Will NYC Process Servers be Required to use Body Cameras?

process server body camerasRecently there has been a push for having more accountability for law enforcement officials.  Many counties are suggesting body cameras be required for all police officers in order to monitor the behavior of both the civilian interactions as well as officer reactions.  Illinois is now pushing for this technology to be used by process servers in counties of populations over 3 million.  This would only affect one county (Cook) in Illinois.

More About Illinois Bill HB 6327

Illinois Bill HB 6327, would require that all the video data be stored until the resolution of the case.  This would place additional expenses on process servers who are already feeling the pinch of expenses due to competition and additional technological advances that have become commonplace in the industry.  The idea of the bill would be to improve transparency and security for public servants.  However, there has been opposition that litigants would become more violent if they knew that they will be video recorded.  For more information on the bill see ServeNow’s article here.

Will this affect the New York City process service industry?

Being that New York City is a densely populated area, the legislature in New York City via the Department of Consumer Affairs has promulgated many laws since 2011 to maintain integrity of the industry.  In June 2011 the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (the “Department”) mandated new recordkeeping rules to be maintained by licensed process servers in the City of New York. The adopted rules and amendments to existing rules took effect in July, 2011. According to the Department’s website, effective as of November 12, 2011, licensed process servers are required to carry and operate an electronic device that records the Global Positioning System (“GPS”) location while serving process.  Furthermore in order to become a process server, an individual must take an exam charging a $75 fee for taking this exam and if an applicant fails the exam they must pay again to retake it. The applicant must also pay a $340 licensing fee and a $75 fingerprinting fee.  Also, this year amendments to the penal code make it a Class D felony to assault a process server.

In light of all of this legislation is there a need to have body cameras on New York City process servers?  One would think that the additional regulations set forth by the Department of Consumer Affairs would make it just an additional burden on process servers to maintain body cameras.  If Illinois mandates this, there may be a push for it in cities with a population density such as New York City.  This may lead to an another exodus of process servers from the industry.  We should all monitor what the Illinois legislature does and see if this is a viable option for New York City process servers in the future.


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