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Filing answer to Zwicker/Amex; when/how to ask for Discovery?

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Hi everyone -

First, thank you all for the great information. I have been lingering a long time and finally decided to join.

(I have been through a case already, in which Chase is suing me, but nothing has happened since I filed my answer over 6 months ago. Any thoughts as to what to do next? Have I missed a window to take more action?)

My main confusion here in California are the deadlines/timelines. I know the first step is filing my answer w/affirmative defenses. What happens after that? Am I supposed to hear something back? I have checked over and over on the court website with the Chase case and nada.

With the new Zwicker case, I am much more prepared than I was with Chase, so I want to make sure I get this right. I sent them a dunning letter in May. They sent me about 7 months of statements, nothing of which showed they were handling the account (at that time, they were just 'collecting', not suing). Other than that, they failed to comply with anything else in my DV letter.

Complaint is unlimited as it is over $25,000. The cause of action is 'common counts', which I have not dealt with before. If anyone has a little insight into how this differs from Breach of Contract, input is appreciated. There is also 'other allegations' in which the plaintiff says that they informed me in writing that they intended to file the suit. I NEVER RECEIVED ANYTHING FROM THEM STATING THEY WOULD TAKE THIS ACTION.

There is NOTHING else attached to this summons. No card agreement, contract, affadavit, etc. Not one thing. I will use these in my defeses, but what I really want to know - WHEN DO I REQUEST DISCOVERY AND HOW? DO I JUST SEND IT TO THE ATTORNEY, OR DOES THE REQUEST HAVE TO BE FILED WITH THE COURT?

Interestingly, they never mention 'contract' in the complaint. Account stated and open book balance only.

I know we are all busy with our own issues, but any response is greatly appreciated, as I know how valuable your time is. Thanks in advance.

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I sent them a dunning letter in May. They sent me about 7 months of statements, nothing of which showed they were handling the account (at that time, they were just 'collecting', not suing). Other than that, they failed to comply with anything else in my DV letter.

They sent you proper DV. They are not required to comply with what you ask or demand in a DV letter, only what the law requires. Seven months of statements more than complys with the DV process.

Discovery is where you ask for all the other stuff that was probably in your DV letter.

Have you checked the rules of procedure. It usually just involves firing them off to the other side and not filing them with the court. There are a lot of CA people that I'm sure can advise on that. Generally speaking, you just start the process and unless there are issues (which I'm sure there will be) the court stays out of it.

I NEVER RECEIVED ANYTHING FROM THEM STATING THEY WOULD TAKE THIS ACTION.

Big deal, don't hang anything on this. You know now and they can easily produce a back dated letter if need be.

There is NOTHING else attached to this summons. No card agreement, contract, affadavit, etc. Not one thing. I will use these in my defeses

Unless they don't produce it in discovery it is not really a defense. The lawsuit just gives you the allegations of what they intend to prove.

Account stated and open book balance only.

Pretty normal and what most credit card cases are.

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After you answer you will want to send them a Bill of Particulars (BOP). calawyer has posted some excellent examples, check his threads. You may be able to use the BOP on Chase as well.

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Is it normal for Chase to wait so long to do anything?

Also - I was under the impression that if a complaint is filed and references an agreement, such agreement should be attached to the complaint?

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Check your local rules to see if you can file to have them nonsuited, or the good old default for failure to plead. See what the last known action was on the case. The plaintiff is the aggressor and bears the responsibility of making the case move along. Me, I'd try to have the thing thrown out for lack of diligence. CAlawyer will know more about this.

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Thanks so much everyone. I am going to wait a week or two to file the answer, as I was only served a few days ago. I'd like to give myself as much time as possible here. :)

The plethora of information (or sometimes mis-information) on this site is invaluable. Thanks again.

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I received a notice of Case Management Hearing on the Amex case.

Any advice on what to do next? Should I file for Discovery? What exactly happens in a case management hearing?

Thanks.

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Generally speaking, the judge wants to know what is going on, what needs to be resolved, are there any outstanding issues that would preclude a trial, can you settle this and stop wasting our time, etc. Failure to properly follow the rule is not a viable reason, such as not conducting discovery when you should have.

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