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Portfolio Suit in Texas


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Portfolio Assignee of HSBC bank recently (end of August) filed suit against me for approximately $3500 in debt. I pulled my credit report and apparently they were just inside the 4 year SOL - last payment was October 2010. I have already filed a preliminary answer citing general denial and pointing out deficiencies in their petition which are required by civil procedure rules. I also submitted a motion for change of venue as they filed in the wrong JP court. I sent the attorney a letter with a copy of my answer saying that enclosed was a copy of my filing etc and said that I was prepared to sue independently or counter sue both the attorney and their client for any violations of state and federal debt collection acts including filing suit in the wrong venue. I pointed out the dollar amount and advised that I would forego pursuit of these claims for dismissal if the case. I closed my letter by saying that I looked forward to receiving their WRITTEN response. A few days after they got the letter (verified by CMRRR), the attorney called me and left a message stating that they were giving me a settlement offer and that I may want to call them back before they proceed against me. Attorney is Ahn Regent.

I'm curious if this is common or if that means they don't have a solid case and were just hoping for summary judgment. I had talked with an attorney who teaches courses on FDCPA violations and said that filing in the wrong JP court would be a violation. Would filing against Texas State law be better though? I know federal is capped where state is not. Would the fact that this attorney called me after I instructed them to respond in writing be another violation? I'm trying to look relevant caselaw up but not having a lot of luck. I'm also trying to write an amended answer and will need to answer their discovery that they imbedded into the petition so I'm a little overwhelmed. I'm willing to put in the work but if any of you could share some guidance or opinions on this it would really be appreciated.

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@ctdiablo

 

I assume you mean they filed in the wrong county?  Did you happen to live in that county when you opened the account?

 

Contacting you by phone was not a violation.  You're acting as your own attorney, and opposing attorneys are allowed to contact each other.  I know of no restriction that enables one attorney (or Pro Se) to limit the method of contact of the other attorney.

 

It's common for plaintiffs to contact a defendant about settlement in order to avoid court.  It doesn't necessarily mean that they believe they can't win.

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The county where I live is divided into multiple precincts and there is a JP court in each precinct. For JP court, the rules require suit to be brought within the precinct that the defendant lives. I have been at my current address for 10 years and to my knowledge the precinct lines have not changed.

That makes sense about contacting since I am acting as attorney but if I say I want it in writing that means I don't want them to call.

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Ahn Regent is among the sleaziest of Texas JDB attorneys and he is tremendously disliked by most courts.   My attorney was awarded over $3,000 in sanctions from him for abuse of discovery in my final JDB lawsuit.

 

Can you elaborate on "they filed in the wrong JP court"?  I cannot see how a  motion for change of venue would help you.  If it is in a JP court according to the new rules you must now get permission from the court to send discovery.  Let me know when you get this permission and I will PM you discovery.

 

The reason you cannot find the case law you are looking for is because calling you is not a violation; just ignore the calls and by all means do not call him.

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Thanks TexasRocker. I assume I should wait and see how the judge rules in my motion to change venue before submitting my discovery request? I know the court in the precinct where I live seems more debtor friendly than the precinct where they filed. I thought that might be the reason they filed there.

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@texasrocker

 

Thank you for the link.  :-)

 

It appears to be Rule 215.3, correct?

 

If the court finds a party is abusing the discovery process in seeking, making or resisting discovery...

 

If it were me, I'd find out what I need to do to object to the requests. 

The new rules for JP courts are still in infancy- barely a year old so there are not any rulings yet that I know of for reference. 

 

In my case, in retaliation to our motion to compel the forward flow agreement, he sent a ridiculous request for admissions of over 100 items such as "Admit that you are in the United States illegally" and "Admit that you have been convicted of multiple felonies."  Besides the blatant harassment it was sent after the discovery period was over so there would have been no question of the violations before the court.   

 

All Ahn Regent cares about is trying to intimidate.  He will never learn that while some pro se defendants and run-of-the-mill consumer attorneys can be intimidated, most judges cannot and will not be.   The last I heard was that Portfolio Recovery was discontinuing his services because he makes them look bad (LMAO, like they need any help!) so I was a bit surprised at this thread. 

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@texasrocker

 

There's TX case law that allow sanctions for discovery violations.  The TX Supreme Court RCPs state the following:

 

Rule 2.  SCOPE OF RULES

These rules shall govern the procedure in the justice, county, and district courts of the State of Texas in all actions of a civil nature, with such exceptions as may be hereinafter stated.

 

The exception in the Justice Court rules is how discovery is conducted.  I would think that unless the justice court rules have an exception for discovery violations, then the TX Supreme Court rules for violations would govern.

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@texasrocker

 

There's TX case law that allow sanctions for discovery violations.  The TX Supreme Court RCPs state the following:

 

Rule 2.  SCOPE OF RULES

These rules shall govern the procedure in the justice, county, and district courts of the State of Texas in all actions of a civil nature, with such exceptions as may be hereinafter stated.

 

The exception in the Justice Court rules is how discovery is conducted.  I would think that unless the justice court rules have an exception for discovery violations, then the TX Supreme Court rules for violations would govern.

I suppose I was not specific enough- yes there is plenty of case law concerning sanctions for discovery abuse.  I left a link to a handful in post  #11 of this thread.   

 

 What I was referring to was no known case law concerning abuse of the new rule that took effect last year on Sept.1st requiring litigants in JP courts to get permission from the court to conduct discovery (in reply to your suggestion of finding a way to object to Ahn Regent's embedded discovery that may have been sent before acquiring said permission.) 

 

I have not studied the Texas Supreme Court's take on the new rules but one would think they certainly would have been involved in the process of the changes becoming law.   

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@BV80  @texasrocker  Search Results

 
  • [PDF]discovering discovery: what to do when the new rules come
    gato-docs.its.txstate.edu/texas-justice-court.../Apr_2013_Newsletter.pdf
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    Claims Court and the implementation of the new rules of civil procedure for Justice ... These are the discovery requests seen most often in Justice Courts. .... (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi, 1984), cert. denied, 470 U.S.. 1052, 105 S.Ct. 1754 (1985).
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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Update: Went to court. Plaintiff was no show. Judge dismissed the case for filing in the appropriate court. I haven't seen refiling docs yet though. Should I expect to be re-served or just get a certified letter with refiled doc? I thought the file would just be transferred by the court.

I had also filed an objection to the imbedded discovery since it was due before my hearing. Judge told me to refile once the case was transferred. I got a letter last week from Regent saying to disregard the request for discovery.

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