Commencing litigation, in New York City, against a private entity is an undertaking, but suing the New York City government in New York starts with a big time crunch. In New York, if you are suing any state or local government municipality or authority, you have, in most cases, 90 days to submit a Notice of Claim to the proper entity. The time period starts accruing from the date that the event triggering your claim occurred.
In the Notice of Claim, you must give your personal information, the date, time and location of occurrence, a brief description of the incident in question and a brief description of the damages claimed. Get a New York lawyer to do this for immediately.
This Notice of Claim, in New York, must then be delivered to the proper entity – or entities if you are not sure if one or many are involved – at the proper location. To find a listing of entities and municipalities and addresses for service of process, New York City publishes the searchable New York City Green Book online.
After filing the Notice of Claim, the noticed entity has the right to a 50-H hearing (referring to a section of the NY General Obligations Law), which is an investigative proceeding much like a deposition where the entity has an opportunity to ascertain additional facts about the claim.
Different municipal entities and authorities have different statutes of limitations, ranging from one year to one year and ninety days, depending upon who you are and why you are suing the entity.
When taken altogether, this means your attorney in New York needs to ramp up the initial work-up and investigation of your matter faster than the average case in litigation. Always remember that time is of the essence when bringing a claim against the government of New York.
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