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I just received a summons and complaint at work


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Hi, I just got a summons and complaint from Arrow Finanical for my good guys account . But first of all its says it was filed on Sept 13 and I am barely getting it? Does that sound right?

Anyways I need help answering it. Its a compalint for money and damages and there are 3 causes of action

Breach of Written Contract

Account Stated

Open Book Account

They are suming me for 4023.38 is there anyway I can settle this out of court for a lesser amount??

Help what should I do?

I am in California and I sent them a vaildation letter a few months back

They never responded at least I dont think they did I moved recently

The last time I paid on this was I think about 2.5 years ago.

And the receptiost signed for it I was at lunch

I just checked with the LA Superior Court website and its

says for future hearings : NoneHistories ( Dates listed in descending order)

09/13/2005 COMPLAINT FILED. RN ALH479046003.

09/13/2005 SUMMONS ISSUED.

09/13/2005 NON-APPEARANCE CASE MANAGEMENT REVIEW SCHEDULED FOR

01/31/06 AT 01:30P M, IN DIV/DEPT. 2CM . CLERK`S

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE MAILED/GIVEN TO RESPECTIVE

PARTIES/COUNSEL ON 09/14/05

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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What this looks liek is a standard tactic I have used myself. The summons is issued, but the Rules of Procedure state that the respondent get the summons in a certain period before the hearing, so you wait until the last minute to serve the party.

Gives them less time to prepare a defense.

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You should read the Nolo Press Book Sue in California without a lawyer which discusses in detail defending a California Limited Jurisdiction lawsuit. In theory, you are supposed to be served within 60 days after the summons is issued but in practice courts tend not to strictly enforce the rule. You should read the LA county court rules and there is a good possibility at the Jan. 31, 2006 case management conference that you will be given a trial date. Also, be aware that you will need to file and serve a case management statement 2 weeks before the case management conference.

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You might want to read Code of Civil Procedure Section 415.10-.50 regarding summons service requirements. Service to the receptionist may or may not satisfy the service requirements.

As a practical matter, you probably should consider yourself served as although you may have grounds to file a motion to quash summons on the grounds of improper service the Plaintiff is most likely going to serve you on the hearing date.

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What this looks liek is a standard tactic I have used myself. The summons is issued, but the Rules of Procedure state that the respondent get the summons in a certain period before the hearing, so you wait until the last minute to serve the party.

It is not a standard tactic in California. It is probably a poor tactic especially in the limited jurisdiction as the court rules require service of the summons within 60 days of issuance and if summons is not timely served then Plaintiff could face an order to show cause to explain the problem and/or file a request for extension of time to serve summons and/or probably the most significant factor an upset case managment judge who is probably using fast track rules to quickly dispose of cases.

Gives them less time to prepare a defense.

The case management conference which is likely to be the first hearing assuming that you did make a special appearance by filing a motion to quash summons or a demurrer being a motion to dismiss is most likely going to set the case for trial.

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Download or buy the book mentioned above. The book will show you how to deny and explain the process. You could always settle right up till the trial start. My advice is to answer the suit and see how they will follow up. You'd be surprise how many drop the suit once you answer it. They're looking for the easy default that they get 95% of the time.

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Thanks so much for the replys

Hi to give you guys an update a legal assistant from there office just called me at work to tell me that unless (he was very nice) I want to get a judgment against me that I have to options they will take 80% of the balance in full or I can make pays of like $350.00 for a year.

I told him I'd call him back

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest sifxpert

Do not pay a penny on this. It is a purchased account. You do need to file an answer yes? The summons should state that you have 30 days to file a written answer etc...does it not?

IF so, file an answer and it should go away. If it does not, it is small claims, dispute it when you appear. I have almost every Arrow case dropped with an answer.

Arrow violated by not providing you the validation you requested. You have them already in a counter suit.

Contact me if you need more help with this.

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Guest sifxpert

you need to file an answer...i do not have the time to explain right now but look on this forum for a sample of an answer...read through things and see if this makes sense.

start from there...

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Hi thanks again for the reply. I was able to talk to a lawyer regarding this and he said that the fact the they did not validate the debt is not a strong or effective affirmative defense???

So does anyone happen to know If I use the statue of limitations as a defense and for some reason its not up. Can that hurt me in anyway? Because I'm not sure exactly when the last activity on the account was and I think I was about 3 years ago. But wouldnt they have to prove that? Also in the compliant on the 3rd Casue of Action (Open Book Account)

It says

20. Within the past four years, in Los Angeles County , Defendants became indebted to Plaintiff on an open book account for money due in the sum of $4023.38

I dont know maybe I dont have any defenses should I just try to settle this?

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You should plan on filing an answer. An attorney is most likely going to give you the best advice. The attorney is most likely correct in that any failure to DV is not a defense but most likely an issue best raised in a cross-complaint.

The SOL defense needs to be raised as an affirmative defense. You should look at California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 335-340

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Guest sifxpert

Since this is a JDB account, chances are that it will not go to trial. Especially since they did not validate which is very common with Arrow. Normally, these attorneys are looking for an easy default and if an answer is filed, it goes away and then later resurfaces with another CA.

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