Can Service Be Effectuated on a Person Designated for the Purpose Pursuant to Law by Filing a Certificate In the Department of State ?
In Howard Converters v. French Art Mills (273 NY 238 ), service was made on defendant, a New Jersey corporation, in New Jersey pursuant to former New York Civil Practice Act 235, via service, not on the Secretary of State of New Jersey, but on an individual (Filbert L. Rosenstein) who was actually designated as an agent in New Jersey for the service of process, pursuant to the New Jersey Corporation Act.
The New Jersey Corporation Act required corporations transacting business in New Jersey to designate an agent for the service of process.
That case arose prior to the enactment of New York's CPLR long-arm statute (see, L 1962, ch 308), and it concerned in rem jurisdiction over property located in New York, which could be effected, pursuant to former Civil Practice Act 235, by service of process " 'upon a defendant without the state in the same manner as if such service were made within the state.' " (Supra, at 241.)
The New York Court of Appeals observed that this section must be read as requiring service in the same manner as service would be made on a foreign corporation in New York State.
Under former Civil Practice Act 229 (2), service on a foreign corporation in New York could be effectuated by service on a person designated as an agent for service by a certificate filed with the Department of State. the Court of Appeals observed that:
"Service made upon a person designated for the purpose, pursuant to law, by certificate filed in the Department of State, would be good service of a foreign corporation within this state.
Such a person occupying such a position without the state may be thus served to accomplish the purposes of section 235 of the Civil Practice Act." (Supra, at 242.)
The Court reasoned further that "An agent designated in New Jersey could be served there because such an agent (not the agent) could be served here if designated in the same way here." (Supra, at 243.)
Expanding on the reasoning of Howard Converters (supra), the Federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals has held that, under New York law, service on the Secretary of State of New Jersey, appointed as an agent of a New Jersey corporation pursuant to the laws of New Jersey, suffices to confer jurisdiction on the foreign corporation in New York. (Meyer v. Indian Hill Farm, 258 F2d 287 [2d Cir 1958], supra.)
The Meyer court reasoned that service on a foreign corporation could be effected within New York pursuant to former Civil Practice Act 229 by service on a " 'person or public officer designated for the purpose pursuant to law by certificate filed in the department of state.' "
A public officer designated as an agent for service pursuant to law was construed to include a public officer appointed under New Jersey law.