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About Sued-in-Texas

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  1. Yes, Legal Aid is good for circumstances such as yours was, but it does not (at least in my area) cover such matters as being sued for debt.
  2. To be safe, call the courthouse and make SURE they have cancelled the hearing. From what I have heard Credigy is a pretty sleazy operation and not to be trusted! With luck, congratulations!
  3. Thanks, Avenger. Good luck to you. I certainly see why you can't go Bk. (grin) I went through 6 months of stress thanks to Credigy. It felt so good to get them off my back that BK seemed worth it. I would rather have bad credit for 10 years than have them get a judgment against me that would allow them to empty my bank account (should I ever have any money in it, haha). Wish I had seen the posting for the MSJ. Glad you found that, and good for Dean Malone for helping people out with that. Will be interested in hearing how it works for you!
  4. Avenger: In answer to your other question, YES they did send an attorney to be at the hearing for the court date on my Answer and Motion to Dismiss. It was not Doviken though. I was really stupid at the hearing. I didn't know how to act or what to say and I realized I could get railroaded too easily in court without representation. I'm much too friendly and "agreeable" to be representing myself in court, LOL.
  5. Well, I fought the case pro se (i.e. by myself) for a while, but then they sent me about 5 different new legal briefs that I would have to answer and it was getting ridiculous to try to do this without an attorney. I talked to one attorney friend who said that the fact that I was even fighting the case made them think I had some money (HA, fooled THEM, LOL). Fighting them back did do me good in that it stalled for time -- the time I needed to figure out what in the heck to do. What I ended up doing was going Bankrupt, Chapter 7 -- again, pro se. It was hard but not impossible. The forms and instructions for the forms are online. It was about as much fun as doing income tax without help -- i.e., NOT -- and took me about 30 hours to figure out and fill out the answers. Some of the questions in bankruptcy required me to list applicable laws. That was the hardest part. I Googled around and found the information I needed. Never did enter a law library. Once I filed bankruptcy both I (by letter) and the court (by letter) informed the plaintiff and all my creditors that they could not sue me while bankruptcy was pending. Then once the bankruptcy was official (which took a few months), they were all ordered to leave me alone. I went bankrupt before the laws for bankruptcy changed Oct. 17 -- "thanks" to the plaintiff. If I had not made it in by the time I would STILL go bankrupt pro so, but it would have taken a little longer, been a little harder and cost a little more. Re the court papers I filed: I attempted a Motion to Dismiss (based on being outside the statute of limitations) but that doesn't work in state court, just federal court -- at least not in Texas. What I really needed was a Motion for Summary Judgment. I actually did have an attorney friend willing to draft up a Motion for Summary Judgment for me, but he was in such ill health that was easier said than done. Plus, I realized that if I did not go bankrupt I might find others suing me in the near future -- so that the bankruptcy seemed the most rational route to take. I hope that answers your questions!
  6. Haha, yes, I have been learning that. Quite a trick -- learning to separate the wheat from the chaffe and learn law practice at the same time, without classroom or teacher! Thanks again.
  7. Thanks, hoapres! (sp) I did find out (read the Texas statute or law or whatever it was called) that I have 30 days from the time my Answer was due to file counterclaims. In that case do you still feel I would need a motion in order to file counterclaims? If yes, what would I call that motion? Would I call it Defendant's Motion to File Counterclaims? Thanks much!
  8. I'm filing pro se (in Texas) and I did file a Motion to Dismiss on the same day I filed my Original Answer. But I was going to file more motions soon and I'm wondering what I need to know in re this. Does this affect how I need to file further pleadings? I was planning to file another motion tomorrow (in opposition to a motion for default judgment against me that jumped the gun, because I did answer in a timely manner -- but the lawyer who is out of state seemed to not be familiar with exactly how much time I had to answer). I was also going to file a Motion for Summary Judgment soon, and also an Amended Original Answer with Counterclaims. oooooh....this is so complicated. It's like playing chess, and I never liked playing chess. Mexican Train, yes; chess, no.
  9. ...the Stevenson's online has its limits. A lot of searches I did came up blank. It's not exhaustive at all and I got pretty confused for a while reading forms in the wrong categories. Pro Se. Ain't we got fun.
