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filed discovery...returned to me by judge.


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Let me start off by stating that I am in Texas. I am being sued by a W&A. I received summons in February and filed answer within the alloted amount of time. I'm new to this so I just discovered that I needed to file discovery etc... With what I thought was sufficient research through this site and through the web, I composed a motion to compel discovery and interrogatories. Earlier this week I filed this with the court but have not yet mailed copy to w&a. Today I received a letter from the Judge stating that "filing discovery requests with the court is prohibited under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. The rules do not provide for filing of a Certificate of Written Discovery..." She enclosed the forms that I filed.

Of coarse I am confused. What is a Certificate of Written Discovery? I've read so much on Texas Civil Code that my brain is mush. What is my next step. Do I go ahead and send this to w&a without filing with court? Or do I change it up and try again?

On a side note, They filed with the Justice of the Peace. I know that in Texas CA can't sue in small claims court. I haven't yet discovered if this is what they have done. But that another issue.

Hope this makes since...5 yr. old is jabbering in one ear while typing. Any advise would be helpful.

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You may be right, I listed it in addition to the discovery request for documents. Maybe I titled the motion incorrectly. Maybe I should have labeled it motion for production of documents. :?::oops: I'm still learning. I thought interrogatories were additional questions to expand the discovery part of the motion.

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You say you composed a motion to compel discovery and interrogatories? I thought interrogatories were only allowed AFTER a judgment has been rendered in your favor? I may be wrong here, though.

Interrogatories are part of the discovery process of a lawsuit so they are used prior to a judgment.

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You may be right, I listed it in addition to the discovery request for documents. Maybe I titled the motion incorrectly. Maybe I should have labeled it motion for production of documents. :?::oops: I'm still learning. I thought interrogatories were additional questions to expand the discovery part of the motion.

I did a quick check on the Texas state court website and found some intresting things. Here are the rules for the justice court

This is my take on it, which may be way off! Maybe someone living in Texas who have gone through this process can do better then I.

It appears to me that the justice courts are equivalent to small claim courts. They are not a court of record and therefore you can request a trial de novo if a judgment is rendered against you. Just make sure you do it in the time limit specified which appears to be ten days. Also be aware they may require you to post a bond in the amount of the judgment. Since this a small claims court normal discovery requests do not apply. Pretty much everyone shows up to court and you have a trial. If I where in your shoes I would fax the plaintiffs attorney a request of the items he/she will present at trial. I would then spend my time preparing how I would tear them apart a trial. I would see if I could get my hands on the rules of evidence for Texas. I would also look in the local libraries in my area normally for good annotated books on civil procedure.

I hope that helps / gives hope

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I'm thinking that I labeled the papers incorrectly. I titled them as a Motion to Compel Discovery??? I will just have to write the lawyer directly and ask for verification.

Another point. I've been reading about the Justice courts (thanks CreditChris) and if they are small claims, Couldn't I just get the Judge to throw out the case because of the fact that CA's can't sue in Small Claims in Texas. I looked up my local court information and it lists the duties of the Justice of the Peace Court as "Judge of the Justice Civil Court (Rules of Court) and Judge of the Small Claims Court (Simplified)", so I guess if it falls under Civil Court, they may not throw it out. Why do they have to make it all so confusing...

Thanks..

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You could file a motion to get it moved to another (higher) court.

It doesn't appear that discovery is allowed in justice court (which is prolly equiv to small claims as was pointed out). This is why you need to read your Texas civil court rules and procedures. Read it, even though it seems intimidating. You can't skip this step.

But a method for moving to another court was spelled out in the link given to you.

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Sorry your right. Earlier I couldn't get that link to open. I'm currently working on a suit in district court so I thought the rules were similar. I did get the link to open and from what I read, I appears too late to just dismiss this case. But I can move it.

One final question, just a hypothetical. I understand that I have the option to get it moved to a higher court, but if I didn't do that, wouldn't the justice just throw it out at trial because of it being in the improper court or is that just wishful thinking.

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The case number doesn't have a small claims notation so it appears to fall under the civil section of the JOP. After reading the rules of the JOP, it also appears that they don't include discovery. I suppose I should either request documents directly from the plaintiff or better yet, have it moved to a higher court so discovery is included.

Thanks for the eye opening advice...

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I am not familiar with TX procedure, but I would motion the case up. Small claims, JOP courts can be the worst for defendants and usually magistrates are not attorneys nor, have been to law school. Discovery in those courts is usually referred to as a "bill of particulars". W&A sues thousands of people a year, so if they don't know what they're doing, noone else does either.

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