Bulletin: NY000158

Date:
March 06, 1998
To:
All New York State Counsel, Managers and Agents
RE:
Signatures Required on Pleadings and Papers (22 NYCRR 130-1.1-a) Effective March 1, 1998

Dear Associates:

Attorneys (and pro se individuals) are now required to sign pleadings and papers, as a verification that the subject matter contained in the papers is not frivolous. (The rule had already established sanctions for frivolous matters and motions, and now increases the sanctions, as well.) This new signature rule was added by the Chief Administrator of the New York Unified Court System to 22 NYCRR Part 130, effective March 1, 1998.

There is no set rule for how to sign the papers, and a brochure put out by the Chief Administrator indicates that a single signature will suffice for a bound group of papers (such as a summons and complaint, or for a notice of motion and all the supporting affidavits, as examples).

There is no specific language for the verification of non-frivolity - in fact, nothing more than the signature of the attorney (or self-represented individual), with the signer's name typed beneath. If more than one paper is to be included under the signature, the signed paper should refer to all the documents. (One suggestion is to put the signature on an "action back" [and we thought the use of litigation backs was being discouraged?]) or cover sheet.

The signature requirement does not apply to town and village courts, small claims cases, certain Family Court matters, and criminal proceedings.

Title agencies may encounter this rule if handling the filing of the notice of pendency, summons and complaint in a foreclosure as an accommodation to foreclosure search customers. Please pass this bulletin on to your attorney clientele.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
12.32 Mortgage Foreclosures
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None