China Trade: Getting Easier

New Career: Process Server, John Perez

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Catherine J. Barrier and Krista DiCostanzo were

prepared for the September 5, 2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper.

All rights reserved.

Foreign Trade: Process Serving

Top Of Page
China Trade: Getting Easier

When the U.S. House of Representatives passed the

Permanent

Normal Trade Relations with China act (PNTR), it spurred considerable

interest within New Jersey businesses about future trade possibilities

with China. Jose Gomez Rivera III, acting director of International

Trade & Protocol for the state, indicates that last year New Jersey’s

trade with China was significant, "And the fact that trading’s

going to be easier can only help," says Rivera, a graduate of

Seton Hall University, Class of ’80, and of New York University’s

law school (609-633-3606).

With this federal push for permanent trade relations with China, the

upcoming China-Zhejiang 2000 Economic & Trade Fair in New Jersey is

a timely one. The free event is at New Brunswick’s Hyatt Regency

Hotel,

from Monday to Wednesday, September 11 to 13. Hours are Monday from

noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday from 10 to 5 p.m., and Wednesday from 10 to

3. Go to www.aaisa.org/zhejiangshow or call Jane Tublin at

732-745-5050,

extension 5174.

The fair is jointly sponsored by the Foreign Trade and Economic

Cooperation

Bureau of Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government of the People’s

Republic of China and such U.S. organizations as the New Jersey

Commerce

& Economic Growth Commission and the City of New Brunswick.

Earlier this year, the U. S. and China reached a bilateral agreement

that allows for up to 50 percent foreign ownership of companies

involved

in telecommunications and Internet functions within the People’s

Republic

of China (PRC). In exchange, the U.S. was to establish permanent

normal

trade relations with China, rather than continue the one-year,

renewable

trade agreement it had had.

Seeking to be admitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO), China

agreed for the first time to accept foreign ownership in its strategic

markets, In turn, the U.S. House of Representatives moved to comply

with the U.S. concession in the agreement, passing PNTR. While PNTR

now awaits consideration in the U.S. Senate, China is busy negotiating

agreements with a number of other nations — all as a prerequisite

for membership in the WTO. "It’s expected once PNTR passes the

Senate, China will be admitted to the WTO," says Rivera.

"New Jersey already has significant, rather robust trade with

the PRC. In 1997-’98, New Jersey firms exported $720 million worth

of products to China, but trade with China wasn’t as streamlined as

it now can be because of PNTR," says Rivera. The following year,

New Jersey had a reduction in the volume of trade with China,

exporting

about $594 million worth of goods. Two things contributed to that

reduction: the Asian crisis and the fact that a lot of banks were

shy about extending export financing anywhere in the world because

of some real credit crunches.

Then last year New Jersey businesses, including many along the U.S.

1 corridor, exported to China considerable quantities of goods ranging

from electronics and electrical equipment ($208 million worth) to

scrap metal ($29.6 million), fabricated metal products ($139 million),

chemical and allied products ($67 million), and industrial machinery

and computers ($43 million).

"The fact that China is moving towards admission in the World

Trade Organization — and that a market of 1.3 billion consumers

is moving into a rules-based trading system — will establish a

long-lasting and very productive relationship for the U.S., and more

particularly, for New Jersey," says Rivera.

Many New Jersey companies now realize the tremendous opportunities

that lie ahead in increased international trade with China. Trading

opportunities and markets tend to be looked at on the basis of either

population (consumer demands) or per capita income. So with its

overall

market of 1.3 billion and the annual per capita income on the east

coast, in the area around Zhejiang, China promises to be an

increasingly

important market for New Jersey products. "And the Chinese

economic

growth rates over the last decade have approached seven percent, which

is significant," says Rivera.

With the growing population, annual per capita income, and economic

growth rate, and with PNTR, which is seen by many as a sort of first

thrust at really exploring the Chinese market, international trade

with China is becoming more and more interesting, "All that just

combines to make China a kind of cutting-edge market opportunity,"

says Rivera.

Businesses looking to consider targeting the growing Chinese market

— and especially the Zhejiang area market — have some long

and short term options for assistance:

The New Jersey State Department of International Trade and

Protocol provides information and access to various helpful

resources

(609-777-0885). Market analyses, contacts, market leads, information

on incoming trade fairs/shows, suggestions on what resources are

available

for education in terms of doing business in China, suggestions on

how to acquire financing, and export information are all available

through this department.

The 2000 Economic & Trade Fair will allow business

professionals

to explore the Chinese market close-up for export/import

opportunities,

to find opportunities for industrial technology transfer, licensing,

and investment in the exploding China market throughout the Zhejiang

area, and to receive help in being matched up with appropriate Chinese

companies for further contact.

A continuing relationship with Zhejiang province. The

40,000 square miles of the coastal province of Zhejiang lies just

south of Shanghai City and the Yangtze River delta and is home to

about 45 million people. It is known for its tea, silk, porcelain,

and papermaking, and boasts a large well-educated work-force,

"Zhejiang province is quite dynamic and it’s actually focused

on telecommunications and high-tech, so it tends to match New Jersey

to some extent," says Rivera. New Jersey has had a sister state

relationship

with Zhejiang province since 1977. "And sister state relationships

tend to involve a number of exchanges, both commercial and cultural,

so we have a very, very active relationship with Zhejiang province.

We kind of match up bilateral commercial opportunities."

For the first time, with this trade fair, Zhejiang is extending its

hand of friendship to the businesses, manufacturers, investors, and

citizens of New Jersey. Governor Chai Songyue is expected to head

the Zhejiang delegation, and Governor Whitman and other New Jersey

officials are expected at the trade fair’s inauguration.

