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Preparing for Trial in New Hampshire


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Could someone PLEASE help me with this?

As I am preparing for trial, which is coming up next week, I am hoping someone can answer this for me.

In New Hampshire rules of evidence do not apply.  Does this mean I am pretty much screwed as far as challenging the affidavits and statements from the original creditor as "hearsay?"   THANK YOU!

Rule 4.5. Discovery and Rules of Evidence

  Formal discovery, such as interrogatories, depositions, requests to produce documents, requests for admissions and other forms of discovery are not permitted in small claims cases unless ordered at the pre-trial hearing. The Rules of Evidence shall not apply in small claims cases.

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Small Claims Court is pretty like Judge Judy without the attitude. Both sides present their cases and the judge makes a ruling. The rules of evidence are loose and so they probably can use the evidence. You can try to challenge it in court but I doubt it will get you very far.

Realize that if you do not like the ruling, you can request a trial de novo in a regular court where the rules of evidence do apply. That is very expensive on your part however so it would depend on how much the debt is.

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I don't think I've come across it in any posts yet but if you're stuck in court, aren't going to do arbitration and the rules state hearsay may be allowed; instead of letting the Judge decide why not do a jury trial? Although you may have waited too long to act on that-

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/RSA/html/LI/503/503-mrg.htm

http://www.courts.state.nh.us/rules/dmcr/dmcr-scefile-4_1-to-4_13.htm#e4-1

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On 4/22/2016 at 8:58 AM, Ford_Dude said:

Could someone PLEASE help me with this?

As I am preparing for trial, which is coming up next week, I am hoping someone can answer this for me.

In New Hampshire rules of evidence do not apply.  Does this mean I am pretty much screwed as far as challenging the affidavits and statements from the original creditor as "hearsay?"   THANK YOU!

Rule 4.5. Discovery and Rules of Evidence

  Formal discovery, such as interrogatories, depositions, requests to produce documents, requests for admissions and other forms of discovery are not permitted in small claims cases unless ordered at the pre-trial hearing. The Rules of Evidence shall not apply in small claims cases.

 

You may check into this:

NH Law About... Small Claims

Introduction to... Small Claims

Revised December 12, 2014.

Small claims court is intended to be a simple, speedy, and informal procedure. Attorneys are allowed to handle small claims cases but more often parties represent themselves.  The District Division's website has extensive information about small claims including definitions, checklists, forms, and electronic filing (efiling). For more information about collection law in general, see the chapter on debtor/creditor law in the New Hampshire Practice and Procedure Handbook.  There are sample forms and letters and the book can be borrowed through ILL from the NH Law Library.

http://www.courts.state.nh.us/lawlibrary/services.htm    How to  obtain the handbook.

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Thank you guys very much!

I just received a letter  via email through the court stating that the plaintiff filed today.  It states that  "plaintiff takes voluntary nonsuit"   but I am worried that they will probably come back and sue me in the future?

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They could dependent on many factors. Since we do not know the particulars of your case, we cannot say for certain.

The big thing is statute of limitations which looks like it is 3 years in New Hampshire for credit cards and the like. Once they dismissed the lawsuit, the SOL started up as if the suit had never been filed so if SOL ran out during the lawsuit, they can file again but you have a huge SOL defense hurdle that they will not be able to overcome.

Also, when they sell these down the line, they do note that the debtor is willing to fight a suit and there are even credit reporting companies who also keep track of which debtors will fight back so that may temper the next person down the line from filing a suit.

So yes, technically they can file another lawsuit if the SOL has not run out but are they willing to do so.

A bigger issue might be that they issue a 1099-C on the debt so I would watch for that instead.

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Great info @WhoCares1000.  Thanks.  

Per @CCRP626 advice, I filed a complaint through Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a week before the trial date, and this placed the account under review with Midland Funding so they apparently told their attorney to stop the lawsuit, so I am assuming they are going to continue the suit once they answer the complaint.  

Big thanks to @CCRP626!!

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They would not dismiss a case simply because you filed a complaint with the CFPB unless their evidence was so faulty that they were worried about the CFPB going after them for that. If the evidence was indeed that faulty, then you should have been able to prevail in court anyways and they knew it so they dismissed.

They also will not simply be able to restart the case once the CFPB complaint is resolved. A dismissal or nonsuit ends the case. What they would have to do is file a new case (and pay another set of court fees) and start all over again from scratch. That is why the SOL period revert back to the original default date as if the case never happened when a lawsuit is dismissed.

The truth is, the odds of them trying to sue you again are nill. They know that you know the game and how to play it. These organizations want the easy judgements, not to have to deal with someone who knows how to fight. In many ways, they are like a school yard bully. One punch in the nose is all it takes.

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@WhoCares1000.  I really hope so!  It's just New Hampshire laws favor more the creditor than the debtor, as I more than likely would have lost the case due to "rules of evidence" not being permitted and therefore I wouldn't be able to challenge anything they produced as "hearsay."

@CCRP626   This is my exact complaint:

" I am being sued by Midland Funding LLC, who claim that they purchased two of my alleged debts from Citibank N.A.

Documentation they provided at the pretrial hearing does not show proof of ownership, or how the alleged amount of debt was calculated.

They have provided a bill of sale from the original creditor stating that all accounts in Exhibit A were sold/transferred to Midland Funding LLC, however, Exhibit A is blank as the accounts were Redacted.

They also provided an affidavit of sale from the Finance Manager of original creditor (Citibank N.A) stating that a "pool of accounts" were sold to Midland Funding, however there is no mention of any accounts.

They have also included two statements, seven months apart, from the original creditor. However nothing shows how the alleged amounts were calculated. "

 

 

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But by that token, all states with a small claims court could be considered creditor friendly because the rules of evidence is loose in all of them. That is the point of having a small claims court because of the expense of discovery is not conducive in small cases. In states like Minnesota, small claims is not used because of the way the system is designed, if the creditors use the regular courts, they can actually get to the point of garnishment before paying the court fees (in other words, they can find out if they will get something prior to paying anything out). Most states do not have systems like those in Minnesota (thanks given to a higher deity of your choice if choose to have one) and so when the debt is small enough, the creditor would opt for small claims. The other thing about small claims though is that it is real easy to demand a trial de novo in regular court where the rules of evidence are tighter. You however have to pay those fees rather than the creditor.

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