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
When the U.S. House of Representatives passed the
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
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
The fair is jointly sponsored by the Foreign Trade and Economic
Bureau of Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government of the People’s
Republic of China and such U.S. organizations as the New Jersey
& 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
in telecommunications and Internet functions within the People’s
of China (PRC). In exchange, the U.S. was to establish permanent
trade relations with China, rather than continue the one-year,
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,
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
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
important market for New Jersey products. "And the Chinese
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,"
Businesses looking to consider targeting the growing Chinese market
— and especially the Zhejiang area market — have some long
and short term options for assistance:
Protocol provides information and access to various helpful
(609-777-0885). Market analyses, contacts, market leads, information
on incoming trade fairs/shows, suggestions on what resources are
for education in terms of doing business in China, suggestions on
how to acquire financing, and export information are all available
through this department.
to explore the Chinese market close-up for export/import
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.
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
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
relationship with a company that is involved in international
says Riviera. "It touches a lot of lives in New Jersey."
New Jersey is already home to 30 Chinese companies, and with the
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
commerce," says Rivera.
— Catherine J. Barrier
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
Carlucci, director of the National Institute for Professional
Service, at 973-218-0485.
The seminars will cover a wide range of topics, including the
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
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
the seminars will offer. They will have the opportunity to "fine
tune what they’re already doing" and brush up on the court rules,
On the other hand, the people who are coming in "totally
will need to learn the entire system, says Perez. These so-called
"newcomers" can be anyone from private detectives to
to court reporters, "just about anyone who looks at it as a
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
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
process server is not a sworn officer of the court, testimony would
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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