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I recently got a Dismissal without Prejudice filed by Capital One (CO) in North San Diego County. I beat them at their own game by following steps taken by other members on this board - specifically SeaDragon. This was a credit card suit whereby CO claimed I owed roughly $3000. CO hired a local attorney in San Diego - Legal Recovery Law Offices; I believe they handle all CO's lawsuit in SD. The Complaint did not have any contract or other exhibits attached and plead only Breach of Contract and Account Stated. Once I was served with the Complaint, the following defense strategy was used: 1. File an Answer ON TIME (within 30 days): You can get the answer form online at your local court. Take the time and Deny each and every allegation raised in the Complaint - "Defendant denies the allegations contained in Paragraphs 1-5 of the Complaint as Defendant is without information or knowledge sufficient to form an opinion as to the truth and accuracy of alleged ......" . Specifically deny the Paragraph that refers to the written contract - "Defendant denies in Paragraphs 6-8 as there is not, nor has there been any agreement, written, oral or implied with the Plaintiff and Defendant. a. Make sure you read on this board all about affirmative defenses you can raise, i.e. failure to state a claim, court lacks subject matter jurisdiction - lack of standing, statute of limitations, statute of frauds, failure to request arbitration, invalid assignment, failure of consideration, FDCPA violations, and other equitable defenses, i.e. laches. 2. At your First scheduled hearing - REQUEST A JURY TRIAL! Most law firms will drop their cases shortly since costs handling a jury trial will exceed the debt owed. Don't make any offers to settle since it is too early in the game to quit. 3. If you are served with Interrogatories, Admissions, and requests for documents, do not panic. Make sure you respond and answer each interrogatory and deny all admissions. You can ignore producing any documents unless you had sent CO "dispute letters" or similar. If you do not have an answer to the interrogatory, state so with "I lack sufficient information and knowledge to answer this question". Do not admit to anything they ask you. 4. After answering P's Interrogatories - DRAFT YOUR OWN INTERROGATORIES, Admissions, and Production of Documents and serve on P - you can look on this board for examples. I basically used P's format and started with the Contract issues - offer, acceptance, consideration, breach, and damages. I got specific when it came to details of the debt - charges, payments, over limit fees, past due charges, etc.. Make sure you ask for dates on "missed payments" and "last payment made". You want to make sure you nail down specific dates for Statute of Limitations (4 years in CA) facts. b. Production of Documents - very important to request copies of credit application, card holder agreement, changes/modifications to interest charges, statements, and "all other relevant documents". 5. P's response to my interrogatories, etc.. was to send me CO's 2005 Card Holder Agreement and the last two years of statements AND a CCP 98 Declaration by Wandi Chamberlain - CO's legal rep in Lieu of Personal Testimony. In her Declaration she failed to lay the proper foundation/lacked personal knowledge/no authentication required by the Hearsay Exception for Business Records - she was not an employee of CO, only an agent of a subsidiary, did not state when the account was opened, agreement not signed, and other insufficient conclusions - totally bogus boilerplate P Declaration. They also included in their "packet" a CCP 1987 - Requesting Parties to Attend Trial and to cut-off anymore discovery. Of course, they requested that I attend Trial. 6. Now, you MUST send P your own CCP 1987 and request that Wandi Chamberlain appear on the Trial Date - make sure you save your proof of service. 7. By now you have your Trial Date. About 10 days before your trial, PERSONALLY SERVE SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM on Wandi Chamberlain at the bogus address given in P's CCP 98 declaration. Do not allow the Marshal to "sub-serve" anybody else - even if the CCP 98 declaration states that you can serve someone else instead of Wandi. Only name Wandi in your subpoena. The service will fail since Wandi will never travel from VA to appear in court. 8. Before or at your Trial Readiness Conference, file and serve your Motion in Limine to throughout Wandi's declaration, contract, and statements (all Exhibits attached to declaration) as Hearsay evidence. This forum, specifically SeaDragon, has sample Limine motions you can use. Once I served the Limine motion and awaited my trial date - CO caved and filed the Dismissal a few days before trial. CO cannot win any of these cases unless they can provide a "legal rep" capable of providing testimony as to your specific credit card account. All their evidence gets tossed as Hearsay since they haven't gone through the requirements of the Business Records Exception. Wandi's declaration is completely bogus and the fact she doesn't reside within 150 miles of the courthouse and subject to a subpoena, the courts will not allow the declaration and attached exhibits. File an Answer with Affirmative Defenses, Request Jury Trial, Respond and file your own Interrogatories-Admissions and Documents Request, File CCP 1987 Requesting P's main Witness to Attend Trial, and file your Motion in Limine and watch how fast CO dismisses your case. Thanks to all the knowledgeable members here - I hope my strategy will make you a winner against any Capital One lawsuits.
If I served plaintiff, midland funding, with 1987 notice to appear, ( i mailed 30 days before trial) nd the same day I received ccp 98, in lieu of live witness (yes, you know that one, where there is an address 150 miles within court house along with 4 other addresses all over California) do I still need to subpeona affiant in ccp 98? Does 1987 trump 98???? I just can't seem to get past my frustration that an affiant/ witness can be legally allowed to say she will be available in 5 different places for 20 days before trial in ccp 98 where it clearly states personal service only. Unless she has a star trek transporter its impossible and shouldnt be allowed! What a misuse of sherrifs, funds for process servers, etc! This clearly violates due process of witness cross examination! Thanks for listening and thanks for your knowledge of law.