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Plaintiff asked for an extension on my discovery requests


usagi555
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They stated that they already had the documents and admissions, but the interrogatories were going to take more time. I know that some of their documents, if they have them, will either be bogus or non-existent, because I requested documentation on some events that I know did not happen.

I granted their request, though I suspect that it is really the documents that they don't have. They are on a tight schedule here and sometimes the OC can be slow, from what I hear. Anybody run into that specific trick from collection attorneys?

I am going to send off a letter clarifying that the extension only applies to the interrogatories and call their bluff. I'm also setting a hard date. They aren't going to bury me with everything at the last minute.

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Is the request a motion to the court or simply a letter requesting more time. If it is a letter and you agree to it, simply send them a letter back stating you give them, say 30 more days and they you will be filing motion to compel. You can also certainly limit it in the letter to interrogatories anyways.

The reason I say this rather than forcing them through the court to get an extension is that most lawyer probably handle this stuff by letters or over the phone anyways. A motion this early in the game would probably anger a judge. Especially on something that if you had a lawyer, would have been handled without the judge.

However, make them know that you are serious about no extensions beyond that without permission from the court and that you have a motion to compel ready to go should they miss the new deadline.

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The request was made to me personally over the telephone. Unfortunately, they caught me by surprise by calling me, so I didn't record the conversation. It was the first time the attorneys had actually called me, and I couldn't find a recording device. One will be on hand from now on.

This also is a case where having everything (as opposed to just the interrogatories) dumped on me all at once with the extension that I'm giving them would be overwhelmingly unfair. I'm going to make that point very loud and clear in the letter that I send them.

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I would have filed a motion to compel.

Reason being, that puts them on the clock with the court which means they have to get back within the time alloted or the case is dismissed. The way it is now, they have 30 days granted from you and they will get another extension if you then go forward with the motion to compel.

Ask yourself, would they afford you the same courtesy, probably not, they would make a motion and set a hearing.

Now you said you are dealing with an OC. From my experiance, which is with JDB's, they really don't pay too much mind to the regulations as far as getting back with discovery in a timely manner. They try to avoid even responding as that is work they have to pay someone to do. I had to file a motion to compel in one of my suits and then they barely beat the deadline, actually late by a day, and then they procedded to send me back anwsers that were not just the typical evasive anwsers but also with repeated claims that they were still looking for evidence (which never came).

The court prefers both sides to settle discovery issues outside of court.

My experiance left me thinking that the courts, at least the one I was in, don't hold plaintiff's to the discovery rules in any kind of serious manner relative to responding on time. They paid the price of admission (filing fee) so the other side can't have it dismissed in the discovery phase/before evidence is presented.

The other suit against me where I sent off discovery (which they haven't anwsered and its been 4 or 5 months, and in the meantime they filed another suit against me over the same debt,idiots,lol) I just said to hell with calling a hearing for a motion to compel. I think it is kinda assinine to have a 30 day deadline when they just automatically give an extention all the time anyway.

I suppose if they are the OC they may be getting back, but you can never trust what they tell you. I was told repeatedly in writing and on the phone that proof of the claims against me were forthcoming. Then after I let it sit for 6 months I get a dismissal notice in the mail.

In any event, don't expect that the anwsers, if they ever do come, will justify the delay. Most will be evasive and they will probably not provide proof and the proff they do provide will be BS.

But again, you are up against an OC, I have heard they have access to more than a JDB would.

Good luck and I hope they take note of your kind gesture in any future preceedings where you might ask a courtesy of them.

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You did the right thing. By the time you prepared a motion to compel and got a hearing date, they would have responded. Then you have to explaint to the Judge why she had to read a bunch of papers for no reason.

What goes around comes around. You may also need an extension or favor from plaintiff some day. They will look pretty bad if they refuse when you have been so courteous. That is why it is also a very good idea to write a letter confirming the extension. A Judge may have to look at the letter some day. For the documents, you might say something like "You told me you do not need further time to produce documents and therefore the extension does not include that discovery. Of course, if you find yourself needing a short extension to produce documents as well, please don't hesitate to contact me."

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BTW, it isn't a 30 day extension. It's closer to 10 days. There are other deadlines that must be met, and going out to 30 days would be the same as telling them that they don't have to respond at all in some respects. I'm not saying that my case will necessarily be over soon, but I do need those documents soon. If my suspicions are correct about them not having the documents yet, it would be in their best interests to drop the case.

@fightemdontfold Yes, it is the OC. It's the one with the reputation for being the most pugnaciously tenacious and having the some of the best records out of all the major issuers. (Citibank) I find that frightening, given what I have seen. The claims that I can directly verify are outright false, and they are supposedly based on their business records. I can really believe all of the shenanigans that have occurred as a result of shoddy record keeping with mortgages and foreclosures.

Edited by usagi555
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You did the right thing. By the time you prepared a motion to compel and got a hearing date, they would have responded. Then you have to explaint to the Judge why she had to read a bunch of papers for no reason.

