The Second Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court, determined there was a question of fact whether a defendant was properly served, the bank demonstrated standing to foreclose by affixing the note to the complaint, and the bank failed to demonstrate compliance with RPAPL 1303 and 1304:
Ordinarily, a process server’s affidavit of service gives rise to a presumption of proper service … . However, “a sworn denial of service containing specific facts generally rebuts the presumption of proper service established by the affidavit of service and necessitates a hearing” … . “If an issue regarding service turns upon a question of credibility, a hearing should be held to render a determination on this issue” * * *
The plaintiff established, prima facie, that it had standing to commence this action by submitting in support of its motion a copy of the note, endorsed in blank, that was annexed to the certificate of merit filed with the summons and complaint at the time the action was commenced … . Where, as here, the note is affixed to the complaint, “‘it is unnecessary to give factual details of the delivery in order to establish that possession was obtained prior to a particular date'” * * *
… [T]he plaintiff failed to demonstrate, prima facie, its strict compliance with RPAPL 1303 … . RPAPL 1303 requires that the party foreclosing a mortgage on residential property deliver, along with the summons and complaint, a notice titled “Notice to Tenants of Buildings in Foreclosure” to any tenant of the property by certified mail, if the identity of the tenant is known to the foreclosing party … . * * *
… [T]he affiant did not state that he had personal knowledge of the purported mailings, and the documents that he relied upon to affirm that the mailings took place failed to establish that the RPAPL 1304 notices were actually mailed … by both certified and first-class mail. Since the plaintiff “failed to provide proof of the actual mailing, or proof of a standard office mailing procedure designed to ensure that items are properly addressed and mailed, sworn to by someone with personal knowledge of the procedure,” the plaintiff failed to demonstrate, prima facie, its strict compliance with RPAPL 1304 … . U.S Bank N.A. v 22-33 Brookhaven, Inc., 2023 NY Slip Op 04228, Second Dept 8-9-23
Practice Point: Here a defendant raised a question of fact whether he was properly served, requiring a hearing.
Practice Point: In this foreclosure action the bank established standing by affixing the note to the complaint.
Practice Point: The bank’s failure to strictly comply with RPAPL 1303 or 1304 precludes summary judgment.