Legal Processes

Serving the Natural Person

There are five methods of serving the natural person with a summons. A natural person is one other than a partnership, corporation, infant incompetent, the state, or a governmental subdivision.
  • Delivery to the person to be served
  • Delivery to a person of suitable age and discretion
  • Sub service, by "nail and mail", after due diligence
  • Court direction of service
  • Natural person, partnership, or corporation directing a person as agent for service

Affidavits of Service

Affidavits of service are completed after the process is completed and returned to the issuing party. Affidavits should contain all pertinent information regarding the time and place of the service and the description of the person served or the attempts made if sub-service is used.

Income Executions

An income execution is an instrument issued by the attorney for the judgement creditor, or the court clerk, directing the Sheriff to satisfy a money judgement out of the judgement debtor's income. There are generally two stages in the collection process pursuant to an income execution:
  • In the first stage, the execution is served upon the debtor himself and is thereby given the opportunity to make the appropriate payments and warned. Unless the payments are made, an execution will be served on his employer or other person from whom he is, or will be, receiving money.
  • In the second stage, the execution is served on the employer due to non-payment during the first stage.

As for other executions, the sheriff must make a proper return to the court clerk, or in some cases the judgement creditor's attorney, and is entitled to payment of fees in advance.

Property Executions

A property execution is a process of the court authorizing an appropriate official to seize property belonging to a judgement debtor so that it can be applied to the satisfaction of a money judgement. There are two different kinds of property executions:
  • Levy on personal property
  • Levy on real property

A levy is the taking of property along with the service of the execution.

Levied Property

All property levied upon is seized and taken into custody of the sheriff until a time as to which a sale can be conducted of the property. Proceeds of such sale shall be applied to the satisfaction of the judgement.


Evictions are generally a two-part process:
  • The first part of the process deals with commencing the proceeding by service of a notice of petition and petition to recover real property.
  • The second part of the process deals with the enforcement of a warrant of eviction. The purpose of this proceeding is to test the right of possession of the real property and ultimately confirm that right.

The notice of petition is to the eviction what a summons is to a civil action. Filing the proof of service commences the proceeding.

Warrant of Eviction

The warrant of eviction is a court order signed by a judge after judgement and issued to an enforcement officer. It directs the enforcement officer to put a landlord petitioner in full possession of a particular premises, and to remove all persons and personal property that are blocking his right to his real property. Serving a warrant is enforcing a court order. All persons being evicted must be given at least a 72-hour written notice.

Warrant Enforcement

The enforcement officer is to see that the warrant is enforced. It is not our job to remove the tenant's possessions. Arraignments should be made with the landlord for removal and the costs involved.

Civil Arrest

A civil arrest is the interference with an individual's freedom of movement under the authority of law. Except as provided for in the Family Court Act, a civil arrest can only occur with a warrant or other written direction. A court of record has the power to punish for civil contempt.

Warrant of Arrest

A warrant of arrest may be issued where a judgement debtor possesses or controls property and is concealing himself or is about to leave the state. It also may be issued where a party has disobeyed a subpoena.