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Question about answering a summons received for medical debt


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Hello,

 

I received a summons and compliant for medical debt in the amount of $586 (plus proper interest, costs, etc).  The summons was sent by a JDB Attorney. 

I am in the process of doing my answer but I am a little confused on how to answer certain paragraphs.

 

For example, they have this on the complaint:

 

First claim for relief - debt due and owing

 

7. The plaintiff incorporates by reference, paragraphs 1 through 6 of the complaint herein 

8.  The defendant failed and refused to make payment to plaintiffs assignor, as required by the terms of the contract, promissory note, lease or account stated documentation after demand.

 

 

i know i am to either admit, deny or answer without knowledge for every paragraph, but i am not sure how to answer paragraph 7.  i know to deny paragraph 8. 

 

Also, paragraph 2 says 'The amount claimed herein does not exceed the jurisdiction of the court'.  Is this something I admit, deny or have no knowledge??

 

Can someone please help me answer these?  Thanks so much!!  My answer is due by tomorrow so i am limited time! 

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what state are you in? you can probably do a general denial, so you would say "defendant admits to paragraph x x x x (which ever ones apply like name address, juridistriction) and then "defendant denies all other allegations paragraphs xx-xx." 

 

jurisdiction just means in was filed in your county and state, and is the proper court.

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Hi shellieh98!

 

I am in Colorado.  

 

How exactly would I word this on the answer and how would it look?  I thought i had to number each paragraph and answer each individually?  There are 18 paragraphs total but #7 starts the "first claim for relief - debt due and owing, second claim for relief - implied contract, third claim for relief - quantum merit, and so on for account stated, unjust enrichment and family use doctrine"

 

And for each one, there is a paragraph that says "The plaintiff incorporates by reference, paragraphs 1-10, 1-14, etc."  I just dont know how to answer that.  ????

 

Thanks so much for your help!!

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Don't worry about paragraph 2.  You can safely admit that the case is in small claims court.   File an answer denying everything then start working on a defense that they have no standing to sue and it is a HIPAA violation for them to have your medical information.

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Don't worry about paragraph 2.  You can safely admit that the case is in small claims court.   File an answer denying everything then start working on a defense that they have no standing to sue and it is a HIPAA violation for them to have your medical information.

Thanks for answering Clydesmom!

 

Working on my defense was the next thing on my list :)   I know for sure to use Lack of Standing but I am not familiar with the HIPAA violation you noted.  Never would have thought about that!  I will do some research on that so I word it correctly, but in the mean time, if you can help me word it I would be greatly appreciative!  Love this board!  Everyone is so very helpful!

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Thanks for answering Clydesmom!

 

Working on my defense was the next thing on my list :-)   I know for sure to use Lack of Standing but I am not familiar with the HIPAA violation you noted.  Never would have thought about that!  I will do some research on that so I word it correctly, but in the mean time, if you can help me word it I would be greatly appreciative!  Love this board!  Everyone is so very helpful!

I am now thinking that medical billing isnt a HIPAA violation unless they provide personal health information such as a diagnosis, procedures performed, etc.  But this has me confused now because if the debt collector is required to show proof of the debt (like an itemized statement of the services rendered), how do they do this without getting a HIPAA violation?  They surely cant just provide a total amount due and call it good, right?

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I am now thinking that medical billing isnt a HIPAA violation unless they provide personal health information such as a diagnosis, procedures performed, etc.  But this has me confused now because if the debt collector is required to show proof of the debt (like an itemized statement of the services rendered), how do they do this without getting a HIPAA violation?  They surely cant just provide a total amount due and call it good, right?

 

How are they going to prove their case?  They need actual records to show that you received the care and selling that information to them is a HIPAA violation.  I would attack this straight on and hard.  You have never owed the Plaintiff a penny and what proof do they have you ever owed anyone for this alleged bill?  As soon as they produce one record without a subpoena you have a bonafide HIPAA violation against both the JDB and the provider for releasing the information.

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How are they going to prove their case?  They need actual records to show that you received the care and selling that information to them is a HIPAA violation.  I would attack this straight on and hard.  You have never owed the Plaintiff a penny and what proof do they have you ever owed anyone for this alleged bill?  As soon as they produce one record without a subpoena you have a bonafide HIPAA violation against both the JDB and the provider for releasing the information.

They can't unless they violate HIPAA I guess?  :) 

 

The plaintiff is stating that the original creditor has assigned the following claims against me to the plaintiff and the only info they sent for their exhibit A in their complaint was an id number (001), original creditor name, principal amount, rate %, interest, total amount due and the possible date of service.  Basically no proof!

 

i really need to think up affirmative defenses to add to my answer.  i would hate to miss any.....

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@sourdwifey -

 

I remember being befuddled over that same paragraph in the complaint.  When you answer that paragraph, all you have to say is "No answer required."

