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Family Court Process Service and Proceedings.

Serving Family Court papers in New York must be done according to the rules set out by the New York State Family Court for service of process. For example, there are certain days when NY process servers must  refrain from effecting service and specific days when service of process is acceptable. Although generally most process service in New York is not allowed during holidays, religious days and Sundays, there are specific exceptions to this rule. Process service may be effected on Sundays and on holidays if the judge ordered it . Also Orders of Protection can be served on those days without a judge's order. Observant Jews may be served during their Sabbaths (Friday evening and Saturdays)  only if an order of protection, summons or petition for order of protection have been issued against them.

Summonses for guardianship, child visitation ("V" summons), child custody, child support ("F" summons) and spousal support.

Custody petitions must be served in person on the named respondent. Serving a relative of the respondent is considered improper service. Generally, unless otherwise ordered by a Family Court judge, paternity petitions, guardianship petitions, child visitation petitions and child custody petitions must be served in person on the named respondent. Serving a relative of the respondent is considered improper service. For further information regarding rules for Family Offense cases, Custody cases, Visitation cases, Support cases and Paternity cases, please read the forms and instructions below.

Documents to Bring to Family Court.

Family Court Documents to Bring to the Hearing

Family Court Orders of Protection.

Instructions for Service of Order of Protection

Family Court Notice Regarding Order of Protection

Family Court Process Server Rules.

Service of Process Rules Family Court

Service of Papers Family Court Summons and Petition

Affidavit of Personal Service and Mail Service

  • What if I Cannot Attend my Court Hearing?
    Bring a letter to the court explaining why you cannot attend. You must bring your letter before the court date.If you cannot bring a letter, call the court clerk to explain your
    circumstances. If you do not appear in court your petition may be dismissed (if you are the petitioner) or the judge may issue an order against you (if you are the respondent).

    At the Hearing...
    Speak to the judge briefly but clearly state your case. Bring evidence and witnesses (if available) to support your case.

    Most Family Court cases are not decided on the first court hearing; therefore you may need to appear in court on a future date. You case will be complete after the judge issues
    an order or decision. Said decision or order may be temporary. If a final order is issued by the court you may not be required to show up in court again but you must obey said order.

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