A handyman, Galvan Fowler, was sued, because of an injury that a dayworker suffered when he brought him to help with the repair. It was not with my prior knowledge. The court gave a default judgement of $60,000 against the handyman, which he never paid. Now 3 years later I received a document from a law firm that I am being sued by that party. A law firm in Hempstead NY, the document says that I was served on July 22nd at 2:30 and now “those time periods have now expired and you are in default”. This is impossible because I was not at the home or even New York State at the time. I can prove I was not there, and can provide witnesses. The Process Server, one Mohammed Al-Atrash is perpetrating a fraud. Also from some investigating on my own, I believe that Mr. Mohammed Al-Atrash is actually, Mr. Hasam Al Atrash, who is a Felon, and a process server found guilty in NYS for Racketeering in 2011 for faking delivery of complaints. He is now living in Brooklyn. I plan to make a complaint to the District Attorney this week but would like to know my recourse in this matter.
1. Under the right circumstances, you can legally be served EVEN WHEN you are NOT at at home or even in the state. See the New York State Court's web page at https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/badService.shtml
You should not ignore it, even if they say you are in default. If you respond timely a judge may excuse your default, so do not delay. Get a lawyer.
2. On the other hand, under the "wrong" circumstances, you could be correct, it may be bad service, which you might be able to contest. But you should not rely on it being bad service. Hire a lawyer or take other action promptly to protect yourself.
All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred.
First reverse the default or respond to the complaint with a motion to dismiss. Get to the courthouse and examine the file to find out what this is about
If you are successful then contact the licensing agency
You can put in a motion to vacate a default judgment as against you for lack of personal jurisdiction, which needs to also show that you have a potentially meritorious defense to the causes of action, the complaints, as against you.
Once you win on that motion, the court will then institute a traverse hearing which is a hearing where both parties present evidence whether or not you were properly served.
I must add that there are a number of ways to serve a party in New York, one way is personal service which I presume is what the process server’s affidavit of service states, the other way is via a person of suitable age, and I presume you live alone, or no one else was at the house at the time of service?
Finally, the process server needs to present certain documents such as a log, which some process servers do not properly keep.
Finally, the process server’s affidavit of service physical description of the party served must match your description such as high, weight, age, gender, skin color, etc.
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