1. When service required; time for service;
upon whom service required.
(a) In any case founded upon tort where a notice of claim is required
by law as a condition precedent to the commencement of an action or
special proceeding against a public corporation, as defined in the
general construction law, or any officer, appointee or employee thereof,
the notice of claim shall comply with and be served in accordance with
the provisions of this section within ninety days after the claim
arises; except that in wrongful death actions, the ninety days shall run
from the appointment of a representative of the decedent's estate.
(b) Service of the notice of claim upon an officer, appointee or
employee of a public corporation shall not be a condition precedent to
the commencement of an action or special proceeding against such person.
If an action or special proceeding is commenced against such person, but
not against the public corporation, service of the notice of claim upon
the public corporation shall be required only if the corporation has a
statutory obligation to indemnify such person under this chapter or any
other provision of law.
2. Form of notice; contents. The notice shall be in writing, sworn to
by or on behalf of the claimant, and shall set forth: (1) the name and
post-office address of each claimant, and of his attorney, if any; (2)
the nature of the claim; (3) the time when, the place where and the
manner in which the claim arose; and (4) the items of damage or injuries
claimed to have been sustained so far as then practicable but a notice
with respect to a claim against a municipal corporation other than a
city with a population of one million or more persons shall not state
the amount of damages to which the claimant deems himself entitled,
provided, however, that the municipal corporation, other than a city
with a population of one million or more persons, may at any time
request a supplemental claim setting forth the total damages to which
the claimant deems himself entitled. A supplemental claim shall be
provided by the claimant within fifteen days of the request. In the
event the supplemental demand is not served within fifteen days, the
court, on motion, may order that it be provided by the claimant.
3. How served; when service by mail complete; defect in manner of
service; return of notice improperly served.
(a) The notice shall be served on the public corporation against which
the claim is made by delivering a copy thereof personally, or by
registered or certified mail, to the person designated by law as one to
whom a summons in an action in the supreme court issued against such
corporation may be delivered, or to an attorney regularly engaged in
representing such public corporation.
(b) Service by registered or certified mail shall be complete upon
deposit of the notice of claim, enclosed in a postpaid properly
addressed wrapper, in a post office or official depository under the
exclusive care and custody of the United States post office department
within the state.
(c) If the notice is served within the period specified by this
section, but in a manner not in compliance with the provisions of this
subdivision, the service shall be valid if the public corporation
against which the claim is made demands that the claimant or any other
person interested in the claim be examined in regard to it, or if the
notice is actually received by a proper person within the time specified
by this section, and the public corporation fail to return the notice,
specifying the defect in the manner of service, within thirty days after
the notice is received.
(d) If the notice is served within the period specified by this
section and is returned for the reason and within the time provided in
this subdivision, the claimant may serve a new notice in a manner
complying with the provisions of this subdivision within ten days after
the returned notice is received. If a new notice is so served within
that period, it shall be deemed timely served.
4. Requirements of section exclusive except as to conditions precedent
to liability for certain defects or snow or ice. No other or further
notice, no other or further service, filing or delivery of the notice of
claim, and no notice of intention to commence an action or special
proceeding, shall be required as a condition to the commencement of an
action or special proceeding for the enforcement of the claim; provided,
however, that nothing herein contained shall be deemed to dispense with
the requirement of notice of the defective, unsafe, dangerous or
obstructed condition of any street, highway, bridge, culvert, sidewalk
or crosswalk, or of the existence of snow or ice thereon, where such
notice now is, or hereafter may be, required by law, as a condition
precedent to liability for damages or injuries to person or property
alleged to have been caused by such condition, and the failure or
negligence to repair or remove the same after the receipt of such
5. Application for leave to serve a late notice.
Upon application, the court, in its discretion, may extend the time to
serve a notice of claim specified in paragraph (a) of subdivision one.
The extension shall not exceed the time limited for the commencement of
an action by the claimant against the public corporation. In determining
whether to grant the extension, the court shall consider, in particular,
whether the public corporation or its attorney or its insurance carrier
acquired actual knowledge of the essential facts constituting the claim
within the time specified in subdivision one or within a reasonable time
thereafter. The court shall also consider all other relevant facts and
circumstances, including: whether the claimant was an infant, or
mentally or physically incapacitated, or died before the time limited
for service of the notice of claim; whether the claimant failed to serve
a timely notice of claim by reason of his justifiable reliance upon
settlement representations made by an authorized representative of the
public corporation or its insurance carrier; whether the claimant in
serving a notice of claim made an excusable error concerning the
identity of the public corporation against which the claim should be
asserted; and whether the delay in serving the notice of claim
substantially prejudiced the public corporation in maintaining its
defense on the merits.
An application for leave to serve a late notice shall not be denied on
the ground that it was made after commencement of an action against the
6. Mistake, omission, irregularity or defect. At any time after the
service of a notice of claim and at any stage of an action or special
proceeding to which the provisions of this section are applicable, a
mistake, omission, irregularity or defect made in good faith in the
notice of claim required to be served by this section, not pertaining to
the manner or time of service thereof, may be corrected, supplied or
disregarded, as the case may be, in the discretion of the court,
provided it shall appear that the other party was not prejudiced
7. Applications under this section. All applications under this
section shall be made to the supreme court or to the county court: (a)
in a county where the action may properly be brought for trial, (b) if
an action to enforce the claim has been commenced, in the county where
the action is pending, or (c) in the event that there is no motion term
available in any of the counties specified in clause (a) or (b) hereof,
in any adjoining county. Where the application is for leave to serve a
late notice of claim, it shall be accompanied by a copy of the proposed
notice of claim.
8. Inapplicability of section. This section shall not apply to claims
arising under the provisions of the workers' compensation law, the
volunteer firefighters' benefit law, or the volunteer ambulance workers'
benefit law or to claims against public corporations by their own infant