new york municipal law, civil procedure, notice of claim, service, general municipal law section 50-e, court discretion, extension


A multitude of provisions scattered throughout New York's consolidated and unconsolidated laws require that plaintiffs serve "notice of claim" of their tort actions on defendant public corporations. New York General Municipal Law section 50-e governs New York procedure for serving this notice of claim upon public corporations including when and upon whom service should be made, the form and contents of the notice of claim, and how notice of claim may be served. Compliance with the requirements of section 50-e is a condition precedent to commencement of a tort action against a public corporation wherever such notice of claim is required by law. This Note analyzes the functions and malfunctions of General Municipal Law section 50-e(5). Although subdivision five sets forth factors to guide the courts in using their discretion, the bounds of this discretion have not been explicitly delineated. This Note ranks the factors set forth in subdivision five according to their intended weight in court decisions, and will suggest a standard judicial approach to subdivision five motions to extend the time to serve notice of claim.



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