What goes around comes around. You may also need an extension or favor from plaintiff some day. They will look pretty bad if they refuse when you have been so courteous. That is why it is also a very good idea to write a letter confirming the extension. A Judge may have to look at the letter some day. For the documents, you might say something like "You told me you do not need further time to produce documents and therefore the extension does not include that discovery. Of course, if you find yourself needing a short extension to produce documents as well, please don't hesitate to contact me."

best advice.

just what i was prepared to say.

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I'm going to follow that advice in general, except that I'm going to take being magnanimous further with some very hard and definite limits. The reason that I'm going to take it further is situation dependent, and I may go into the reasons later if I think it may help somebody else in the future.

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I will be sending the letter this afternoon. I did include the bit about contacting me if they need a short extension on the document requests and the admissions.

This contact with them was enlightening. First off, they asked for the extension nearly two weeks before their answers were due. I know that they are not normally so diligent. Second, they hoarked up some dates when they asked for the extension. I'm reminding them of that in the letter.

It is a very polite letter that is also very firm on what I expect from them. I'm putting the onus on them to do things right. It is clear that if they need something, they can contact me to discuss what their options are, and that I will follow up any verbal contact where somebody may have agreed to something with a letter of clarification.

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What they did is improper procedure. The defendant does not have the right to grant extensions of time, only the court can do that. The rules are in place to move cases along for the court, not to make some lawyer happy. Next time, inform them of that fact and tell them that if they want an extension of time, ask the proper authority, not you. Tell them that absent any such extension, you'll file the appropriate motion. These people are not your friends. Courtesy is okay, but this is not courtesy. It's asking the defendant to do something he does not have the legal authority to do. Any judge will see this.

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Actually, what they did was not improper. My state's civil rules of procedure explicitly allow the parties to agree to longer or shorter times for discovery. If anything, the improper part was asking for the extension over the phone, and I fixed any faux pas on their part by sending them the letter. Agreements for an extension of time between parties must be in writing. Well, it's in writing now, and I'm not going to complain about it because I was the one who put it in writing and signed it. Here's the specific rule:

From 1-033 NMRA 1978

(3) The party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers, and objections if any, within thirty (30) days after the service of the interrogatories, except that a defendant may serve answers or objections within forty-five (45) days after service of the summons and complaint upon that defendant. A shorter or longer time may be directed by the court or agreed to in writing by the parties subject to Rule 1-029 NMRA.

I should also add that since *I* was the one who put it in writing, I put it in writing under *my* terms and not theirs. I seriously doubt they are going to like my terms, and they most likely got the letter today :twisted:

Edited by usagi555
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How will the lawyer prove that you gave him more time?

They could have me recorded and it wouldn't matter. What I agreed to in writing is what counts. Since they've got my letter, that's how they can prove the extension of time. Honestly, it's not much of an extension as even a day or two more than what I gave them would be grossly unfair to me.

I personally think that they were trying to pull a few things simultaneously. I think that they wanted an excuse to blow my discovery requests off completely. I also think that they were trying to intimidate me by telling me that they had my document requests ready. I asked for all of the statements, a signed application, proof that I actually made a payment they're claiming, etc... Basically, I asked for all of the most damning information they could possibly provide in a credit card suit. If they had it, they wouldn't be telling me that they had it to try to scare me, they'd try to scare me by putting it in my mailbox. I also think they were trying to stall because they don't have the documents that I requested ready, but they don't want to tip their hand.

I suspect that I could go after them for a violation of the NM Unfair Trade Practices Act for this. I haven't posted a couple of very important details regarding the whole exchange, but basically, what they did here amounts to an unconscionable trade practice under NM law. Probably under the FDCPA too. I didn't record the call, but I did start on the letter soon after the call, so it is documented that way.

I told them that there was no extension on the document requests or the admissions, and since their employee said they were ready, they should send them to me ASAP. I even told them that it would be wonderful if they were already in the mail. They might as well be trying to intimidate a rock for all the good it'll do them.

I'm giving even odds of a dismissal within the next 2 weeks.

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Actually, what they did was not improper. My state's civil rules of procedure explicitly allow the parties to agree to longer or shorter times for discovery. If anything, the improper part was asking for the extension over the phone, and I fixed any faux pas on their part by sending them the letter. Agreements for an extension of time between parties must be in writing. Well, it's in writing now, and I'm not going to complain about it because I was the one who put it in writing and signed it. Here's the specific rule:

From 1-033 NMRA 1978

I should also add that since *I* was the one who put it in writing, I put it in writing under *my* terms and not theirs. I seriously doubt they are going to like my terms, and they most likely got the letter today :twisted:

That is a very common rule. It usually doesn't specify who is supposed to reduce it to writing. When I have a sloppy opponent, or I have imposed careful conditions, I always write the letter myself. Even if it is the other side's extension. I also do this because the letter may well be attached to a motion to compel so I want the Judge to see I was courteous and following the rules.

