Debt Collection Tips: Issuance of the Summons in a Collection Case

A “Summons” is a legal document which notifies a person that he is being sued by another. The requirement of issuance of a Summons is a fundamental right derived from common law.  There are specific rules relating to the methods of service of the Summons.  In a collection case, however, there are additional rules to consider:

1.  Venue
The venue of a case relates to the jurisdiction in which the case is brought within the State.  Generally, the proper venue of a case is one in which either party resides or where the transaction took place.  The venue of a case to collect upon a consumer credit transaction — one for which the purpose of the debt was for personal use, as opposed to commercial debt; many credit card cases fall into this category — must be in one of two places, either in the county in which the debtor resides or the county in which the transaction took place.  Both New York State’s Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) and the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) require this rule.  If a debtor applied for credit in Kings County and subsequently moved to Queens County, the Summons may be issued for either county.

2.  Consumer Credit Transaction
According to the CPLR, the top of the Summons must state that the Summons is being issued for a consumer credit transaction.

3.  Spanish Summons
In New York City, the Civil Court Act requires that, in addition to the Summons being issued in English, there must be an additional Summons issued in Spanish.

by Richard A. Klass, Esq.

R. A. Klass
Your Court Street Lawyer

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