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The Business Review reports that the Attorney General’s office has filed a lawsuit against 35 law firms and two debt collectors as the latest stage in an ongoing process of legal action.

The lawsuit alleges that the firms did not properly notify people that they were defendants in a lawsuit. As a result, the complaint states, they were unable to appear in court on their own behalf, and the cases often resulted in default judgments against those identified as debtors.

According to the suit, the listed firms and debt collectors hired a process server, American Legal Process, to provide notification to defendants. However, the lawsuit alleges that the server failed to do so — a tactic known as “sewer service.” Instead of serving the defendants, the complaint claims American Legal Process (ALP) falsified documents, certifying that the people had been notified.

“ALP’s scheme undermined the foundation of this (legal) system and denied thousands of individuals their day in court,” New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said.

The lawsuit is an attempt to throw out the default judgments made when defendants failed to show up in court, and to return the money lost by those defendants, Cuomo said.

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