The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff bank in this foreclosure action should have been granted more time to serve the defendant by publication:
Pursuant to CPLR 306-b, a court may, in the exercise of discretion, grant a motion for an extension of time within which to effect service upon “good cause shown or in the interest of justice” … . “To establish good cause, a plaintiff must demonstrate reasonable diligence in attempting service. Good cause will not exist where a plaintiff fails to make any effort at service, or fails to make at least a reasonably diligent effort at service. By contrast, good cause may be found to exist where the plaintiff’s failure to timely serve process is a result of circumstances beyond the plaintiff’s control” … .
If a plaintiff fails to establish good cause for an extension, courts must consider whether an extension is warranted in the interest of justice … . A showing of reasonably diligent efforts at service is not required, but courts may consider diligence along with other factors, including “the expiration of the statute of limitations, the meritorious nature of the action, the length of delay in service, the promptness of a request by the plaintiff for an extension, and prejudice to the defendant” … . Wilmington Sav. Fund Socy., FSB v James, 2019 NY Slip Op 05807, Second Dept 7-24-19