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Practitioners may develop a false sense of security from a recent amendment of CPLR 304 that now defines the commencement of a special proceeding in the Supreme and County Courts as the filing of the petition alone. (Chapter 473, Laws of 2001, effective Nov. 21, 2001). Prior law defined commencement as the filing of a petition and either a notice of petition or order to show cause. For a petitioner who is racing to comply with the statute of limitations, the new approach appears at first glance to be a godsend because it seemingly tolls the statute of limitations upon the mere filing of the petition. Having complied with the statute of limitations, the petitioner would now seem to have some extra time within which to obtain an order to show cause or to arrange for a calendar-specific notice of petition for service on the respondent in accordance with CPLR 306-b.

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