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Midland Funding LLC and burden of proof


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I'm in the middle of a lawsuit brought by Midland Funding LLC and I've been reading through the forums for the past several months. However, I have a nagging question that I haven't seen asked/answered yet.

I know that in a criminal case, the defendant doesn't need to prove that he's innocent, the prosecution has to prove that he's guilty (at least in theory that's how that's supposed to work). Isn't it the same with in a civil case with a plaintiff and defendant; doesn't the plaintiff have to prove their case, not the other way around?

The reason I ask is because Midland Funding brought suit against me for a debt that I allegedly owe on an old credit card. I've received the summons, filed an answer, and received disclosure (I'm in AZ). The only evidence that they've submitted is as follows:

1. A photocopy of a generic cardmember agreement

2. The boilerplate affidavit from a legal spe******t at Midland Funding stating that the OC is xxx and that Midland Funding now owns the debt, along with the account number and total due

I've read all of the strategies for attacking their case, but it doesn't appear to me - based on the above evidence - that they're at all close to meeting the burden of proof that a) the debt is correct and owed, and B) that it is owed to them.

I know I can request discovery and make them prove everything, but I'm wondering why I even need to bother. There's no signed contract involved at all - not between me and the OC nor between me and Midland. Even if they produce credit card statements, all that proves is that maybe I owe the money to the OC, but there's still nothing that's been presented that shows that I owe the money to the JDB/plaintiff.

I think of it in the same sense as though I file suit against some random stranger saying that some debt that they owed some creditor is now owed to me. I have no proof aside from an employee of mine that also says that it's owed to me. Is it really the responsibility of the defendant to prove that they don't owe the debt to me or is it my responsibility to show that the debt actually is owed to me?

In my case, it seems like I would almost be better off going to court with the evidence as it currently stands. If I request discovery and force them to prove chain of ownership, standing, etc., it seems like I'm helping them prove their case. They may not be able to prove everything 100%, but whatever they produce will put them a lot closer than what they are now. Right now they seem like some random stranger saying I owe them money with absolutely no proof at all.

I know I'm missing something, but it seems like for a plaintiff to prevail, they would have to have something above and beyond them saying it's so. It also seems that anything I request during discovery that's provided by the plaintiff is only going to bolster their case - not harm it. It would seem to me that the least amount of evidence/documents that we can go to court with would be better for me.

Again, I know I'm missing something here, I just don't know what. If anyone feels like helping me out with this very basic question, I would appreciate it.

Thanks!

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While criminal cases are based on "beyond a shadow of a doubt", civil cases are based on the preponderance of the evidence. The judge decides whose argument carries more weight.

No you don't have an agreement with Midland, but does the cardmember agreement state something to the effect that all rights afforded the OC will transfer to any assigns? That's why you have to show that their evidence doesn't prove they have a right to collect.

As you stated, they may be able to show you had an account with the OC, so you have to show they haven't proven they own the account. You want to try to show that the cardmember agreement and any statements are hearsay.

In other words, your defense must be stronger than their claim.

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