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Midland filed a Motion to Compel Discovery against me for my all my bank account info. I cannot provide much of it because after a distant move and a divorce in which accounts were closed and records left in storage across the country, I do not have access to it (nor is there anyone near to ask). Today I received a letter saying the judge granted their motion. I filed an objection but apparently the judgment was issued the day my objection was filed (and the record said there was no objection filed). Oh--and the judge granted I pay their legal fees associated with this motion.

What do I do? I thought they weren't allowed to demand the defendant to go to extreme lengths to provide documentation. I thought they had to make their own (expletive) case...

Can I fight this or is it done? And how do I provide information I cannot access? Can they subpoena my bank for the info if I give them the bank's name? Will that prove their case?

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Motion to reargue. They are rolling over you because you do not understand the rules of procedure, plain and simple. You filed your objection too late. No court can compel you to produce that which you do not have. Ask Midland to produce all your account records from day one, watch them complain. See Kentwa, he is from your state.

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Thank you, legaleagle. There was no time frame on the motion and I couldn't get an answer from the court clerk as to how long I had after numerous calls. I filed my objection on the 28th day (although in retrospect, I think the lawfirm fudged the paperwork--they crossed out a date and inserted a handwritten one--so I may have filed on the 29th day).

So when I ask them to produce the paperwork, are you saying that I should file my own Motion to Compel or is that an addendum to the Motion to Reargue?

Also, we have a date--an Order to Show Cause--I'm assuming that's the actual court date, is that correct? That's in 11 days so I'm wondering if I can still file motions between now and then. Is there a cutoff date?

THANK YOU!!!!!

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Today I received a letter saying the judge granted their motion.

This is what you want to reargue. You have to state your reasons. What I suggested is normal discovery. An order to show cause means somebody has to go to court and make an argument. About what? You didn't tell us. You are making fundamental procedural errors, they will continue to take advantage of this until you learn court procedure. Motions and the timeframe for a response are detailed in the rules of procedure.

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I found the link to my state's Rules of Procedure. Thank you for providing me with the phraseology to discover it. Clearly I'm a novice and I appreciate any education that the more experienced on this forum can provide me with.

I will file a Motion to Reargue stating that the information they are seeking is not in my possession (do I need to go into detail about why I don't have access to it or can I just state that I don't?). Is there a resource where I can find the appropriate/strongest terminology for that argument?

The Order to Show Cause states that it is to show cause why this case should not be dismissed. I take this to be a good thing--that they have to prove they have enough to warrant furthering this case.

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Depending on the court you have 10 business days or 14 calendar days to object to a motion. You were way to late. Did they send you a meet and confer letter before filing their motion? Did they properly serve you with the motion?

If they did not attempt Meet and Confer before hand you want to draw the courts attention to that as most all Utah courts will give the lawyer a tongue lashing. The lawyer will whine about not wanting to contact you off record, you simply state that you are as professional as scum bag attorney and you expect him to follow the rules like you must to avoid wasting the courts time. The tough part is you did not follow the rules in your reply if they in fact did serve you.

However, many Utah attorneys do not have a clue how to properly serve a Pro Se motion papers since they can not use eFile and Xchange.

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They never attempted a Meet and Confer. I will address that.

In all of my other paperwork, a timeline was addressed in the memorandum. No timeline was written in the motion paperwork and I couldn't get an answer from the court clerks, although I accept that it is ultimately still my responsibility to file on time.

I do not know the laws on how to serve Pro Se motions myself (where/how can I find that?), but it was sent via First Class Mail and had a copy of a "Certificate of Mailing" in it. It is a photocopied Word document from the law firm with an indistinguishable signature (no typed name accompanying it). The date typed on it is crossed out and a handwritten date for the day after is written in. There is nothing to certify its validity--no witness signature, no notarization, no documentation from the post office (Certified Mail, Signature Confirmation, postmarked document except the envelope, etc.), no court stamp (all of my paperwork has a court stamp), etc.

I have been combing over the Rules of Procedure since legaleagle's post and I still cannot find any specific time frame for filing. Since they did not include that in the paperwork (as they had in every other filing) and if I am not able to find it on my own, how can I find out for future filings? I don't want this to happen again--it's a stupid technicality for me to throw my case on. The courthouse is on the other side of my county and I'm presently between cars so it's a bit of an endeavor to make it happen and I want to be sure I'm precise in the future.

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How about you simplify this and give them nothing and argue you have nothing to give them. After a search of your records and all records that were readily available to you, you have provided everything you could obtain, which is nothing.

If they want to pay the ungodly research fee at the bank, let them. You could even tell them that the records are unattainable because they are archived and the costs and burden to retrieve is unduly burdelsome.

Of course I'd to the re-argue, because, well, I love to argue in court over stuff like this. However, I think you could really simplify this a lot if you are not as eager to get in a courtroom.

