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I have negotiated a settlement with OC, stating that I do not agree that I owe what they say I owe. The attorneys have included a dismissal order for my signature to be returned to them with my payment, that they say they will file. I'm unclear about some of the language in the document and would like some feedback before I sign it. Here is what the document says:

AGREED ORDER DISMISSING SETTLED

The Plaintiff, by counsel, and the Defendant, and pursuant to CR 41.01, having hereby stipulated that the above action should be settled as to all claims arising out of the subject matter of this action, and the Court being sufficiently advised;

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the above action be and is dismissed as to all claims herein with prejudice only as to the Defendant.

Here are my specific questions:

1) What does "...dismissed...with prejudice ONLY AS TO DEFENDANT" mean?

2) Is it reasonable for me to send them the money with this document? Can I trust that they will file it as they should? Are there any other precautionary steps that I should take?

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

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If it's the OC and not a JDB (be very careful here) who's trying to settle, then this means that they agree to not ever (with prejudice) sue you on this case again. I am not 100% on what is "only as to the defendant" means. I hope this document is at least signed by them and even better - notarized. Don't ever throw it away - keep it for at least 10 years after you settle.

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Thank you, Mr. Punch. The OC is the named plaintiff. Also, there is nothing on my CR to indicate that the debt was sold. I haven't found anything that definitively indicates what "prejudice only as to Defendant" means- which, of course, scares me.

This is what CR 41.01 says (though I don't understand it, entirely):

Voluntary dismissal; effect thereof (1) By plaintiff; by stipulation. Subject to the provisions of Rule 23.05, of Rule 66, and of any statute, an action, or any claim therein, may be dismissed by the plaintiff without order of court, by filing a notice of dismissal at any time before service by the adverse party of an answer or of a motion for summary judgment, whichever first occurs, or by filing a stipulation of dismissal signed by all parties who have appeared in the action. Unless otherwise stated in the notice of dismissal or stipulation, the dismissal is without prejudice, except that a notice of dismissal operates as an adjudication upon the merits when filed by a plaintiff who has once dismissed in any court of this state, of the United

States or of any state an action based on or including the same claim.

Also, is it reasonable for me to trust that they will file it properly?

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As the law says, as long as the document is signed by ALL PARTIES (careful - make sure that the real party in interest is who they claim to be and not someone else trying to scam you) and "FILED" with the court then you shouldn't have to worry too much about it. But don't pay them anything until they file the signed (by them and by you) settlement agreement and request for dismissal at the court. "With prejudice" is a good thing, because otherwise they could take your money and come back at you later to claim more, but now they can't.

One more thing, if they have already filed the case in court or even served you with summons then make sure to answer it within the appropriate period of time, otherwise they can wait with filing the dismissal until after the "default judgment" against you has been entered, in which case you could end-up owing them the entire amount they claim, with all the interest and legal fees. So keep your watch guard on the court's docket and like I said, don't actually pay anything til the dismissal is in the court.

Edited by MrPunch
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Guest usctrojanalum

only as to the defendant means exactly what it states. nothing tricky there. the document is fine, if you are worried about them not filing it - file it yourself if it makes you sleep better at night.

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only as to the defendant means exactly what it states. nothing tricky there. the document is fine, if you are worried about them not filing it - file it yourself if it makes you sleep better at night.

Well, he can file the settlement agreement and the judge might accept it, but only them can file the voluntary dismissal on their behalf - I think.

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Guest usctrojanalum

As long as it is signed by both parties, it does not matter who files it. The Pope could file the paper it wouldn't make a difference.

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Most likely they have not signed it yet. So when you send it back, do not send them the money (although an OC is less likely to do stupid stuuf). Send a cover letter that you will deliver the a check for the settlement amount as soon as they return a fully executed agreement. Every settlement I have done with CAs and JDBs, they will not deliver the money until the settlement is fully signed and is the only smart thing to do no matter who you are dealing with.

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Choosing...I'm in the same boat that you were in at this moment. The only difference being that I have not received a summons or certified letter, only a letter from M&P stating that they have started a civil suit with a county (that i don't live in) and case number. Checked it online and there is a suit, but no court date or anything like that. I'm also dealing with Capital One, and this letter leads me to believe that they didn't buy this account, they are only representing it. I was wondering how you got to settling with them. I'm already working on putting together an Answer and anything else that I need to do, but I'm a complete dunce when it comes to this legal stuff. Did you have to go through the motions or did they contact you before all this went into effect? Any information you can give me about this would help me immensely.:?

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My apologies for not replying sooner, ndigo. I've been off of the boards and just saw this.

M&P never initiated a settlement with me. I am certain that they expected me to roll over and play dead and that they would just get their summary judgment. In my case, I filed an answer along with a request for production of documents. They provided incomplete, illegible documents for some of my requests and objected to others stating that the requests were irrelevant or overly burdensome. Then they filed for summary judgment again. In the meantime, I prepared and filed a motion to compel production of documents. When I mailed them their copy of the motion to compel, I included a settlement offer for about 45% of the total balance they claimed I owed. The hearings for both motions were schedule for the same day. M&P didn't even send a lawyer, and instead had a local attorney stand in for them. The attorney thought she was only there for the summary judgment and told the judge they had produced all of the documents. Skipping alot of details, including the judge's hostility toward me, she ordered me to provide her with a copy of what they had provided me so that she could review it along with my motion to compel. We were the last people in the court room, and as we walked away from the bench the judge said to the stand-in attorney "I bet you're glad you're not the attorney in that case." A couple of days later, I got a letter from M&P stating they accepted my offer.

I think the reason they accepted my offer was because they saw they were in for a good fight. So if I were in this situation again, I think I would repeat these same actions.

PS In my settlement offer, I was very careful to say that I did not owe what they say I did and that I was making the offer to save us all the time and expense of further litigation. Also, at my hearing I made it clear that I would be seeking oral arguments.

Edited by ChoosingToWin
Adding PS
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