Committee Reports

Recommendations to better implement NYC Civil Court Advisory Notice 17 and Chief Clerk’s Memo 203 relating to accessing case files in connection with vacating default judgments in consumer debt cases


The Civil Court Committee (Gina Calabrese, Chair) wrote a letter to the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge and NYC Civil Court Supervising Judges regarding the implementation of Advisory Notice 17 and Chief Clerk’s Memo 203. The Civil Court created these new policies to address the delay in accessing case files needed in connection with vacating default judgments in consumer debt cases. The new policies are a welcome innovation to address the problem which is itself attributable to the lack of sufficient staff to maintain court files. However, Committee members have observed that the new policies are not being fully implemented in all of the courthouses and thus are not having their intended effect. To effectuate the changes intended by the Policies, the Committee recommends that the administration of each court take the following steps: ensure that clerks comply with CCM-203’s requirement to mark OTSCs “file unavailable”; encourage judges to follow the recommendation in AN-17 that Plaintiffs be ordered to produce the Affidavit of Service on the return date for the OTSC; provide information to litigants regarding the opportunity to review the court file and Affidavit of Service and to state whether the Affidavit of Service was unavailable at the time the OTSC was filed; use only the new, updated Order to Show Cause form which provides the option not only to vacate and restore the case to the calendar, but also to vacate and dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction; advise litigants, at the return date, of the opportunity to file a Supplemental Affidavit; and advise all court personnel to reduce the inefficiencies and delays created by the lack of access to case files.