International trade is becoming more important for the overall job

market here. In 1999 New Jersey received $30.5 billion in foreign

direct investment. These monies sustained approximately 300,000 jobs

in the Garden State. "One out of every seven employees in this

state either works directly or has same kind of business or

professional

relationship with a company that is involved in international

trade,"

says Riviera. "It touches a lot of lives in New Jersey."

New Jersey is already home to 30 Chinese companies, and with the

prospects

of permanent normal trade relations being established in the near

future, and China’s expected entrance into the WTO, finding out more

about trade with China just makes good business sense. "PNTR has

mobilized the sense that China trade is the `new frontier’ in

international

commerce," says Rivera.

— Catherine J. Barrier

Top Of Page
New Career: Process Server, John Perez

Until now, a foreclosure notice had to be delivered

by a sheriff’s officer. Now civilian process servers can do this job.

Process serving officially opens to the public in New Jersey the first

week in September, now that a new New Jersey Supreme Court rule has

gone into effect. The industry is anticipating the new challenges

and opportunities for business that the rule changes will present.

A seminar on Saturday, September 9, at 9 a.m. at the New Jersey Law

Center on Ryders Lane in New Brunswick, will introduce newcomers to

this job. Entitled "How to serve legal papers in New Jersey,"

it is part of a series of state-wide seminars run by the Brick-based

New Jersey Legal Process Service, in conjunction with the National

Institute for Professional Process Service. Cost: $189. Call

Donna-Marie

Carlucci, director of the National Institute for Professional

Process

Service, at 973-218-0485.

The seminars will cover a wide range of topics, including the

fundamental

concepts of due process, jurisdiction, the nature and purpose of the

legal process, and codes of conduct, both state and federal. Also

to be discussed will be various forms of civil process, requirements,

limitations, and proper proofs of service.

The speaker will be John Perez, a Brick-based New Jersey attorney

who was also a proponent for the rule change at hearings before the

New Jersey Supreme Court last May. The change will affect the process

serving industry — the serving of legal papers such as complaints

and summonses, subpoenas, and evictions.

Those who sue someone must file a complaint, says Perez, which then

goes to the court. The filer then needs to have it delivered to the

"defendant" or the other person involved. That "paper"

needing to be "served" has traditionally been served by the

sheriff, says Perez. "Historically, it was the role of the sheriff

to serve papers and, up until now, the sheriff has been the preferred

emissary of the court." If 40 days passed, and the sheriff was

still having difficulty serving the papers, Perez explains, private

process servers could be hired to do the job.

Now, with the adoption by the New Jersey Supreme Court of the new

amendments to Rule 4: 4-3, anyone over the age of 18 will be able

to serve papers in the state of New Jersey. In the federal court,

this rule has already been in effect, says Perez, and the majority

of the states currently have this rule in place. The rule went into

effect on Tuesday, September 5.

"So what does this mean?" asks Perez. "Serving papers

isn’t something that they teach you in law school, at the paralegal

schools, or in the police academy. What little training there is,

is usually given at the sheriff’s department. There is no school

currently

in New Jersey that teaches you how to serve papers," he says.

"These seminars are the closest thing to it."

"There is a real need for proper training in this area, a need

for good training. If papers aren’t served properly, it ends up being

an egg on everybody’s face," says Perez.

According to Perez, even private process servers who have already

been serving legal process will benefit from the education and

training

the seminars will offer. They will have the opportunity to "fine

tune what they’re already doing" and brush up on the court rules,

says Perez.

On the other hand, the people who are coming in "totally

uninformed,"

will need to learn the entire system, says Perez. These so-called

"newcomers" can be anyone from private detectives to

paralegals

to court reporters, "just about anyone who looks at it as a

potential

business opportunity," says Perez.

Perez believes that the court rule changes will have a beneficial

impact on the private process serving industry, which he says, has

increased dramatically over the last 20 years. Every state has private

process servers. Since the industry has been opened up, it has an

even bigger potential to attract business. Serving papers now "has

the potential to become a multi-million dollar industry in New Jersey

alone," he says.

"We don’t work a 9 to 5 day — we are out there seven days

a week," says Perez, "and we can cover the entire length of

New Jersey. If we find you have moved, we can come and get you there.

We can do skip traces that a sheriff’s department cannot do. And we

provide immediate service."

Not surprisingly, county sheriffs opposed the rule and point out that

attorneys and their clients will pay higher rates to private servers,

who charge from $30 to $75. Typical rates for a sheriff’s office range

from $13 for a summons & complaint to $35 for a writ of execution,

plus mileage. If private service becomes very popular, the county’s

fees would drop.

"We served 21,000 processes last year, which comes out to 1,700

per month," says Donald Almasy, chief warrant officer in

the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department, which has 14 people

dedicated

to process serving. "I haven’t had many, if any, attorneys call

me with a complaint."

Private servers may be able to work more quickly — picking up

papers at the attorney’s office rather than getting them by mail,

and doing their own detective work to correct bad addresses —

but they don’t have a badge. "The power of the badge carries so

much more weight than the average person," says Almasy. Servers

are sometimes called on to testify in court that they served a warrant

to a specific person meeting a certain description. "If the

civilian

process server is not a sworn officer of the court, testimony would

be scrutinized."

And, Almasy points out, every situation is different, each has a risk.

"You never know what a person’s mental condition will be when

you knock on the door and serve divorce papers or eviction notice.

We carry a little more weight when go and talk to people."

"These are non-hostile situations," counters Perez. "You

don’t need a symbol of authority to do this."

— Krista DiCostanzo


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