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hopen4800

Law Firm Lying!...There's a shock.

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After I answer the complaint do I:

1. Have a little time to educate myself?

2. Prepare my discovery requests?

Or, must all this be included in my answer?

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I suspect he's talking about a notary stamp from the bank's home state. IMO, a notary issue like that, by itself, is no big deal. If other facts are found in conjunction with it, it could be something, but at this point, I would not personally waste any time with it. Bigger deals with the affidavits are whether or not they were robosigned, what records were actually reviewed, what records the alleged custodian keeps, creates or maintains on behalf of the bank, etc...

Now my brain is in park. Geez!

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After I answer the complaint do I:

1. Have a little time to educate myself?

2. Prepare my discovery requests?

Or, must all this be included in my answer?

Both. You have a lot to learn, and there's no way around that. If you can, go and sit in on some civil hearings in the courthouse. I really have no idea what the 1st District is like, though I do know that Judge Ortiz does not like Scruffy & Skeezy. You'll have to check and see what is and what is not allowed in the courthouse too. One of the districts in the state won't allow you to bring cell phones in, the 2nd district will. I don't know about the 1st district. Bring nothing like pocket knives, pepper spray or M60s in as that will be a big no-no in any courthouse in the state. Dress nice. This is NM, so you can get away with an Albuquerque Tuxedo if you are just observing. Probably 1/4 of the legislature shows up for session in boots, wranglers, a button down shirt and a bolo tie.

Also see if the 1st district has a self help or pro se division that can help with little procedural things. I use them when I don't know some little detail. They can't give you legal advice, but they can tell you things like "Yes, you can file a motion to <whatever motion you want to file>" or "When you file an answer, you need three copies, one for the court, one for you and one for the plaintiff. Each copy needs a certificate of service with it." They won't tell you if you should file the motion or the content that should be in it, however.

Also, read rule 1-100 NMRA, and stick to it. You want your documents to look more professional than Scruffy & Skeezy's documents.

I don't know when your answer is due, but if you have a couple of weeks, work on your answer and simultaneously read about discovery and think about what you need to be asking for, use it. You don't need to send discovery requests with your answer, and if you aren't ready with the requests when you have to file an answer, don't send them. It's better to wait an extra week and send them when they are more what you want.

There has been a lot of debate on the best way to answer. What it'll boil down to is that YOU need to be able to defend YOUR answer if the judge asks anything about it or if Scruffy & Skeezy starts grilling you on it. So long as you properly deny, a bad answer is better than no answer ;)

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Had family emergency and had to park this in the weeds for awhile.

Went to courthouse yesterday.Still ok time-wise to answer complaint.

Answers I have compiled so far:

1. Admits allegation in Parr.1

2.Defendant does not have suffiecient information to admit or deny this vague and ambiguous allegation.

3.Defendant does sufficient information to admit or deny what relationship exists between "local counsel" and plaintiff.

4.Defendant does not have sufficient information to admit or deny this allegation.

5. ditto

6.ditto

7.ditto

8. Deny

9.Deny

10. Deny: defendant has no knowledge of what "local counsel" or Plaintiff does for a living.

Wherefore,plaintiff,by and through legal counsel,has made claims unsubstantiated, Defendant asks that plaintiffs claim be dismissed with prejudice.

Defendant reserves the right to file a counterclaim.

Defendant reserves the right to file affirmative defenses

Defendant reserves the right to amend these answer should this be necessary.

Signed XXX

PLEASE dissect and critique with abandon. Better now than in a courtroom.

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Had family emergency and had to park this in the weeds for awhile.

Went to courthouse yesterday.Still ok time-wise to answer complaint.

Answers I have compiled so far:

1. Admits allegation in Parr.1

2.Defendant does not have suffiecient information to admit or deny this vague and ambiguous allegation.

3.Defendant does sufficient information to admit or deny what relationship exists between "local counsel" and plaintiff.

4.Defendant does not have sufficient information to admit or deny this allegation.

5. ditto

6.ditto

7.ditto

8. Deny

9.Deny

10. Deny: defendant has no knowledge of what "local counsel" or Plaintiff does for a living.

Wherefore,plaintiff,by and through legal counsel,has made claims unsubstantiated, Defendant asks that plaintiffs claim be dismissed with prejudice.

Defendant reserves the right to file a counterclaim.

Defendant reserves the right to file affirmative defenses

Defendant reserves the right to amend these answer should this be necessary.

Signed XXX

PLEASE dissect and critique with abandon. Better now than in a courtroom.

Legaleagle is going to come in and call that the amnesia defense. Really, with these guys, it doesn't matter. They're either going to come in with a huge stack of statements and go for an MSJ, or they're going to turn tail and run after they've kept the pressure up on you for a while. However, let him give some suggestions, and then discuss them. If you feel comfortable with them, fine. The bottom line is that you need to be able to argue and defend your answer.

2 is only marginally vague, and that's because the affidavit and "Exhibit A" are directly referred to. They, in effect, become part of that allegation. The vagueness comes from the fact that they probably only included the last 4 digits of the account number. Not that you remember your CC numbers anyway. If you are going to claim that you don't have enough information and can neither admit nor deny, just do it outright.

For 3 and 10, there's not much of an allegation against you. If I were going to actually answer 10, I would admit to it. They added it because they don't want to get sued under the FDCPA for not adding it. Trust me, these guys are 100% bona fide debt collectors under the FDCPA. Admitting to it would just be some good fun should you decide to take them on in an FDCPA lawsuit later.

