For those of us who have been electronically filing just about all of our cases with the New York State courts, one type of claim has consistently held us back, slowed us down, and kept us with one foot firmly planted in the drudgery of "snail-mail" litigation: cases against New York City.

As we've noted elsewhere, such as in our article "The Most Critical Mistake to Avoid When Suing a New York Municipality," the requirement of filing properly a Notice of Claim against New York municipalities (such as New York City or the New York City Transit Authority) within 90 days of the occurrence has fostered a great deal of litigation, and is often difficult for lawyers to comply with, particularly when they are first contacted about a potential case only days before this time runs out.

The beauty of this new statute, at least from my perspective, is that it not only eliminates the need for the multiple copies that need to be served via certified mail, and the attendant trips to the post office, it also compels the City to issue an identification number that will serve as conclusive proof of filing and receipt. As a result, and in sum, it will reduce paperwork and expense, and will allow the prosecution of cases to move more quickly and efficiently.

If only we didn't have to wait 180 days for the law to become effective ...

Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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