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N.Y. Appellate Panel Approves Service by Email on Wife in Iran
New York Law Journal
In a matrimonial case where a wife returned to Iran, an appellate court in Rochester, N.Y., has upheld email service of an international divorce summons despite the fact that neither the Civil Practice Law and Rules nor the Hague Convention expressly permit service of process via email. The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, affirmed Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Richard Dollinger, who authorized email service on the wife only after other methods failed.
Dollinger had initially ordered personal service on the defendant wife's parents, mail service on the defendant at her parents' address in Iran and service on her Iranian attorney. The Fourth Department said that while email service is not specifically authorized under either the CPLR or the Hague Convention, it is not prohibited.
In Safadjou v. Mohammadi, 12-00271, the appeals panel said that in light of the facts of this case -- including the fact that the United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iran and that Iran is not a signatory to the Hague Convention provision on overseas service of legal documents -- Dollinger "properly determined that service upon defendant was impractical by any method of service" specified in the CPLR.
"Under the circumstances of this case, the court properly determined that service of the summons with notice upon defendant by email was an appropriate form of service," the panel said in its unsigned opinion. Justices Nancy Smith, Erin Peradotto, Stephen Lindley, Joseph Valentino and Gerald Whalen decided the case. Thomas Martin of Rochester argued for the wife. Maureen Pineau of Rochester appeared for the husband.