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New York Law Firm Settles Case Against Bronx Court Clerks

New York Law firm Tilem & Campbell settled its lawsuit against the Bronx Civil clerks office, today, after New York’s Chief Administrative Judge amended the Court rules to comply with CPLR 2102(c). Civil Practice Law and Rules sect 2102(c) requires Court Clerks to accept legal papers submitted for filing unless a statute specifically prohibits the clerks from accepting the papers. The law became effective January 1, 2008 in response to the epidemic of Court Clerks rejecting papers for filing for the most mindless reasons. The practice was so widespread that Court Clerks prepared check-the-box forms to explain why your papers were rejected.

In response to the lawsuit brought under Article 78 of the CPLR entitled Tilem & Campbell, PC v. Tracy Pardo, Chief Clerk, Civil Division, et al. The Court rules, were amended to add Sect 202.5 (d)(1). Sect 202.5 (d) (1) now spells out only four circumstances in which clerks may reject papers submitted for filing. The four permissible reasons are:
i. The paper does not have an index number;
ii. The summons, complaint, petition or judgment sought to be filed with the County Clerk contains an “et al” or otherwise does not contain a full caption;
iii. The paper sought to be filed with the County Clerk is filed in the wrong Court; or
iv. The paper is not signed in accordance with section 130-1.1-a of the Rules of the Chief Administrator.

In addition, the County Clerk or chief clerk must now signify a refusal to accept a paper by use of a date stamp indicating the reason for the refusal.

New York lawyers, paralegals, process servers or others who routinely file papers in court should carry a copy of the new rule with them. If it is not yet available, this firm will provide a copy upon request.

Tilem & Campbell, PC v. Pardo arose out of the the Bronx Civil Clerk’s refusal to accept an Order to Show Cause that this firm attempted to file because of some handwritten changes. This firm had made repeated attempts to remedy the matter and prior incidents with the Bronx Clerk without success.