tempteroffate

Not totally sure what to make of this (MCM in CO)

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I went to the pretrial last week on behalf of my wife (full account here: http://www.creditinfocenter.com/forums/1126899-post15.html) and the judge said he'd be holding off on the motion hearing until after our court-ordered mediation in December. By my count there were only two motions on the table to be ruled upon: The Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss the Defendant's Counterclaim With Prejudice and the Defendant's Motion In Limine to Exclude Plaintiff's Evidentiary Documents.

I expected, once the Plaintiff Amended their Notice of Trial to be a Notice of Pretrial that our Motion In Limine could be denied as it suddenly became premature with Discovery being incomplete, but I didn't expect a ruling on it until after the court-ordered mediation in December.

Turns out I would be WRONG! We received a denial notice in the mail yesterday with the comment "Motion is Denied - Evidentiary Objections to Plaintiff's exhibits will be addressed at trial." What's even odder is that it's dated for 2 days before our pretrial hearing, but we're just now receiving it.

Essentially, it just means we need to wait until trial to make the objection to the Plaintiff's documents, and then we'll need to make them a Motion to Strike instead of a Motion In Limine. Of course that also is a) assuming we don't reject their documents during the discovery process following the court-ordered mediation and B) assuming we don't settle and vacate the trial before then.

Anyway, just an update. We're going to send them another settlement offer. I've tried to word it so it doesn't sound as heavily biased in our favor, but it still is. :evil: I'd much prefer to see this all just go away, but I'll be damned if they're getting out without paying at least our expenses in defending this.

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If you make a settlement offer, that means you acknowledge the debt. That validates the lawsuit, which means you'll be paying their legal expenses, not the other way around. Motions in Limine are designed to exclude evidence at trial. Without a trial, the motion is improper. Motions to strike are not properly directed at evidence, they challenge the legal sufficiency of a pleading or a part thereof. This sounds all mixed up.....discovery should be completed before any pretrial hearings. You need to get up to speed on procedure, or the other side will beat you up with technicalities.

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If you make a settlement offer, that means you acknowledge the debt.

Umm, NO! Every day people make settlement offers to avoid the expense and time envolved in litigation at trial and in no way do they admit to the allegations.

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Believe it or not, LegalEagle, I actually am pretty up to speed on the Rules of Procedure for Colorado County Civil Courts. I've been through this before and have managed to get the other side to back down in that case and walked away with my expenses paid (as a pro se).

A Motion In Limine should be presented at the threshhold of trial. In our case, we had received a Notice of TRIAL for October 19th. Although I had expected there would be a PRETRIAL conference where we would be given the opportunity to request leave of the court to do discovery (rfa's, rogs & rfp's), we assumed because it was a small county court that the case had been fasttracked and the "Disclosure" Statement sent to us by the Plaintiff constituted Discovery and we were going to go into court for our Trail on the 19th. After submitting our Motion In Limine to Exclude the Evidence they presented with their "Disclosure Statement" the Plaintiff's Attorneys Amended not only their Disclosure Statement, but their Notice of Trial to be a Notice of Pretrial. At that point I debated withdrawing my Motion In Limine, but decided to let it stand to get a sense of how the judge managed his courtroom.

Once we're in Trial, a Motion In Limine would be improper, so whenever the Plaintiff attempts to introduce any of the evidence from their "Disclosure Statement" we will object on the grounds we initially stated in our Motion In Limine (hearsay, unauthenticated, lacking personal knowledge, irrelevant, etc) and if necessary, Motion to Strike their evidence and affidavits.

Also, as both 1stStep and KentWA have pointed out, a) settlement negotiations are not admissible in court and B) are not necessarily an admission of the debt. In fact, our settlement negotiations have always included the statement, "This is NOT and admission of the debt, but an attempt to unburden the court system and save each party the time and expense of further litigation."

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Settlement negotiations are not admissible...

True, but the results of admitting the debt will negate any request for them to pay your legal bills. Self represented people are usually turned down by the court when they request legal fees, since they really don't have any, at least here they are. Sounds like your rules are a little different in CO.

Edited by legaleagle

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I'll repeat what the others have said; a settlement discussion is NOT an admission.

You keep using the word admitted, when the OP never has.

Also cost can always be awarded or part of a settlement. There are other cost beyond legal fees. Some jurisdictions require payments to file answers, these are considered awardable cost.

I have settled multiple lawsuits where I was the plaintiff and my cost and attorney fees were included, along with a denial from the defendant as to thier actual liability even though they settled.

Edited by lheart

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