Uniform Notice of Claims Certificate


Uniform Notice of Claim Certificate of Designation form:  https://appext20.dos.ny.gov/noc_public/f?p=800

 

General Municipal Law, §50-e (1) requires the service of a notice of claim upon a town as a condition precedent to filing suit for personal injury and property damage. (Williams v. Nassau County Med. Ctr., 6 NY3d 531, 535 (2006)).  The purpose of GML §50-e, according to the Appellate Division, is “to protect the municipality from unfounded claims and to ensure that it has an adequate opportunity ‘to explore the merits of the claim while information is still readily available.’” (Porcaro v. City of New York, 20 A.D.3d 357 (1st Dep’t 2005), quoting Teresta v. City of New York, 304 N.Y. 440, 443 (1952)).  Typically a notice of claim must be delivered personally or by registered or certified mail to the town clerk, town supervisor or to an attorney regularly engaged in representing such town. (General Municipal Law, §50-e (3)(a); CPLR, §311(a)(5)).

 

Effective June 15, 2013, a person wishing to sue a town will have another option for serving a notice of claim upon the town. In addition to delivering a copy of the notice of claim to the town clerk, the town supervisor or an attorney regularly engaged in representing the town – a notice of claim may be delivered to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then forward the notice of claim to the person designated by the town board to receive the notice of claim from the Secretary of State. (General Municipal Law, §53). To assist the Secretary of State in this task, the Department of State is creating a form certificate to file with the Secretary of State.  The required form will be available on the Department of State’s website (www.dos.ny.gov) on June 15, 2013.  A person filing a notice of claim with the Secretary of State may be charged a fee of up to $250, half of which shall be forwarded to the town providing that the town files its certificate of designation upon with Secretary of State within 30 days of June 15, 2013 (approximately July 14, 2013).

 

To prepare for submitting that form, the town board should adopt a resolution designating a town officer or person who will serve in this function.  Pursuant to CPLR §311(a)(5) the town supervisor or town clerk is the person authorized to accept service on behalf of the town.  For consistency purposes the town board may wish to designate one of these officers for purposes of receiving notices of claim served upon the Secretary of State.

 

Enclosed please find a sample resolution which you may use or modify to assist you in this task.  The town board should review this designation periodically to make sure that the information provided is current.  Please review this with your town attorney before adoption.

 

Sample Resolution

 

Resolution No. _________ 2013, Town of ______________

 

WHEREAS General Municipal Law, §53 requires towns to file a certificate with the Secretary of State designating the Secretary of State as an agent for service of a notice of claim; and

 

WHEREAS, General Municipal Law, §53 requires the certificate to include the applicable time limit for filing the notice of claim and the name, post office address and electronic mail address, if available, of an officer, person, for the transmittal of notices of claim served upon the Secretary as the town’s agent; and

 

WHEREAS,  pursuant to General Municipal Law, §50-e(1)(a), the applicable time limit for the filing of a notice of claim upon a town is 90 days after the claim arises, or in the case of a wrongful death action, 90 days from the appointment of a representative of the decedent’s estate; Now therefore Be It

 

RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of ___________________, County of ____________________________ designates ______________________________(name of person), in his/her capacity as  ____________________________(name of office / position), to receive notices of claims  served upon the Secretary of State by mail at _______________________________________________________ (post office address) and email at ________________________________  (if available).  

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town Board hereby directs the Town Clerk to file the required certificate with the Secretary of State informing him or her of the town’s designation and applicable time limitation for filing a notice of claim with the town on or before July 14, 2013.   

