such non-resident has died
prior to the commencement of an action brought pursuant to this section,
service of process shall be made on the executor or administrator of
such non-resident in the same manner and on the same notice as is
provided in the case of the non-resident himself. Where an action has
been duly commenced under the provisions of this section against a
non-resident who dies thereafter, the court must allow the action to be
continued against his executor or administrator upon motion with such
notice as the court deems proper.

2. A summons in an action described in this section may issue in any
court in the state having jurisdiction of the subject matter and be
served as hereinafter provided. Service of such summons shall be made by
mailing a copy thereof to the secretary of state at his office in the
city of Albany, or by personally delivering a copy thereof to one of his
regularly established offices, with a fee of ten dollars, and such
service shall be sufficient service upon such non-resident provided that
notice of such service and a copy of the summons and complaint are
forthwith sent by or on behalf of the plaintiff to the defendant by
certified mail or registered mail with return receipt requested. The
plaintiff shall file with the clerk of the court in which the action is
pending, or with the judge or justice of such court in case there be no
clerk, an affidavit of compliance herewith, a copy of the summons and
complaint, and either a return receipt purporting to be signed by the
defendant or a person qualified to receive his certified mail or
registered mail, in accordance with the rules and customs of the
post-office department; or, if acceptance was refused by the defendant
or his agent, the original envelope bearing a notation by the postal
authorities that receipt was refused, and an affidavit by or on behalf
of the plaintiff that notice of such mailing and refusal was forthwith
sent to the defendant by ordinary mail; or, if the registered or
certified letter was returned to the post office unclaimed, the original
envelope bearing a notation by the postal authorities of such mailing
and return, an affidavit by or on behalf of the plaintiff that the
summons was posted again by ordinary mail and proof of mailing
certificate of ordinary mail. Where the summons is mailed to a foreign
country, other official proof of the delivery of the mail may be filed
in case the post-office department is unable to obtain such a return
receipt. The foregoing papers shall be filed within thirty days after
the return receipt or other official proof of delivery or the original
envelope bearing a notation of refusal, as the case may be, is received
by the plaintiff. Service of process shall be complete when such papers
are filed. The return receipt or other official proof of delivery shall
constitute presumptive evidence that the summons mailed was received by
the defendant or a person qualified to receive his certified mail or
registered mail; and the notation of refusal shall constitute
presumptive evidence that the refusal was by the defendant or his agent.
Service of such summons also may be made by mailing a copy thereof to
the secretary of state at his office in the city of Albany, or by
personally delivering a copy thereof to one of his regularly established
offices, with a fee of ten dollars, and by delivering a duplicate copy
thereof with the complaint annexed thereto, to the defendant personally
without the state by a resident or citizen of the state of New York or a
sheriff, under-sheriff, deputy-sheriff or constable of the county or
other political subdivision in which the personal service is made, or an
officer authorized by the laws of this state, to take acknowledgements
of deeds to be recorded in this state, or an attorney and/or counselor
at law, solicitor, advocate or barrister duly qualified to practice in
the state or country where such service is made, or by a United States
marshall or deputy United States marshall. Proof of personal service
without the state shall be filed with the clerk of the court in which
the action is pending within thirty days after such service. Personal
service without the state is complete when proof thereof is filed. The
court in which the action is pending may order such extensions as may be
necessary to afford the defendant reasonable opportunity to defend the
action.

3. As used in this section, the term "vehicle" means a "motor
vehicle," "motorcycle," "semitrailer," and "trailer" as defined in
sections one hundred twenty-five, one hundred twenty-three, one hundred
forty-three and one hundred fifty-six, respectively, of this chapter,
whether or not such vehicles are used or operated upon a public highway.