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Time limit for Plaintiff to file with court after a summons has been answered?

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I was served a summons 4 months ago by an "attorney" for the OC. The plaintiff is listed as the OC. I served them with my answer less than a week later. They still have not filed the case with the court. Is there a time limit for them to file the case?

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Procedures differ from state to state, so I what I say may be off base, but...

Did you file your answer with the court, as well as mail a copy to the plaintiff? That's what you do in my state.

Do they have a time limit to file? How about before they serve you! Filing their paperwork with the court is how they get assigned a case number, which should be on the summons you are served.

It's hard for me to say, but what you've said makes me wonder if a lawsuit actually exists. The "attorney" may be a debt collector whose tactics include sending documents that look like a lawsuit, but aren't. Which is a clear violation of the FDCPA. Read up on it.

In my opinion, sending paperwork which looks like a lawsuit but isn't is one of the more severe violations of the FDCPA, and it's easy to prove. You may have a winnable case against them. Consult an attorney. Look for one at www.naca.net.

Good luck.

DH

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OK, a few things about Minnesota (and it may want to be copied into a sticky someplace).

First, Minnesota has a process that is legal called Pocket Docket. This is where the plaintiff can create a summons and have it served without filing with the court or paying the court fee. In order for the defendant to answer, they must file with the court and pay the fee. I know that this process is ripe with abuse but that is the way things go in Minnesota.

Also, due to cuts in funding from the state government, the courts in Minnesota are woefully understaffed and backlogged. This is more accute in the Met Council Counties and especially true in Hennepin County. If may be possible for a case to take 6 - 12 months to be heard.

Now, based on the information the OP offered, I would assume that they filed an answer and either paid the fee or filed and In-Forma Paupis Motion with the court. Otherwise the plaintiff would have already filed for a default judgment and it would have been heard.

I would suggest contacting the court clerk first and seeing where the case is. They may tell you that they are backlogged and that the case is still working its way through the system. In the meantime, if this is a regular case (if you paid a court fee of $250, it is a regular case, if you paid $60, it is concilatory (Small Claims) and discovery and rules of evidence are looser), I would suggest serving the discovery documents as soon as possible. This may convince the plaintiff that they will have to earn their money and they may drop the case for you looking for easier targets.

If you need a lawyer, I would suggest Pete Berry. He is the Bud Hibbs of Minnesota.

Please note, the above is not to be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact a lawyer, not the internet.

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Yes, I forgot to mention the whole pocket service thing. The case is not filed with the courts at all! They served me a summons, I served them a response. That's it.

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In order for the defendant to answer, they must file with the court and pay the fee.

This is not true. You can just serve the answer to the plaintiffs attorney, which is what I did.

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So, nobody knows if there is a time limit?

you got summons, and answered right, but do you have any COUNTER CLAIMS?

if so the atty only had 20 days to respond to them,,just like when you answered your summons

means YOU can ask for a dismissal, or A court date so you can get your counterclaims,and file for a summary judgement against the CA

*****if you filed with the court,*****

now,make sure you check with the court to make sure if its filed or not,, NO case number NO case,,

Personally i would have Never answered without a case number, or proof it was filed, just gives them the information your going to use to fight them with

IF they decided to sue

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you got summons, and answered right, but do you Personally i would have Never answered without a case number, or proof it was filed, just gives them the information your going to use to fight them with

IF they decided to sue

If I wouldn't have answered they could go to the court and obtain a default judgement. No, I did not list any counterclaims in my answer. At the time I did not have any counterclaims, I do now (violation of FCRA).

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If I wouldn't have answered they could go to the court and obtain a default judgement. No, I did not list any counterclaims in my answer. At the time I did not have any counterclaims, I do now (violation of FCRA).

only if they filed with the court FIRST, you cant get a judgemnt on something thats never gone thru the legal system,

IF its filed with the court you may file a counterclaim at anytime( you have to pay a fee for this) I am very Doubtful the "atty: has filed as they would have already tried to get a summary/ default judgement

OR you may start a small claims against them on the violations( again a fee)

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only if they filed with the court FIRST, you cant get a judgemnt on something thats never gone thru the legal system,

IF its filed with the court you may file a counterclaim at anytime( you have to pay a fee for this) I am very Doubtful the "atty: has filed as they would have already tried to get a summary/ default judgement

OR you may start a small claims against them on the violations( again a fee)

Please read above regarding Minnesota pocket service/pocket docket. You do not have to file the complaint first in Minnesota. Nothing has been filed with the court but I still had to respond to the summons to avoid default. Now, it has been 4 months and I want to know if there is a law that requires them to file this with the court within a specific time. I am going to call the court and ask, I just thought I would first check to see if anyone here knew.

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OK, a few things about Minnesota (and it may want to be copied into a sticky someplace).

