Macchia v. Russo

67 N.Y.2d. 592, 505 N.Y.S.2d 591, 496 N.E.2d 680 (1986)

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Macchia v. Russo

New York Court of Appeals
67 N.Y.2d. 592, 505 N.Y.S.2d 591, 496 N.E.2d 680 (1986)

Facts

On February 27, 1975, Ralph Macchia (plaintiff) was injured while a passenger in a car driven by Salvatore Russo (defendant). On February 25, 1978, Macchia and a process server went to Salvatore’s home to attempt to serve Salvatore with a summons. When Macchia and the process server arrived at the Russo home, Salvatore Russo’s son, John Russo, was outside the home. The process server stated either “Mr. Russo?” or “Sal Russo?” (Macchia and the process server had different accounts on this score) and handed the summons to John. John asked Macchia what the papers were, to which the process server responded that John should read them. John then went into the house and gave the summons to Salvatore. Salvatore moved for summary judgment pursuant to Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) § 308(1) on the ground of improper service of the summons. Macchia responded that Salvatore was properly served because (1) Salvatore received the summons in close temporal and geographic proximity to John’s receipt of the summons, (2) the process server acted reasonably, and (3) Salvatore was not prejudiced because he promptly received the summons. The supreme court denied Salvatore’s motion, but the appellate division reversed and dismissed the complaint. Macchia appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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