Again, your instincts are good.

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That is a very common rule. It usually doesn't specify who is supposed to reduce it to writing. When I have a sloppy opponent, or I have imposed careful conditions, I always write the letter myself. Even if it is the other side's extension. I also do this because the letter may well be attached to a motion to compel so I want the Judge to see I was courteous and following the rules.

Again, your instincts are good.

That means a lot, coming from somebody who does this for a living. Thank You.

I'm learning the rules as well as I can and it is starting to benefit me. I hope to get to the point where I can walk into a court room and not have a judge wince because I'm Pro Se.

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In which state are you being sued? I too am fighting Citibank in California and they just missed their 30 days to respond to my discovery requests. I am now debating filing a motion to compel or just go for a motion to dismiss.

Remember to add 5 days if you mailed the requests. So I generally wait at least a week since they just have to serve the response by mail on the due date.

You must meet and confer before filing a motion. If it is written discovery and plaintiff did not respond, it has waived any objections per the relevant code section (ie. Rogs, RFAs, Doc demand). If plaintiff truly blew the deadline, your letter should demand that it respond, without objection, on or before ____ [10 days or so] or you will file a motion to compel.

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Just a quick thought per unfair trade practives....in CT, (CUTPA) applies only to the entrepreneurial aspect of the legal trade. That means the way in which they solicit your business, bill you, advertise, etc. Lawyers are self governed through the Bar Association, so any funny business they pull is subject to disciplinary action through a grievance complaint. Otherwise, you have to sue them for malpractice, which you cannot do since you are not their client. I never looked at NM statutes, but I doubt they are much different in that respect since the legislatures are all packed with lawyers. Anyway, I doubt a flap over an extension of time would get much attention from the Bar Association. Filing against opposing counsel makes you look cranky, I wouldn't do it unless the guy did something obviously illegal in an attempt to sabotage your case. Watch those affidavits....I caught Countrywide's attorneys submitting four fraudulent documents in support of an affidavit. That one ain't over yet by a long shot! I'm fighting Citi too, their records are nonexistent in most cases. Get the cardholder agreement and see if they can prove they sent it or that you agreed to it. They'll try to invoke South Dakota law, watch out for that one too.

Webster defines "waste" as a bus load of lawyers going over a cliff with 3 empty seats.

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They've already been successfully sued over NMUTPA claims as well as tortious debt collection claims. The Unfair Trade Practices Act here doesn't say one lick about attorney v non-attorney and they do specifically include collecting a debt as one of the activities that is considered a trade practice. It's a bit more restrictive than the FDCPA regarding deceptive and unconscionable practices, so it will be rare if a NMUTPA violation isn't also an FDCPA violation.

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..."You told me you do not need further time to produce documents and therefore the extension does not include that discovery. Of course, if you find yourself needing a short extension to produce documents as well, please don't hesitate to contact me."

BEST ADVICE EVER!

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Got the response to my Request for Admissions today. As expected, they denied things that are true and they objected to things that they REALLY did not want to answer.

I asked them to admit that there was a quota system in place regarding the signing of affidavits and they objected that it was irrelevant. They denied my request asking them to admit that the Plaintiff mass produces documents for the purposes of litigation. If this continues, we'll see how they like a MTC on the quota admission. :twisted:

I also asked them to admit that the plaintiff sent <A very large number> of cases to the law firm in <A very short time> knowing that they couldn't possibly perform due diligence. I just happen to have a fancy little list of cases filed by this law firm on behalf of the plaintiff and its affiliates. They objected claiming that it was vague.

(Read this case regarding high volume debt collection firms then understand that the firm that I am dealing with blows these guys out of the water when it comes to volume: 645 F.Supp.2d 917 - Google Scholar)

I also asked them to admit that the Plaintiff supplements its records regarding consumer credit card accounts with documents or databases from third parties. They objected to it as being irrelevant. I LOLed!

I attack their record keeping practices and volume and they object. Methinks I'm on the right track.

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Got the answers to the request for rogs back to day. As expected, they were amazingly deficient. And late too!

They even objected to the interrogatory where I asked for the full identity of the affiant.

Plaintiff objects to this interrogatory on the grounds that it is vague. It is not clear as to what the Defendant means by "full identity." Without waiving this objection, Plaintiff refers Defendant to the attached affidavit. Plaintiff reserves the right to supplement this response at a later date if and when clarification is made by Defendant.

Funny thing was, I did define the term in my discovery requests and I defined it very concisely. The full identity was to include name, phone number, address, place of employment, dates of employment and date of birth.

I knew they did this kind of stuff, but I am still in shock at actually seeing it. In one of the few that they actually answered, I think that they also inadvertently admitted that the affiant isn't really a record custodian despite the claims in the affidavit. I'm going to run with that one!

Edited by usagi555
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