  10. You're right, it's hard in Texas, but apparently not impossible. I actually found full free online access to STEVENSON'S TEXAS LEGAL PRACTICE FORMS online, which has been extremely helpful. Wish I would have found it a month ago, but still now that I have having to draft another 3 or 5 or 7 more pleadings it has been a lifesaver! Got to have an Austin Library card to access it, though. I don't know if other libraries around the state have the same thing going on or not. Legal Aid exists here, from what I have found, only for individuals who make LESS than $11,075 a year -- or families of four that make less than $22,750 a year. I am not poor enough for their services (which even then includes a small fee to most apparently -- $20 to $30 an hour). I'll never forget the day I decided I didn't like law. I was a legal secretary and the attorney I was working for referred to one of his clients as a "jerk" FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THAT HE DIDN'T MAKE MUCH MORE THAN MINIMUM WAGE. I started realizing that a lot of people (not all, but a lot) in the field of law have contempt for those who don't make much money, and that sickens me -- especially since a lot of people who make the lowest hourly wages are quite literally the ones that WORK the hardest. Don't get me started. Anyhow, here is the link for the Austin Public Library. Those with a library card have to input their library card number to access the files: You may access Stevenson's Legal Forms & Practice Guide for Texas either in the library or from elsewhere via the Internet. From the Austin Public Library homepage, click 'reference databases' in the left hand menu beside the photo. In the database page that appears, click 'legal forms (texas)' in the subject guide menu on the right side of the screen. On the next page describing the database, two links appear near the top, 'library access' for accessing from a library computer, and 'remote access' for using the database from a computer outside the library. You'll be prompted to enter an Austin Public Library card number if you click 'remote access.' Once you've entered the database, at the lower left hand part of the screen, under 'jurisdiction', click 'State', then select 'Texas' on the next screen, and from the next screen choose 'Stevenson's Legal Forms & Practice Guide for Texas'. You can then search for specific wording either in the entire document, heading, or section text. ***** By the way, I started reading through ALL of Stevenson's and found important information I would not have known to look for. I think the best thing to do if you're really going Pro Se is to sit there and click through each page and read every page except those you can tell right away definitely don't apply to your case. THANK YOU AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. The link they have for Texas actually doesn't offer any help to people unless their cases fit specific categories (which do not include debt collection), but I thank you for that and hopefully there will be good links for people in states other than Texas. I'm doing better now, between several people from whom I got private messages I was able to put together what I should do next and I have actually succeeded in setting a hearing on my motion to dismiss. Amazing how it is. It's like a chess game with lots of rules, but the rules are not made too easily available -- yet they are out there. In the next weeks before the hearing I'll read up on the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (which IS on the net), and O'Connors and Vernon's in law libraries. It was a MAJOR de-stresser today to manage to set the hearing and know that I "did it right"...LOL.
  12. Thanks y'all. Okay, so if I go to a law library to look at O'Connor's rules, I just open it up and read everything that seems to apply to my case? Oh, and I checked last night. I'm not poor enough for Legal Aid. For Legal Aid in Texas a family of four cannot make over $22,750 annually to be eligible. I'm just a family of two and I make that. I should not call myself poor. Yes, I'm always broke and it's hard to make the bills every month, but I live in a safe neighborhood and even have a car. A LOT of people are MUCH worse off than me...!!! (An individual to be eligible for Legal Aid in Texas can make an income of no more than $11,075.) What I can't figure out is with the economy so bad why there aren't Geo Metros taking over the roads and communal living to rival the 60s and 70s! Shoot, back in 1971 a person with a part-time near-minimum-wage job as a sandwich maker could afford their own (humble) efficiency apartment, all bills paid. (I know because that's exactly what I did!) My salary was $2 an hour and I worked 20 hours a week; my apartment, which was quite small but furnished and in a decent neighborhood, was $80 a month all bills paid. Ah, the good ole days. Thanks again for all the tips. Strangely enough, once I start reading those Texas rules I even find it halfway interesting.
  13. In case this may be of help to someone, I thought I should post this link. I don't know if this is really the whole thing, but it looks like it may be:
  14. My goodness. I guess in this country money really does rule more than I knew. I should have thought pro se would be a right in all courts; otherwise a person could file lawsuits on someone just to harass them. Oh, but then I guess that's done all the time, right? ;) I keep forgetting that court procedures were never (apparently) intended to be simple or for the layperson. In my mind I always consider the simple and the straightforward to be the obvious right way to do things. No wonder this law stuff has my head spinning. Thanks for the advice. It's good to know I can contact the Judge somehow if I end up needing a continuance in order to get some counsel. The only reason I didn't go for Legal Aid before was that my experience as a poor person has always been that we are always made to wait weeks to months for anything that is "free." Now that I got my Answer filed I don't feel as pressed to hurry up and respond to the lawsuit, and if only I could get even a green student attorney to talk to me I feel I would get almost all the answers I need, as all my questions (it seems to me) are so fundamental. One thing I can say, though: I can't count how many times I have felt, since this lawsuit came into my life, how very glad I am that I never went in for practicing law! It's so much like a chess game, and I never liked chess either. The Texas Laws of Civil Procedure are available on the net. I have it book marked. You have to click on each number to read what that law says, and there are a lot of them, but I guess that means I just have to sit and click and read for a while, eh? Thanks again for your comments. Much appreciated!