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Help with Minnesota Summons from Messerli & Kramer regarding Discover Card Debt

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I would like to know in Minnesota, what the 20 day terms are to answer a summons regarding a debt collection. I was away for a few days and someone served papers to my Finance's from Messerli and Kramer regarding a Discover Bank Debt Collection. She was not exactly sure the *date* that it was served. I called M&K and they told me it was served on the 5th of April. According to this timeline, Tomorrow (April 25th) would be my 20th day to answer. Does the Answer to Summons need to be mailed in? in which case does it have to be post-marked by the 20th day? or can I (or a friend) hand deliver on the 20th day? I just want to be sure I don't miss answering this, as I have been heavily involved with work and am chomping at the bit to get this done asap.

Is there a default set of Affirmative Defenses to use in Minnesota as well as some good facts of Affirmative Defense in Minnesota for a case that I believe is close to the Statue of Limitation? or is it acceptable to simply deny the statements and leave out any Affirmative Defenses?

Any help would be very much appreciated!!!

Thank you

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I would suggest having a friend hand serve the answer to M&K and then filling out an affidavit of service. You might get away with your friend mailing the answer (you cannot mail it) but you would be better off handing it to them.

As for the answer, a denial will be just fine. You are better off getting ready to do discovery which is where the real work in Minnesota is. If you search this board, you can find a legal paper that discusses why a debt is very hard to prove in Minnesota if someone fights it. You will want to request a signed contract or an accounting from $0. That is required in the State of Minnesota (3 statements does not cut it in Minnesota).

What will happen is that you and the other side will do discovery and then you will reach an impasse where neither of you nor M&K want to pay the court fees. Don't worry because since you are the defendant, they will either have to go to court or eventually dismiss the case. As for SOL tolling without filing in the court, I have no clue as I do not think that has ever been tested.

Finally, watch the MN Court Access website and make sure they are not trying to sneak in a default judgement without you knowing. If they do, file to vacate it on the basis that you did properly answer.

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Thank you very much for the quick response, I have read some of your other answer's, and I am glad you were able to answer mine.

1. At this point, a friend hand delivering on the 20th day should be ok right?

2. Can I leave the facts in support of Affirmative Defenses blank?

3. on the state of MN Answer form, the last question states "Wherefore, defendant ask's the court to:" - Any suggestions?

I don't understand this sentence:

"You will want to request a signed contract or an accounting from $0. That is required in the State of Minnesota (3 statements does not cut it in Minnesota)."

Where would I request that from? Discover Bank? or M&K?

And thank you for the heads up on watching the court site!

Thanks again!

Edited by MCgendraft
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OK, first off, I am not a lawyer and that should be said. I simply reside in Minnesota. I am giving you my opinion which might or might now be worth the electrons that carry it. With that said:

1) I believe that is OK. The friends will have to fill out an affidavit of service. The friends should note the time he effected the service and try to get the name of the receptionist he served it to. You can even stand out front of the building while your friends does the service. You just cannot serve the answer yourself.

2) Unless you are stating affirmative defenses, just fill in None.

3) "finds that the defendant is not responsible and to award the defendant any legal costs."

You make the request as a formal discovery request to M&K and you serve it upon them as you did your answer (actually, I would mail the discovery rather than have a friend walk into their office). The discovery will have 3 components, Interrigation questions, admittance questions, and requests for documents. It is the request for documents (also worded production of documents) that you make your requests.

Discovery is not my forte and hence I am sure others on this board will help you. Another thing you can do is try to find cases in your county that were either dismissed or the defendant won. You can use the web to do your search. Realize however that there will be very few cases. 95% of these cases end up being default judgements because the defendant did not answer, answer correctly, or answered with some thing like "Yeah, I owe this debt but I cannot afford to pay.". The other 3% either settle or end up messing up somehow. That leave 2 out of 100 cases that might be good to look at.

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Two things win these cases for defendants. Well, maybe three. First, a good strategy. That means no special defenses. None of them really work very well in these cases. Two, production of documents. That's what decides these cases. Interrogatories are generally useless. Requests for admissions can be used, but only after they respond to your doc requests. For each one they do not provide, send a request for admissions and make them admit they don't have what you asked for. Third, make them bleed money. Use every tactic you can within your rules to force them to litigate this. That usually makes them give up if anythng will. Depending on the amount, maybe in the 5000 range, arbitration works well, they won't want to pay for it. If this debt is five figures, you're in for a fight. Be advised your fiance has to do this, you cannot represent her. She has to understand how to defend this because eventually there will be a court appearance required. She'll have to go.

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