First, Minnesota has a process that is legal called Pocket Docket. This is where the plaintiff can create a summons and have it served without filing with the court or paying the court fee. In order for the defendant to answer, they must file with the court and pay the fee. I know that this process is ripe with abuse but that is the way things go in Minnesota.

Also, due to cuts in funding from the state government, the courts in Minnesota are woefully understaffed and backlogged. This is more accute in the Met Council Counties and especially true in Hennepin County. If may be possible for a case to take 6 - 12 months to be heard.

Now, based on the information the OP offered, I would assume that they filed an answer and either paid the fee or filed and In-Forma Paupis Motion with the court. Otherwise the plaintiff would have already filed for a default judgment and it would have been heard.

I would suggest contacting the court clerk first and seeing where the case is. They may tell you that they are backlogged and that the case is still working its way through the system. In the meantime, if this is a regular case (if you paid a court fee of $250, it is a regular case, if you paid $60, it is concilatory (Small Claims) and discovery and rules of evidence are looser), I would suggest serving the discovery documents as soon as possible. This may convince the plaintiff that they will have to earn their money and they may drop the case for you looking for easier targets.

If you need a lawyer, I would suggest Pete Berry. He is the Bud Hibbs of Minnesota.

Please note, the above is not to be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact a lawyer, not the internet.

Yep, I thought this was strange - to have a legit case but not have a case number on file, but I found out for those lucky Minnesotans, it's true.

As far as how long you have to file, you need to look this up in Minnesota's code of civil procedures.

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I couldn't find anything, I tried to call the court today but the self help line is closed on Wednesdays. I will call tomorrow.

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Hello fellow Minnesotan. You can find court info by googling Minnesota Northstar and the court link is on the right side. From there go to access court filings and you have options for civil and court dates. Good luck.

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Maybe this is of no help, but I am in Colorado and this has happened to me twice, my husband once, and my daughter once. The clerks here will not let you file an answer or appear before the Judge because technically, no case exists. They will however, make a note on the docket for the day your summons for this "imaginary" case says you needed to appear and/or file an answer by so that the Judge knows you DID try to fight it (a courteous "just in case" on the clerk's part).

The clerks have told me that this happens A LOT. What I have found, is that the JDB's that serve these complaints test the waters to see if you will even bother responding to their summons/complaint. They will wait and see if you mail/serve them a copy of your answer. If they get their copy of your answer, they simply put your file in a "to be sold" pile and you never hear from them again. They just sell off the debt to the next guy. They're out the cost of the process service, but that's it.

Check your state's rules of service to find your answer. In CO, you must be served no less than 10 days (give or take a few days....I don't have the law right in front of me) before a hearing date. With that said, you can almost certainly bet that you won't hear from these guys again. And they cannot suddenly and magically just obtain a case number from the court months after they served their original complaint on you. They MUST start over, beginning with having you served all over again.

I would start getting everything ready in the event they, or more likely, a successor, actually files a suit against you. You have been given the gift of time to be prepared well in advance.

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I have had an attorney tell me that I need to file my response with the court also in order to avoid a default judgement but I disagreed with him- if you mailed your response CMRR, I think it stands to reason that the subject of that RR was in fact an 'answer'. I may be wrong on that- I think I was wrong one other time on something. As far as what to do now and your original question as to 'how long they have to file', I don't know but I am nearly certain that your best course of action would be to keep your eyes on your mail and keep quiet. Wait for it to become SOL so you then have your best affirmative defense. Any action on your part may 'wake a sleeping giant'. I think this tactic is used in MN solely to "test the waters" and see if a default judgement is attainable. I would guess in your case as well as mine, when they see that they have an informed consumer on their hands, they will sell your debt off and seek the next default judgement. Good luck!!

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2fight and henry, Thanks you for your responses. In MN, I can file my answer with the court before the plaintiff files their complaint, but that just forces the case into court. Yes henry, you are correct you do not HAVE to file your answer with the court, you just have to serve the palintiff with your answer within 20 days of being served. I know they are just trying to test the waters. I have to call the courts to see how long they have to file the case. I was was going to call last week but I had a very busy week so I will have to call next week. The case was filed in the OC's name and I am sure that these attorneys BOUGHT the debt, they are well known for being a JDB and they refused to answer whether they owned or had been assigned the debt in both DV and discovery. The OC is in violation of the FCRA for not responding to my request for an investigation and continuing to report this item to the CRA's. So, I am thinking about filing my response along with a countersuit for FCRA violations to force this into court and watch as these "attorneys" get spanked in court.

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Hello fellow Minnesotan. You can find court info by googling Minnesota Northstar and the court link is on the right side. From there go to access court filings and you have options for civil and court dates. Good luck.

I know the site for MN courts by heart, I searched through the civil procedures there and couldn't find anything regarding a time limit to file with the courts after being served.

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I got a hold of someone at the courts today and received an answer to my question. In Minnesota, there is NOT a time limit to file the case in court after serving the summons. They said, other than the SOL (6 years) of the debt, they can file whenever they want.

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