Another thing to consider is the general denial. It is allowed:

From 1-008 NMRA:

B. Defenses; form of denials. A party shall state in short and plain terms the party's defenses to each claim asserted and shall admit or deny the averments upon which the adverse party relies. If the party is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of an averment, the party shall so state and this has the effect of a denial. Denials shall fairly meet the substance of the averments denied. When a pleader intends in good faith to deny only a part or a qualification of an averment, the pleader shall specify so much of it as is true and material and shall deny only the remainder. Unless the pleader intends in good faith to controvert all the averments of the preceding pleading, the pleader may make the pleader's denials as specific denials of designated averments or paragraphs, or the pleader may generally deny all the averments except such designated averments or paragraphs as the pleader expressly admits; but, when the pleader does so intend to controvert all its averments, including averments of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction depends, the pleader may do so by general denial subject to the obligations set forth in Rule 1-011 NMRA.

If you are going to stick to the "Defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of an averment" for your answers, I would personally add "and therefore denies" at the end. The reason being is that it eliminates any ambiguity as to whether or not you are denying, despite what the rules say.

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Thanks usagi555,

You mention "sticking to " THE "Defendant is without knowledge defense.

My take on this is that there may be other approaches to take with my answers.

That would be a general denial, is that correct?

Could you help me evaluate these approaches?

Many thanks

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Legaleagle is going to come in and call that the amnesia defense.

Now how did he know I'd say that? Courts appreciate a good argument or answer well grounded in the law. They do not like defendants who stand in front of the bench with a dumb look on their face and say "I don't remember this account." Usually they get a disgusted look from the judge and a judgment against them. "Here, dummy, see if you remember it now." Denials are okay, but you should include a brief reason as to why you are denying. Lack of info is okay, but include the reason why you don't have the info.

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Legaleagle is going to come in and call that the amnesia defense.

Now how did he know I'd say that? Courts appreciate a good argument or answer well grounded in the law. They do not like defendants who stand in front of the bench with a dumb look on their face and say "I don't remember this account." Usually they get a disgusted look from the judge and a judgment against them. "Here, dummy, see if you remember it now." Denials are okay, but you should include a brief reason as to why you are denying. Lack of info is okay, but include the reason why you don't have the info.

At least one of the judges in his district really doesn't like the attorneys that he's dealing with specifically because of how they practice law. The others are going to start getting pissed at them too because now they almost always ask for a preemptive excusal when he gets assigned to one of their cases, so they'll be seeing a lot more them on their dockets. (My judge didn't like them too much either.) Also, if he's up near Tierra Amarilla, which is part of his district, it would be rather entertaining watching those guys even try to go into the courthouse. While the court up there may be fair and impartial, the residents will be anything but. They already shot up the courthouse once.

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They already shot up the courthouse once.

My kind of place, frontier justice. Kinda like when the lawyer asked Rooster Cogburn how many men he killed in the line of duty. The answer was along the lines of "None that didn't deserve it."

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Here are my newest answers, again critique with abandon, eviscerate,etc.

ANSWER

1)Admit: This paragraph contains no allegation, nonetheless the defendant does reside at this address.

2)Denied: Defendant has never knowingly entered into a credit account with XXXX nor has defendant ever possessed a credit card bearing that name.

3) This paragraph contains no allegation, therefore defendant does not respond

4)Denied: To the the extent that no admissible evidence establishing this account has been provided, any demand for "interest" is moot and thus denied.

5)Denied: To the extent that no admissible evidence establishing this account has been provided, Defendant has "failed" at nothing.

6)Denied: To the extent that no admissible evidence establishing this account has been provided, "balance" and "interest" are moot

7)Denied

8)Denied

9)Denied: To the extent that no admissible evidence establishing this account has been provided, no "breach" or "liability" exist

10)This paragraph contains no allegation, there Defendant does not respond

Wherefore, Plaintiff,by and through counsel has made claims inadmissible and unsubstantiated Defendant asks this court to Dismiss this claim or that a Hearing before this Court be scheduled. (Is this part too cocky??)

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Here are my newest answers, again critique with abandon, eviscerate,etc.

ANSWER

1)Admit: This paragraph contains no allegation, nonetheless the defendant does reside at this address.

2)Denied: Defendant has never knowingly entered into a credit account with XXXX nor has defendant ever possessed a credit card bearing that name.

3) This paragraph contains no allegation, therefore defendant does not respond

4)Denied: To the the extent that no admissible evidence establishing this account has been provided, any demand for "interest" is moot and thus denied.

5)Denied: To the extent that no admissible evidence establishing this account has been provided, Defendant has "failed" at nothing.

6)Denied: To the extent that no admissible evidence establishing this account has been provided, "balance" and "interest" are moot

7)Denied

8)Denied

9)Denied: To the extent that no admissible evidence establishing this account has been provided, no "breach" or "liability" exist

10)This paragraph contains no allegation, there Defendant does not respond

Wherefore, Plaintiff,by and through counsel has made claims inadmissible and unsubstantiated Defendant asks this court to Dismiss this claim or that a Hearing before this Court be scheduled. (Is this part too cocky??)

Watch out for those snide parts. Things like scare quotes only serve as emotional arguments. If you feel that you need the scare quotes in specific parts, you need to reevaluate if you need those parts at all. An analogy would be "Where is everybody?" vs "Where is everybody at?" Is the "at" necessary?

It's OK to be pissed off. It's OK to hate the other side. It is not OK to let those emotions seep into any legal arguments. On those, you need to be cold and calculating.

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Thanks usagi,

Definitely my parting shot was pretty snippy-ish. That will go away.

Are the other answers appropriate?

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