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Risk associated w/small claims court


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I've talked several times about how I would like to sue in small claims court here in Tucson AZ. I've even managed to get face time with one of the judges who gave me some pretty good advice pertaining to how the CA are screwing me and how they feel about the matter. My question here is, can bringing some of these people to court actually hurt me?

The scenario I envision is dragging a CA into court, laying out my case, and the judge not buying it. I've seen record of this on this website. Can something really bad happen because of this? Could the judge arbitarily award judgement for the collection amount even if I'm suing the CA?

Also, I have a couple CA that are collecting on debts from other states. Can I sue, say Asset for instance, here in AZ even though they are collecting on a debt incurred in Texas? Or would I have to sue in federal court? Thanks for any advice given on this.

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If they have an agent in your state you can...look it up in your states court records. I did for mine and found asset wasn't licensed in FL so they chose arbitration, now first solutions is licensed and taking me to court. I lived in Tucson and feel okay with their courts, but here in FL I am not sure of.

btw, I noticed you have debts in Texas and New Jersey but now live in Arizona. Unless the sol has run out in each state, they can choose the sol in the longer one unless you have a borrowing statue like we have that does not allow them to shop forums for the longer one. you bettr check into each state and especially arizona's law. otherwise, i would just wait it out till the sol has run out in all. since you don't live in either tx or nj, they might be tolling the time since you left before the sol ran out (in case you ever move back to either state)

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Can that be looked up on-line? When I file suit, do I have to show the courts that they have a licensed agent? So should I file suit in federal or small claims or what?

Everything is way past the SOL bro. The CA for Texas was for phone line that I had there for 30 days while I was in Air Force Tech School in July of 2001. I never heard anything about this until last year when it cropped up on my CR. I called the phone company and they were very, very rude. They informed me that the account had been sold outright to ASSet and they maintain all the records. They wouldn't give me crap.

I DV'd ASSet and got their reply yesterday, it was one of their bullcrap replies where they don't do anything to validate the debt in anyway.

I want to file suit, haul their asses into court, and make them prove something, anything! I seriously doubt the judge will buy into the story that a young man straight out of basic training in tech school would have the balls to rack up a $500 phone bill and leave w/o paying. Also, it wasn't even a long distance line, so how the hell does that add up? It was only used for local calls and I used a phone card (still have the numbers memorized).

My idea is to haul them into court, try to find some violation to sue for $1000, and see what they can come up with. I'm pretty confident the judge will side with me, because I can smell the bull all the way over here in Tucson.

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Guys, I wouldn't worry too much about a foriegn corporation being licensed or registered in your state and the ability to sue.

Every state provides in it's jurisdiction and venue statutes a provision for bringing an action against a foreign corporation. If you are a resident of the state and the cause of action arose in your state while you were a resident thereof, your court has jurisdiction. In North Carolina, it's ss. 1-80, in Florida, it's in chapter 617, and so on.

Think of it like this. If I own a business in Kansas City, Kansas and I go across the river every day to rip-off and pillage the consumers of Kansas City, Missouri, am I exempt from being sued? Of course not. If that were the case, there would be no businesses that served the people of it's own state. They would all conduct business out-of-state with impunity.

Look at the broader picture. Yes, this IS a credit repair site, and we're concerned mainly with the relevant state statutes regarding that topic, but with interstate commerce, there's a lot more to consider than the collection statutes.

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You bring up a good point. Small claims court can be a crap shoot. The judges there are generally looking to clear cases as efficiently as possible. That means they often cut to the chase and rule on who they think is "right". They aren't necessarily looking to deal with exotic and esoteric legal theories. (to some, the FDCPA and such is unknown territory) THey are going to pick who is right and who is wrong.

That means that if you owe the debt and think you are going to win or get a setoff based on a couple of technical violations, you may be sadly mistaken. If the CA or OC uses unconsionable tactics like calling your employer or your neighbors, you may have a chance.

As far as serving an out of state CA, check your secretary of states office for a listing of foreign corporations. Also, look at your state's personal jurisdiction rules. Usually they go by the "minimum contacts" rule.

If they are trying to collect in your state, they probably have the minimum contacts.

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you might be right, but if you bring up statues in your trial, whether the judge feels you owe the debt or not should not decide the case.....it is not for them to stamp it with a final judgement based on "their" opinion. there is higher courts to stop stuff like that.

"couple of technical violations" those couple of technical violations are there for a reason...and you can bet if they were there for the other side, they would use them

if i were to lose my case even though i have statues that say i should win, you bet i am going to kick it to the appellate courts for an appeal. they will look into the case and base it on LAW. but if i dont bring it up in court then i dont have a basis to appeal on. the small claim judges dont have to be experts but if presented law statues (the more the better) they have to rule in the consumers favor.

so yes, these judges might be annoyed that you are trying to mock the college attorneys using law, but an educated consumer is entitled to the rights we have in the law books just as they use them. the problem is it favors us when they try and sue when they have no right to. we are just defending our rights. is there anything wrong with that.

i have said before...most of us dont look to fall into debt. i wish i had not. i regret it. but i have to help myself recover from it and if the law says i can, i am going for it. sorry if it sounds wrong....to be a deadbeat debt ower. maybe someday soon i can join the millions of finanically sound people of the U.S again. fingers crossed :)

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Wow...Mikey, Biglaw, nascar, thank you for the in depth and thought filled replies. That definetely clears it up. The issues I want to sue in federal court for, I do not owe the money on. I have a bonified fraud/identity theft case where my name and address was given to a vet agency. The @!#$ told the vets that that is who they were and to bill that address, never provided ID, SSN, nothing...just the name and address. Meanwhile, I'm overseas fighting in Afghanistan. When I get back, I have a $3000 bill to deal with and a CA that wouldn't budge. I eventually got the base JAG's onboard and it was cleared up very quickly. However, I went and applied for a home loan (with a score in the high 600's, thanks to this site) and the CA was still on the reports, I was told to go clean it up before I was given the home loan.

I also found a phone bill from 2001 when I joined the military that ASSet picked up for (dun, dun dun DUN) $500! Of course I never received a phone call or letter from the OC, all of a sudden 4 yrs later, here comes ASSet.

Anyway, more than you guys needed I'm sure, but just letting you know that I"m not stupid enough to walk into court for accounts that I owe on.

Thanks for the replies though.

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The rules here in FL are designed to prevent you from appealing SC cases. The court tapes all court cases to allow court reporters to provide transcripts. You need a transcript to appeal.

The only court that does not record? You guessed it- small claims. That means you need to bring your own court reporter.

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am i allowed to tape record the trial and then if i need to appeal, have it transcribed? don't want to waste paying for one if i am going to win...unless i can ask for a judgement to recover expenses. i had no idea that SC didnt record the event. i will go down and ask them to make sure of what i need before. thx for the heads up.

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so i might be able to request one (cassette) in escambia county?

I believe that you have to get permission to tape in court in FL. And to appeal like divemedic says, you need to have an authorized court reporter which you will have to pay for yourself. Look in FL's RCP for the correct way to go about this.

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