November 02, 2021

Failure to acquire the jurisdiction of the court fatal to petitioner's cause of action

The Pro Se Petitioner in this action to recover damages for alleged employment discrimination on the basis of race and national origin, served the respondents  [Defendants] by depositing the summons and complaint in a United States Postal Service mailbox.

Typically the court does not have personal jurisdiction over a defendant should a plaintiff fails to properly effect service of process on the defendant. In those instances in which process has not been served upon a defendant, all subsequent proceedings will be rendered null and void.

In this CPLR Article 78 action the Defendants, pursuant to CPLR §3211(a)(8), moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. Supreme Court granted the Defendants' motion and Plaintiff appealed.

The Appellate Division affirmed Supreme Court's ruling, noting that by mailing the summons and complaint via regular mail the Plaintiff failed to properly effectuate service concluding that Supreme Court properly granted Defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Click HEREto access the Appellate Division's ruling.