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Hi, All.

 

I was recently served a Summons in a case lodged by a JDB and the attorney representing them.  Included is a "DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF REDUCED FILING FEE" form signed by the attorney.  One of the clauses listed on it is as follows:

 

"4.  Under Business and Professionals Code Section 6322.1©(1), where a claim for money damages falls within the monetary jurisdiction of the small claims court and is filed by an assignee who is prohibited from filing or maintaining a claim pursuant to CCP 116.420, the filing party is entitled to a $44.00 reduction from the uniform filing fee."

 

I'm sure this is probably nothing that I can use as ammo, but want to be sure I'm not missing anything.  Does anyone know what this is about?  Obviously, the enemy got a fee reduction, but I'm not sure why.

 

This case is in California, BTW involving $3,xxx.00 in alleged debt.

 

Thanks!

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The following is the text refered to as CCP 116.420 in your posted paperwork's 4th bullet,

"4. Under Business and Professionals Code Section 6322.1©(1), where a claim for money damages falls within the monetary jurisdiction of the small claims court and is filed by an assignee who is prohibited from filing or maintaining a claim pursuant to CCP 116.420, the filing party is entitled to a $44.00 reduction from the uniform filing fee."

[bEGIN ANSWER HERE]

a) No claim shall be filed or maintained in small claims court by the assignee of the claim.

(B) This section does not prevent the filing or defense of an action in the small claims court by (1) a trustee in bankruptcy in the exercise of the trustee's duties as trustee, or (2) by the holder of a security agreement, retail installment contract, or

lien contract subject to the Unruh Act (Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1801) of Title 2 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code) or the Automobile Sales Finance Act (Chapter 2b (commencing with Section 2981) of Title 14 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code), purchased by the holder for the holder's portfolio of investments, provided that the holder is not an assignee for the purpose of collection.

© This section does not prevent the filing in small claims court by a local government which is self-insured for purposes of workers' compensation and is seeking subrogation pursuant to Section 3852 of the Labor Code.

- See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/CCP/3/1/1/5.5/4/s116.420#sthash.cbDYSUGR.dpuf

[END ANSWER HERE]

As your peer - not a legal professional - I can say in layman's terms, and level of understanding, that my summons/complaint was served with the same eye-popping fee waiver paper.

One growing up surrounded by images of attorneys being relatively wealthy, e.g. Alley McBeal & Boston Legal, them not having the funds to pony up a filing fee, (seen by me as "the cost of doing business"), naturally found this disconcerting - even alarming, as a possible scam, (since any attorney could afford a filing fee, or, have the client cut a check for the expense, I reasoned).

But, noooooooo.

This specific section of California Code of Civil Procedure provides a $44.00 offset of the filing fee for the JDB's attorney, seemingly due to their clients being barred from bring suit in Small Claims Court, _despite_ their monetary claim being under the max. allowed, e.g., both yours and mine are under $5,000.00

That said, can anyone with a larger-than-Small Claims Court-max. amount, please, share as to if your service included any fee waiver, or not? (I would think not, as it would then not meet the requirements of CCP queried here.)

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It's legit, @. The amount they are trying to sue you for is an amount that would normally belong in small claims court. However, since this is a JDB, they are not allowed to sue in small claims court because it does not allow 3rd parties. The JDB is forced to pursue you in civil court. They get a reduced filing fee because filing a civil claim is more expensive than in small claims.

 

You also get the benefit of a reduced filing fee when you file your answer > if the plaintiff requests and is allowed a reduced filing fee, the same automatically applies to the defendant.

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Thanks, RyanEX.

 

I figured it was something like that.  I wonder if I can use the fact that they've admitted they're a 3rd party, in my argument that no contract exists between them and myself (i.e. - no ownership by them for the alleged debt).  As for fees being reduced for the Defendant, I'm hoping the court will approve my Fee Waiver, but that's good to know just in case.

 

Thanks again for your time and insight!   :yahoo:

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They'll argue, even as a third party, that they have been assigned the debt and have the right to step into the original creditor's shoes and collect. Your approach wouldn't be to argue whether or not they have the right to do that (JDBs can indeed do that), but, rather, to force them to prove the assignment > that is the weak point. They rarely, if ever, have all the documents and witnesses necessary to prove they purchased your specific account and have the assignment.

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Dear RyanEX,

Please, post a citation for this. Monterey's fee to file the initial answer was a whopping $181.00, last month, and at the time I thought the fee waiver was applied to the secretarial service contracted to file for Mandarich, you know, 123TABS, et al, those types of small businesses doing menial tasks for professionals... Since then, it's been a whirlwind of trips to the courthouse among all nighters here, reading until my eyes are dry, and filing out papers with ease, thanks to all the templates, advice & reminders here!

So, your mention of the waiver being bilateral is very welcome and intriguing right about now! If I can get Monterey to return even $44.00 of those $181...... waaaaaaaait a minute, let me check the paperwork from the initial summons, BRB....

___NEVERMIND!___

That $181.00 Clerk of the Court's deputy charged me to file my timely response/answer INCLUDES the same $44.00 fee reduction afforded the plaintiff. (((sigh)))

OK! Lesson learned.

HOWEVER, even WITH that $44.00 reduction to both parties, we, the beleaguered, dunned, sued CAN still fill-out the free form for requesting (3) types of financial assistance from Court, e.g., 1.) TOTAL fee waiver, 2.) PARTIAL fee waiver, or, 3.) PAYMENT PLAN.

Warmly,

It's legit, @. The amount they are trying to sue you for is an amount that would normally belong in small claims court. However, since this is a JDB, they are not allowed to sue in small claims court because it does not allow 3rd parties. The JDB is forced to pursue you in civil court. They get a reduced filing fee because filing a civil claim is more expensive than in small claims.

 

You also get the benefit of a reduced filing fee when you file your answer > if the plaintiff requests and is allowed a reduced filing fee, the same automatically applies to the defendant.

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