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Need help responding to suit by Citi in Illinois


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I am being sued in Illinois for a debt allegedly owed to Citi. The complaint looks like this:

1. The Defendant(s) utilized a charge account and/or line of credit issued by Plaintiff or its assignors whereby Defendant(s) could charge goods and service to their account and/or received cash advances.

2. The Defendant(s) subsequently defaulted by failing to pay for the indebtedness incurred resulting in the balance due Plaintiff of $____.

3. Due demand has been made on Defendant(s) to pay this amount and the Defendant(s) have failed to do so.

Wherefore, Plaintiff prays for judgement against Defendant(s) in the amount of $____ plus court costs.

The complaint has an affidavit from a Citi employee and a card statement attached to it. I've looked at standard lists of affirmative defenses and I don't see how I could use any of them in my case. Any suggestions?

One affirmative defense that I am planning to use is that the suit is in violation of the law because I asked to arbitrate the dispute per the card agreement arbitration clause, but Citi sued me anyway.

Any help with this matter would be much appreciated.

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Waiting for Linda to come in ant tell you about arbitration. The gist of it is that you'll have to file a motion to compel arbitration. If, for whatever reason, that doesn't work, you may have to file counterclaims for breach of contract.

I'm definitely going to file a motion to compel arbitration. My question is "What else should I do?" I've been seriously considering filing counterclaims for breach of contract. Should I do this with my answer or as a separate suit? I'm in Illinois.

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Your starting point is here:

735 ILCS 5/  Code of Civil Procedure.

Sec. 2-603. Form of pleadings. (a) All pleadings shall contain a plain and concise statement of the pleader's cause of action, counterclaim, defense, or reply.

(B) Each separate cause of action upon which a separate recovery might be had shall be stated in a separate count or counterclaim, as the case may be and each count, counterclaim, defense or reply, shall be separately pleaded, designated and numbered, and each shall be divided into paragraphs numbered consecutively, each paragraph containing, as nearly as may be, a separate allegation.

(735 ILCS 5/2-606) (from Ch. 110, par. 2-606)

Sec. 2-606. Exhibits. If a claim or defense is founded upon a written instrument, a copy thereof, or of so much of the same as is relevant, must be attached to the pleading as an exhibit or recited therein, unless the pleader attaches to his or her pleading an affidavit stating facts showing that the instrument is not accessible to him or her. In pleading any written instrument a copy thereof may be attached to the pleading as an exhibit. In either case the exhibit constitutes a part of the pleading for all purposes.

(Source: P.A. 82-280.)

(735 ILCS 5/2-607) (from Ch. 110, par. 2-607)

Sec. 2-607. Bills of particulars. (a) Within the time a party is to respond to a pleading, that party may, if allegations are so wanting in details that the responding party should be entitled to a bill of particulars, file and serve a notice demanding it. The notice shall point out specifically the defects complained of or the details desired. The pleader shall have 28 days to file and serve the bill of particulars, and the party who requested the bill shall have 28 days to plead after being served with the bill.

© If a bill of particulars, in an action based on a contract, contains the statement of items of indebtedness and is verified by oath, the items thereof are admitted except in so far as the opposite party files an affidavit specifically denying them, and as to each item denied states the facts upon which the denial is based, unless the affidavit is excused by the court.

This one is where I would start:

(735 ILCS 5/2-612) (from Ch. 110, par. 2-612)

Sec. 2-612. Insufficient pleadings. (a) If any pleading is insufficient in substance or form the court may order a fuller or more particular statement. If the pleadings do not sufficiently define the issues the court may order other pleadings prepared.

This generic complaint states NO recognized cause of action. Without that, you cannot possibly be expected to mount a defense. Against what? What are they charging you with? Account stated? Breach of contract? Speeding? Murder? How would you know? Make them say what it is. Each cause has a specific defense. You can file this in lieu of an answer. Put that reason in the motion. You can find samples of motions on line or here at the forum for your state. Google Scholar will be your best friend if you really want to fight this.

Your second starting point is to read my posts. I have posted extensive information and possible defenses against this specific creditor.

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It turns out that there was a claim made on the cover sheet for the complaint. The cover sheet is a court form with a bunch of check boxes labeled with causes of action. The box labeled "Breach of Contract" in the Commercial Litigation section of the form was checked. Would the defense that the complaint "fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against the Defendant" still be applicable?

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