 

(Please note that applicable time limit for the filing of a notice of claim upon a town is 90 days after the claim arises, or in the case of a wrongful death action, 90 days from the appointment of a representative of the decedent’s estate General Municipal Law, §50-e(1)(a))

 

General Municipal Law, §53

Alternative service of notice of claim upon the secretary of state

 

1. In lieu of serving a notice of claim upon a public corporation as provided for in section fifty-e of this article, a notice of claim setting forth the same information as required by such section may be served upon the secretary of state in the same manner as if served with the public corporation. All the requirements relating to the form, content, time limitations, exceptions, extensions and any other procedural requirements imposed in such section with respect to a notice of claim served upon a public corporation shall correspondingly apply to a notice of claim served upon the secretary of state as permitted by this section. For purposes of this article, the secretary of state shall be deemed to be the agent for all public corporations upon whom a notice of claim may be served prior to commencement of any action or proceeding subject to the requirements of this article.

 

2. All public corporations entitled to have served upon them a notice of claim as a condition precedent to commencement of an action or proceeding shall, no later than thirty days after the date upon which this section shall take effect, file a certificate with the secretary of state designating the secretary as the agent for service of a notice of claim and shall in such statement provide the secretary with the name, post office address and electronic mail address, if available, of an officer, person, or designee, nominee or other agent-in-fact for the transmittal of notices of claim served upon the secretary as the public corporation's agent. Any designated post office address or electronic mail address to which the secretary of state shall mail transmit a copy of the notice of claim served upon him or her as agent shall continue to be the address to which such notices shall be transmitted until the public corporation sends a notice to the secretary informing him or her of a new post office address or electronic mail address to which such notices shall be transmitted. The initial filing with the secretary of state shall also contain the applicable time limit for filing a notice of claim upon that public corporation, or if later changed by statute, a new filing shall be made detailing the new time limit. Any public corporation that does not have a current and timely statutory designation filed with the secretary of state shall not be entitled to the portion of the fee to which it would otherwise be entitled pursuant to subdivision four of this section. Failure of the public corporation to so file with the secretary of state will not invalidate any service of a notice of claim upon the public corporation which has been received by the secretary of state.

 

3. The secretary of state is hereby empowered to accept properly transmitted notices of claims on behalf of a public corporation, with the same effect as if served directly upon a public corporation. The secretary of state shall accept such service upon the following terms and conditions:

 

(a) the secretary of state shall set and notify the public, on his or her website of times, places and manner of service upon him or her of notices of claims necessary to comply with the provisions of this section;

 

(b) upon receipt of a notice of claim, the secretary of state shall issue a receipt or other document acknowledging his or her receipt of such notice, and such receipt shall contain the date and time of receipt of the notice, an identifying number or name particular to the notice received, and the logo or seal of the department of state embossed upon it. Such receipt shall be prima facie evidence of service upon the secretary of state for all purposes;

 

(c) nothing in this section shall be deemed to alter, waive or otherwise abrogate any defense available to a public corporation as to the nature, sufficiency, or appropriateness of the notice of claim itself, or to any challenges to the timeliness of the service of a notice of claim. Timely service upon the secretary of state shall be deemed timely service upon the public corporation for purposes of instituting an action or proceeding or other requirement imposed by law.

 

4. The secretary of state may impose a fee upon any person who serves a notice of claim with the department. Such fee shall not exceed two hundred fifty dollars for each such notice filed. One-half of the fee imposed shall be retained by the secretary of state as payment for its services provided in accordance with this section. The remaining one-half of such fee shall be forwarded to the public corporation named in the notice of claim provided, however, if more than one such public corporation is named, each named public corporation shall be entitled to an equal percentage of the one-half amount.

 

5. The secretary of state shall within sixty days after the effective date of this section post on the departmental website a list of any public corporation, including any public authority, public benefit corporation or any other entity entitled to receive a notice of claim as a condition precedent to commencement of an action or proceeding, and that has filed, pursuant to this section, a certificate with the secretary of state designating the secretary as the agent for service of a notice of claim. The list should identify the entity, the post office address and electronic mail address, if available, of the public corporation to which the notice of claim shall be forwarded by the secretary of state, and any statutory provisions uniquely pertaining to such public corporation and the commencement of an action or proceeding against it.

 

6. The secretary of state is authorized to promulgate any rules or regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

 

 

The Secretary of State may be served with notices of claim for public corporations beginning Monday, July 15, 2013.