A cooperative tenant-shareholder’s attempt to annul the results of a board election was rejected in Sahid v. 1065 Park Avenue Corp., Index No. 158204/2014 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. March 18, 2015). The court offered two grounds for dismissing the tenant-shareholder’s claim. First, the court held that the Summons and Complaint had not been properly served. The papers had been delivered to the doorman, rather than to individual defendants who resided in the building. The courts have held that when a doorman denies a process server access to a defendant’s apartment, the court papers may be left with the doorman. However, the process server must at least request access to the defendant’s apartment. Here, the process server simply left the papers with the doorman without asking to go to defendants’ apartments. This was insufficient to constitute valid service.
The court held that even if valid service had been made, the case would have been dismissed on the merits. A court will set aside a corporate election only where the election is “so clouded with doubt or tainted with questionable circumstances that the standards of fair dealing require” doing so. The tenant-shareholder’s allegation that he did not believe the election results had been reported accurately fell “far short” of satisfying the standard.