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Rec'd summons 1/27, replied. Already received court date in Alabama

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I received a summons from Midland 1/27/14 and replied denying everything but name and address.  (I have another post regarding that but I can't put a link in here.)  I just received a notice of case setting for mid-March!  Set for bench trial.


They are suing for breach of contract and account stated.


Should I bother sending a production of documents request?  I looked through Alabama's civil procedure and looks like they would have 30 days to respond to discovery but that puts it after the trial date.


I haven't found much on the forum from Alabama but I did find one topic from last year that were being sued by midland.  It didn't look they filed any document requests and when they went to court the attorney basically stated they didn't have documents and then "found" a dismissal document.


Again, they sent absolutely nothing except the summons.  It included a 4 digit account number and the date of charge off.   Nothing regarding when they obtained the supposed debt.


So, should I just go to court or send any requests with such a short time line?

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I'm reading through the rules of civil procedure and want to clarify something about discovery.


Rule 5d states "All papers after the complaint required to be served upon a party, together with a certificate of service, shall be filed with the court either before service or within a reasonable time thereafter, except discovery material shall not be filed other than upon order of the court, for use at trial, or in connection with motions."


So, I can send a request for documents but I don't need to send a copy to the court?  Right?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I requested and received a continuance, 30 more days. 


I am getting my request for documents together and again referred to the civil code. 


Rule 34b states "The request shall specify a reasonable time, place and manner of making the inspection and performing the related acts."


The attorney is about 3 hours away from where I live.  Can I just request copies be sent to me or do I literally spell out a location?  If a location, any suggestions as to where?

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I am confused.  For your discovery requests?  You mail them to the attorney CMRRR, they produce and mail back to you.  If they don't you file a motion to compel or in the alternative motion to strike or preclude the docs they didn't give you.  If they give you some but not all, you can motion to strike if what they didn't produce is needed to prove what they did produce.  for example the bill of sale they will give you will not reference your name, and will state on its face it is not guarenteed.  So in your doc request make sure you ask for the purchase agreement governing the bill of sale also, so that when they don't send that to you, you can motion to strike the bill of sale as being incomplete.

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Yes, for the discovery requests. 

While I was reading through the rules of civil procedure:


Rule 34 is titled Production of documents and things and entry upon land for inspection and other purposes.  


a) Scope  talks about what you can request


B) Procedure   "The request may, without leave of court, be served upon the plaintiff after commencement of the action and upon any other party with or after service of the summons and complaint upon that party.  The request shall set forth the items to be inspected either by individual item or by category and shall describe each item and category with reasonable particularity.  The request may specify the form or forms in which electronically stored information is to be produced.  The request shall specify a reasonable time, place, and manner of making the inspection and performing the related acts." 


It goes on to state the length of time to reply and then states:


"A party who produces hard copies of documents for inspection that are not electronically stored shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the request."


I am also confused.  This rule seems to spell out that you can inspect and copy the documents but not that they will be sent to you by the plaintiff.  I may be taking this too literally but I don't want to have a problem because of an error on my part.

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Also, after they received a copy of my request for a continuance, they sent what they called "a response to your request for validation of this debt".  This included several copies of card statements.  The copies are very poor and not even legible in certain parts.  Other than keeping the copies to show in court if need be, can I require them to send me legible copies?  They also have increased the alleged amount I owe by almost $300 since the summons was sent at the end of January.

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