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Being Sued in Georgia Magistrate by Midland on former Dell/Webbank Account


BenTheRN
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Update:

I received a notice from Magistrate Court that my hearing was on August 8 at 0900. Previously, I had sent a letter to the JDB's attorney notifying them of my election of binding individual arbitration, which I had filed with JAMS. In my answer to the complaint, I had filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration and provided 3 Exhibits: A) My letter to the attorney notifying them of my election of arbitration through JAMS (B) A copy of the credit card agreement that contained the arbitration clause, and (C) A copy of my JAMS filing. In my answer paperwork, I included an unsigned order to grant my motion to compel for the Judge to sign if he ruled in my favor. All of this paperwork was filed with my answer.

On the morning of the court date (Monday), I arrive about 30 minutes early and position myself at the front of the courtroom. I had copies of everything in hand, just in case I needed anything. As I am waiting, I see a woman arrive in the courtroom identifying herself to the court reporter as being from the attorney representing the JDB. I heard her say something to the effect of "he is asking for arbitration, etc." At this point, she leaves the courtroom and returns a few minutes later asking for me by name. I acknowledge her and she takes a seat next to me. She then states that "they are willing to settle for half, yada yada yada." I responded that the only acceptable outcome for me was for me to pay nothing, and for the case to be dismissed with prejudice - otherwise, we would take it before the judge. Of course, she didn't agree to my terms.

At about 0910, court is called to order. The judge brings up my case first and states that he had read everything I had filed, and saw no reason not to grant my motion to compel. He asked the attorney representing the JDB if she had any objections, which she stated that she did not. The judge said he would sign the order to stay proceedings pending private contractual arbitration, and I received the signed judge's order in the mail today. I don't anticipate that Midland will be willing to pay the required $1,200 for them to proceed with JAMS for a disputed amount of about $2,000. I feel rather confident that they will dismiss at some point.

Thanks again to everyone who provided advice and guidance through this process. I found all of the information to be on point, and very useful. It was a great feeling walking out of that courtroom on Monday!

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54 minutes ago, BenTheRN said:

She then states that "they are willing to settle for half, yada yada yada."

Isn't that magnanimous of them?  LOL  I always love it when they try this crap and sadly I am guessing there are less savvy consumers who fall for it.  Congratulations.  You did great.

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  • 5 months later...

Ok, I need some more advice. Per my last post in this thread, I was granted my motion to compel arbitration at the hearing back in August. True to form, the JDB's attorney refused to pay the $1,200 fee to JAMS, and the JAMS case was closed due to non-payment. 

Yesterday (2/1/17) I received a notice of hearing from the Magistrate Court. It was just a one page document, with no other motions or attachments. Given that the original case was stayed, is this a common occurrence 5-6 months later if the case is not dismissed? I'm just a little confused as to the purpose of this hearing.

Also, I thought it might be a good idea to file a motion to dismiss. Does anybody have any example letters or templates that they have used for similar purposes? How should I proceed at this point?

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Since the Magistrate case was only "stayed pending private contractual arbitration", it makes sense that a follow up hearing is scheduled so the parties can tell the judge what happened and if the case should be dismissed now.   I would think all you have to do is go to the hearing with documented proof that you did your part but the plaintiff refused to follow the court order to arbitrate, and the Magistrate case therefore should be dismissed with prejudice, since the judge's initial order means the court agrees that it has no jurisdiction in disputes that require private contractual arbitration.  When you get to court, the lawyer may already have a dismissal form ready, you just need to make sure it says "with prejudice" before the judge signs off on it.   I would be very surprised if the lawyer does not have this form prepared already, since I can't imagine they want to go in front of a judge and admit they refused to follow the judge's order.  

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2 things I would be prepared for:

1.  Have all of your JAMS paperwork including the letter where JAMS closed the case citing the JDB's non compliance with the rules (failure to pay).  I would ask the judge to dismiss the case with prejudice due to Plaintiff's failure to comply with the court's previous order to arbitrate.

2.  If the JDB attempts to object in any way to the arbitration procedures, then I would immediately object and note that they did not offer any objection during the proper time to object when the court asked for their response prior to ordering arbitration.  Likewise, if they ask to continue the case, or for the court to rule on anything, I would object and remind the court that they handed jurisdiction to the arbitration firm and that the JDB failed to comply with that forum as ordered by the Magistrate court.

I doubt it will be that tough of a fight, but those are just the things I would be prepared to respond to just in case.

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  • 1 year later...

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