 

When they write that phrase in a complaint (& it's in every complaint & probably most answers), it is so they don't have to repeat the facts (in the next count) because the facts were already stated in the prior count or elsewhere in the complaint.  It's merely a time and paper saver.

 

Good luck.

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If you can prove no standing, and/or HIPAA violations, then you really don't need much more.

Well they didnt send me any personal medical information in their summons/complaint.  It was just the original creditor name and some numbers.  Could I put something about a possible HIPAA violation in my affirmative defenses just to cover that in case they try to submit something that would violate HIPAA?

 

@sourdwifey -

 

I remember being befuddled over that same paragraph in the complaint.  When you answer that paragraph, all you have to say is "No answer required."

 

When they write that phrase in a complaint (& it's in every complaint & probably most answers), it is so they don't have to repeat the facts (in the next count) because the facts were already stated in the prior count or elsewhere in the complaint.  It's merely a time and paper saver.

 

Good luck.

Thanks so much for that!  Makes sense now!  :)

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You all are making this way to hard.

 

File an answer.  so the paragraphs that are true, like you name, where you live, military questions, jurisdiction--if they are correct, answer "Defendant admits to paragraphs 1,2 ,3,4.

Defendent denies paragraphs 5,6,7,8,9,10............etc.  Then check the box where you don't want a jury trial.

 

file it with the court, send the plaintiff's attorney a copy with a proof of service.  You have to file the proof of service with the court also.  Done.

 

Then you wait, they are required to send you their disclosure.  They will do one of 2 things--- send you a notice of a pre-trial conference where you go and they will ask you to settle.  You tell them no, and they will set the matter for trial.

They may try to do the pretrial by telephone.  That is fine for pretrials, but if they try to put a motion in leter for telephonic testimony, you have 5 days to oppose it, and you should.  (that is much later)

 

After the pre-trial, they will send you their disclosure.  Colorado's rules are different in that we do not do discovery unless ordered by the court.  They never order it for cases under 10k, they say follow rule 26.a

The other side may try to send you discovery questions, admits, document requests, etc., if they do that and the court has not ordered discovery, you send them a note back saying it is improper, quote rule 26.a.

 

Google lexis nexis colorado rules of civil procedure, and start reading.

The case will sit dormant probably all the way up to about 15 days prior to your trial date, and that is when they will send you their disclosure.  They have to send you everything they plan on using in court, and this is where you will need to be ready.  Be ready to oppose their witness's request for telephonic testimony, be prepared with a motion in limine to refute the evidence they send you in their disclosure.  Start studying these things so when it comes time you won't be at a loss as to what to do.

 

You can send your disclosure any time.  There is a link in the rules under disclosure for a form that you send, and basically your disclosure is going to say you have no documents, and no witnesses except for impeachment purposes.  If you send your disclosure out early, and request theirs, then they have a limited time to respond to you, gives you more time to write out your response.

 

what county are you in?  Some counties have mandatiory arbitration, hopefully your not one of them, but if you are you are still going to fight it the same way.

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You all are making this way to hard.

 

File an answer.  so the paragraphs that are true, like you name, where you live, military questions, jurisdiction--if they are correct, answer "Defendant admits to paragraphs 1,2 ,3,4.

Defendent denies paragraphs 5,6,7,8,9,10............etc.  Then check the box where you don't want a jury trial.

 

file it with the court, send the plaintiff's attorney a copy with a proof of service.  You have to file the proof of service with the court also.  Done.

 

Then you wait, they are required to send you their disclosure.  They will do one of 2 things--- send you a notice of a pre-trial conference where you go and they will ask you to settle.  You tell them no, and they will set the matter for trial.

They may try to do the pretrial by telephone.  That is fine for pretrials, but if they try to put a motion in leter for telephonic testimony, you have 5 days to oppose it, and you should.  (that is much later)

 

After the pre-trial, they will send you their disclosure.  Colorado's rules are different in that we do not do discovery unless ordered by the court.  They never order it for cases under 10k, they say follow rule 26.a

The other side may try to send you discovery questions, admits, document requests, etc., if they do that and the court has not ordered discovery, you send them a note back saying it is improper, quote rule 26.a.

 

Google lexis nexis colorado rules of civil procedure, and start reading.

The case will sit dormant probably all the way up to about 15 days prior to your trial date, and that is when they will send you their disclosure.  They have to send you everything they plan on using in court, and this is where you will need to be ready.  Be ready to oppose their witness's request for telephonic testimony, be prepared with a motion in limine to refute the evidence they send you in their disclosure.  Start studying these things so when it comes time you won't be at a loss as to what to do.

 

You can send your disclosure any time.  There is a link in the rules under disclosure for a form that you send, and basically your disclosure is going to say you have no documents, and no witnesses except for impeachment purposes.  If you send your disclosure out early, and request theirs, then they have a limited time to respond to you, gives you more time to write out your response.

