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Johnson Mark is coming after me!


Kyle
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Sunday afternoon I hear a knock on my side door, which nobody ever uses (including me).  I think if this creep wants to talk they can come to the front door like a normal person.  Later I go out and find some papers stuck between the seats of my motorcycle.  It is a court summons.  There is no case number, no judge, hell even where it has my name is misspelled.  The second page talks about some debt that I have never heard of.  Basically it says I can call and make payment arrangements, or call the court after 13 days to see if they filed.  I have read through several threads on this site about Johnson Mark and I get the feeling they are trying to scare me into just paying what they say I owe.  What do I do?  Do I just wait the requisite 13 days and call the Utah 3rd district court to see if there is some filing under my (misspelled) name?

Is there anything I can/should be doing in the meantime?  Any help is appreciated.  I certainly dont have the roughly $1500 they want from me.

 

 

Side note, I always thought to be "served" it had to be in person.  What if I didnt go out to look at my motorcycle for two weeks... would I have been SOL?

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Looks like you were sewer served.  Go to the utah justice court online . Find a case area. Put in your name and see if they have file a case.

In my state that is improper service. You can look at the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure to see what is proper service in your state. I'm betting that wasn't one of them. There are great people in here from Utah. Someone will help soon.

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If you don't answer the summons they will get a default judgment against you.

I would accept the service as good and keep checking at the courthouse to see if they have filed a case against you.

Study

http://www.utcourts.gov/resources/rules/urcp/ rules of civil procedure

http://www.utcourts.gov/selfhelp/#rules court rules

1 Utah Debt Collection Laws debt collection laws

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Racecar is right!!  Prepare your answer. In the meantime, begin calling the court each day after about 10 days to see if t it has been filed. If they do not file it, you are ahead of the game. If they do file, make sure you get your answer filed before 20 days of sewer service. Keep a log of time events If they file, they need to provide initial disclosures within 14 days.

 

They tried to sewer serve me one time and I think it was a trick to try to get me to call them as they did not file in that instance. Call the Court and check with the Clerk every day after about day 10.

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"or call the court after 13 days to see if they filed"

 

They are effectively saying they have not filed.  But they may have filed and this is a kind of sewer service.  NEVER believe a CA/JDB (even if they say it in writing).  Call the court ASAP and see if they have already filed (13 days from now might be too late).

 

"I get the feeling they are trying to scare me into just paying what they say I owe"

 

That's what debt collectors do.  It's a matter of how much scare they add to it.

 

"I always thought to be "served" it had to be in person."

 

There are a lot of exceptions to this that vary by jurisdiction.  There are exceptions that can be defended against if you have certain other documents, but those may be hard or impossible to get.  Some case law has concluded that if you found out, then you were served.

 

"What if I didnt go out to look at my motorcycle for two weeks..."

 

Or what if it was not even your motorcycle.  Service often gets put on car windshields or stuck to the door.  Sometimes kids take stuff off people's cars at the street and throw it away w/o even looking, thinking it's windshield advertising that they hate.  Many failures can happen with this type of service.  But it is often considered legal by the courts under ancient rules.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Called the court and it turns out those slimebags DID file against me.  I have until Friday to submit my answer.  So I guess now the question is what do I answer?  Do I just type a letter and say "I didn't open this account, the name is not even mine, I was never handed the service papers but they were left on a motorcycle next to my house.  Please dismiss."  How much more detailed do I need to get if it was never even mine?

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Type out the summons/complaint, redact your personal info and we will help you answer it. Mark a calendar 14 days after you answer so you will know weather they provided their initial disclosures. Google utah's rules of civil procedure, and start reading, focusing now on how to answer a complaint, and what comes after that. You will want to read your rules on discovery. But to start, let's get you answered by fri. You do not want to be late.

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Ok here it is verbatim..

 

Claims:

1. Defendant resides in this county and/or signed the contract giving rise to this action in this county.  Jurisdiction and venue are proper in this court.

2. Defendant entered into a contract with GE CAPITAL RETAIL BANK opening an account ending in 9237, which contract was subsequently assigned to plaintiff.

3. Defendant has defaulted on the obligation under the contract. 

4. The amount due and owing the Plaintiff is $1193 plus accrued interest of $281 as of August 19, 2013, at the rate of 10% per annum less any payments made.  In addition, Plaintiff is entitled to recover interest from August 19, 2013, until the date all amounts due are paid.

5. Further, equity requires Defendant to pay the value of the benefits received.

 

Demand: Plaintiff reqeusts judgement as follows:

A. For damages in the amount of $1193 plus accrued interest of $281 as of August 19, 2013, at the rate of 10% per annum less any payments made;

B. For additional interest from August 19, 2013, until amounds due are paid at the rate of 10% per annum;

C. For costs of court both prejudgement and post-judgement; and

D. Any other relief as the court deems just and equitable.

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Do not fight the service although it would not comply with the rules. I would open your answer with a statement to the effect "Person answering the complaint is not the proper person identified in the complaint, however is the person that was served." That puts plaintiff on notice that they may have misidentified you and brings up the issue of them suing the wrong party.

 

Here is a link to the info provided by the courts about answering and includes the forms you will need.

http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/answer/

 

EDIT: Also use wrong party as an affirmative defense.

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Question:

I followed the link you gave me and it says "You must file the Answer with the court and serve a copy on the plaintiff before that deadline".  Do I really need to take my answer to these guys too?  Can I leave it on a motorcycle in their parking lot?  :)

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"Sewer service" is a FDCPA violation.

 

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=10630318783348556935&hl=en&as_sdt=5,33&sciodt=2,33

 

 

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3350269759684997812&hl=en&as_sdt=5,33&sciodt=2,33

 

 

I would contact a consumer lawyer.  If you have a valid claim, you can be awarded statutory and actual damages as well as attorneys fees.

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Thanks for your help so far guys.  I got my answer filed last week, and now I'm just sitting on my hands waiting for something to happen.  I know I wouldn't have even known where to start.  I'll keep you updated when I hear something back.

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Well I heard the first thing so far since my answer.  It is a motion to amend the complaint due to a clerical error.  Do I need to respond to this, or do I just continue waiting for the court's reply to my answer?  Thanks again for your help!

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One thing you will definitely want to look at is your court's rules for discovery. You want to hit them with this so you know what they (don't) have on you. In some cases (in my state, for example), you have a specific amount of time to begin the discovery after filing your answer.

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