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Thanks, Coltfan1972! At this point, isn't filing to re-argue my only option? Since the judge granted the motion, I'm thinking that's my only recourse... I'm not afraid to fight in court, I just want this resolved and I'm willing to do what I need to do to get it resolved in my favor. I do not want to spend hundreds of dollars in legal fees, especially over a motion.

I also forgot to thank KentWA!

Much appreciation for these creative suggestions from such experienced researchers.

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How can you be compelled to produce something you don't have or can't get. I did this against a junk debt buyer. The judge somewhat laughed and told me he can't compel them to give me something they don't have.

However, he made it very clear they were to state they did not have what I requested. So, I got what I was after, an admission the records that would prove their case they did not have, so I actually won the MTC but just not the way I thought I would win.

If you state you don't have something or can't get it, what can they really do. Now you better pray you really don't have or can't reasonably get or you will be in trouble. However, you can't compel somebody to give you something they don't have.

I order you to give me 20,000,000.00. You can't (well I assume you can't). If I get a judge to compel you to give me 20,000,000.00 will you now somehow be able to give me 20,000,000.00 ?

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Yes, legaleagle, I did state in my interrogatory response that it would be unduly burdensome.

Thank you too, Coltfan1972.

So...I have egg on my face. In my angst, I didn't take the time to calmly look over the paperwork I received last week. The document is from the law firm (the court formats slightly differently). It is actually a REQUEST TO SUBMIT FOR DECISION on the MTC, not the judge ordering it. My confusion came from the last page in the document which states:

"Plaintiff's Motion to Compel was filed with the Court pursuant to the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court, having read the file herein, including all court documents contained in the court file, and good cause appearing therefore,

HEREBY ORDERS, ADJUDGES AND DECREES THAT Defendant has fourteen (14) days from the entry of this order to respond to Interrogatory No. 13 from Plaintiff's Discovery by providing the information requested therein.

Further, pursuant to Rule 37 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff is granted their attorney fees associated with this motion in the amount of $250.00 with interest at statutory rate."

It also states "ORDER" in the heading, which is why I thought it was a copy of an actual order. I was trying to figure out the date I needed to submit (14 days) when I realized that the "date" line and the signature line were NOT signed or dated.

This is a super sleazy law firm (that ONLY does Midland cases) and they have lost class action suits against them before. They were trying to get me to submit the paperwork and payment by tricking me into thinking the judge had ordered it.

So...I feel like an idiot. This is really stressful and I freaked out when I got it. I have a date for an Order to Show Cause (parties are to show cause as to why this this case should not be dismissed) next week so hopefully, that they have no standing (which I will argue), will be enough to drop the case. Also keeping my fingers crossed that the judge will grant my objection to the original MTC.

Should I file a response to this Request to Submit for Decision? or just leave it?

Thanks SO much for all of your help.

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Actually Rule 7 covers motions timeline fully. All the rules can be found here and is your playbook:

Utah State Courts - Utah State Court Rules

What you are seeing is their proposed order. you should prepare one and deliver it to the court clerk and a copy to opposing counsel based on the judges local rules, usually at least 3 days in advance. Although Judges do not get to concerned if a Pro Se does not have one. I saw a judge order a losing JDB lawyer be ordered to prepare the order when I helped out my son a bit. :)

You will want yours to say that plaintiffs motion is denied.

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Great, thanks KentWA! I wouldn't put anything past these scumbags so I'm glad to have your input.

So I should deliver my proposed order 3 days in advance of what? Do I need to address the Request to Submit for a Decision? Or just an order like theirs from me (that the plaintiff's motion is denied)?

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Just the order and it is 3 days before the hearing. Normally I would include with motion. The caption should read "Proposed Order Denying Plaintiffs Motion to Compel". The judge will just line out proposed and make any modifications he wants in pen and ink.

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HEREBY ORDERS, ADJUDGES AND DECREES THAT Defendant has fourteen (14) days from the entry of this order to respond to Interrogatory No. 13 from Plaintiff's Discovery by providing the information requested therein.

Yes, what Kentwa said. An ORDER is a document attached to every motion. It is included for the judge to sign as to his decision. "Granted / Denied" is common in an order. It isn't signed until the judge makes his decision. If you file a motion, you have to include this simple document. If you don't, you have made a procedural error. It means nothing until the judge signs it. You'll either get a paper copy in the mail, or it will be posted on the judical website under your case. You should follow your case on line.

In this case, the judge ordered you to make a response. You must do so or be held in contempt of court. What happened to you is common; your objection did not arrive in time, so the judge granted the motion "absent objection." File a motion to reargue and state your reasons, that you did not receive the opposition's paperwork in the allotted time, a common trick.

Edited by legaleagle
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