 

what county are you in?  Some counties have mandatiory arbitration, hopefully your not one of them, but if you are you are still going to fight it the same way.

This is a great deal of info thank you so much!  I submitted my answer to the court today and sent a copy to the plaintiff via CMRRR.  It is Jefferson County.  So I am confused regarding discovery now.  Is that the same as what you mean by "disclosure"?  I want to send a discovery request to them (asap) to see what they have, but you mentioned discovery is only court ordered?  And when sending them discovery, does this have to be filed with the court as well?  ..... Just trying to figure out my next step.......

 

 

Also, wanted to say the person listed as the plaintiff does not necessarily own the account.  They provide collection services for various hospitals, physician groups, so it may have just been assigned to them, but they don't own it. 

So since they were "assigned" the account in question, is that a good or bad thing?  This is from only a year or 2 ago which makes me a little worried that they may have the needed paperwork to prove their case if they are working WITH the hospital. 

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We only have disclosure.  No discovery.  You send form 9 filled out by you, then send them a blank one for them to fill out I can't remember how long they have to respond, I would have to look that up.  This is your discovery.  Once they send it they cannot supplement without good cause. It is form 9 on this page. http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=27

 

and yes they are working with the hospital.  They still need to provide an assignment paper notoraized. I would still challenge standing, make it more work for them.  No you don't file it with the court until 10 days out fro trial.

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We only have disclosure.  No discovery.  You send form 9 filled out by you, then send them a blank one for them to fill out I can't remember how long they have to respond, I would have to look that up.  This is your discovery.  Once they send it they cannot supplement without good cause. It is form 9 on this page. http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=27

 

and yes they are working with the hospital.  They still need to provide an assignment paper notoraized. I would still challenge standing, make it more work for them.  No you don't file it with the court until 10 days out fro trial.

Ok so at this point, I can fill out form 9, and send them a copy of that and a blank copy for them to fill out to send back to me, correct?  And if we get a trial date, I file this Form 9 with the court then?  Just want to make sure I am doing everything correctly and in the right order!  :)

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Hi,

 

I was served last week by the same group, for alleged medical debt from 2011. 

 

All the paperwork in the summons lists the Plaintiff as this group (W&A), there is no reference to any hospital or medical provider except on their "Exhibit A" that names two different hospitals, an alleged amount owed, 8% interest and a final balance. It actually names several lawyers representing the plaintiff, and the plaintiff itself as (W&A). I have also read a previous thread here, where they had allegedly purchased the junk debt.

 

Originally I was planning to defend myself for lack of standing, but are you sure that this group did not buy the debt and has only been assigned to collect it? If they are directly representing the OC, I would have to defend myself in a different matter. 

 

Also one of the debts listed is an amount I have never seen a bill for, and has never appeared on my credit report. I had never heard of this alleged debt until I received a summons.

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Yep.

Ok well I just received a Notice to Set Trial from them in the mail today.  It states that they will contact the court on a certain date (just under a month from now) via telephone to set a trial for the pending matter.  It also states that I may participate by contacting the court by telephone at the date and time listed, and if not, then a date and time for the trial will be chosen without me. 

 

I have not sent the Form 9 to them yet.  Should I still do this?  I would like to see what they have for proof before a trial date is set.  Any suggestions on what my next move should be?  Kind of freaking out now since they are wanting to set a trial date.  Makes me believe they have the needed proof? 

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Another thing I just noticed was that in the Notice to Set Trial form that I received from them today, it states on the form under the Certificate of Mailing section that they hereby certify that on July 18, 2014 a copy of the Notice to Set Trial was served by placing in the United States mail to me.  The envelope was actually postmarked on July 22nd and I received it today, July 23rd.  So technically, this was a lie on their part.  The letter is also dated July 18th. 

 

I'm sure this probably doesn't mean much, but is there any recourse for me because of this lie after they hereby certified this information on a court form?

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I'm sure this probably doesn't mean much, but is there any recourse for me because of this lie after they hereby certified this information on a court form?

 

No, because it is not a lie.  They mailed it to you and you received it.  When the post mark is or the date received is irrelevant. You were served the notice.  

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No, because it is not a lie.  They mailed it to you and you received it.  When the post mark is or the date received is irrelevant. You were served the notice.  

Ok I was just curious about that part is all.   According to the wording, it is "technically" a lie though because it says under the Certificate of Mailing section:   "I hereby certify that on July 18, 2014 a copy of the foregoing notice to set trial was served by placing in the United Sates mailed postage prepaid and addressed to:  (my name and address)"  So they are basically stating that they placed this letter in the mail on the 18th to me, when really they placed it in the mail to me on the 22nd (postmarked date on envelope).  This to me, is lying on a court form.  Maybe Im just overthinking things though  ha

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