NY Court Invalidates Service of Process on Sabbath, Focusing On Competing Sabbath Times
- By :
- Category : Planning
New York General Business Law Sec. 13 provides:Whoever maliciously procures any process in a civil action to be served on Saturday, upon any person who keeps Saturday as holy time, and does not labor on that day, or serves upon him any process returnable on that day, or maliciously procures any civil action to which such person is a party to be adjourned to that day for trial, is guilty of a misdemeanor.In Signature Bank NA v. Koschitzki, (NY Kings Cty. Sup. Ct., July 27, 2017), a New York state trial court vacated a default judgment against Sabbath observant Jews who were served before the end of the Sabbath on a Saturday afternoon. Defendants were served at 5:30 pm on November 26, 2016. There are two methods used by Jews to determine when the Sabbath ends. One method would have resulted in Sabbath ending at 5:15. The other method, relied upon by defendants, would have ended the Sabbath at 5:43. The court said:The Court understands that there is disagreement as to the time at which Sabbath ends among different groups of observant Jews. This Court does not believe it would be appropriate for it to determine the manner in which religious custom should be observed by any individual group or require that one particular group’s traditions be adhered to uniformly. The time asserted by defendants is not unreasonable given the conflicting opinions contained in different religious sources.Arutz Sheva reporting on the decision has more details on the two computational methods.