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Somewhere In So Cal

Sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates/ Hunt & Henriques : Trial Soon!

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Being sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates via Hunt & Henriques Law Firm here in Southern California. (Synchrony Bank est. $3500) Things have moved along quickly since initial filing just over a year ago. I am now 2 weeks away from trial. Answered summons and discovery. I sent my own request for discovery/ Request for Documents only a month ago. I'm sure there's plenty I could've done differently. Upside- I have 2 more of these things at early/ discovery stages. So, yay! I can use this experience to potentially help with the others. (Seriously, though. 🙄 )

Back to the matter at hand. I just had a Trial Readiness Conference (Civil) and frankly, I'm in the dark at this point. Session was quick, but I had some questions. Perhaps, I was waiting for the judge to bring them up/ ask about them?

• When does the Settlement Conference take place? Because, I'd like to settle. I've sent an offer of 10% twice in writing/ fax. No response.

• I'm still waiting for Plaintiff to respond to my Discovery/ Request for Documents. 

• Neither Plaintiff/ PRA or H&H have been showing up in court. The attorney representing them seems to be a third party lackey that handles numerous cases like this for many clients. I'd really like to know what that guy does and who he is. Shouldn't the Plaintiff/ Attorney be in court for all of this stuff?

At the end of the session I was given an Advance Trial Review Order. What's that? Do I need to file it back with the court? I can see the Plaintiff already has.

Thank you,

#Fumbling in The Dark 

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Trial in 2 weeks? If that's the case, you need to hustle. Fortunately, people have beat JDBs with less time on the clock.

Sounds like you did not send them a CCP 96 Request for all evidence & witnesses they plan to introduce at trial, correct? Did they send you a CCP 98 Statement (Affidavit/Declaration in Lieu of Testimony)?

I doubt they'll respond to/accept the offer you made. They want more than 10%.

They always send a contract lawyer to make appearances for them; technically, because they hire them to make the appearance, they are their lawyer.

What does the Advance Trial Review Order say?

 

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Thank you for the reply.

The Advance Trial Review Order that I received was blank and looks identical to the document found here - truthfully, this document feels like it's set up for more involved jury trials. I'm pretty sure I requested a bench trial. 

I have not sent, nor have I received said CCP 96/98. Figure it'd be a good idea and check in with the court in-house help desk and inquire about the Advance Trial Review Order and Mandatory Settlement Conference. (Been willing to do the MSC all along- but no mention of it up to this point, 2 weeks before trial.)

Thank you,

#FeelingLikeToast 😶

 

 

 

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Alright! Who wants to hear about my day in court?

DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Ok, I realize there may be some pitfalls in that PRA could re-open my case. But, do they/would they do that? I ain't gloating. The lead up was stressful, I was flailing and there were some things I could've done better. See my original post.

A recap of the past two weeks:

My last hearing was to set a trial date of Feb 8. The judge handed us both an Advance Trial Review Order. ( Look it up for California to see samples of it.) I was confused by the document. It basically was an inventory of case evidence and witness. The contract attorney for the plaintiff filed it with nothing listed. (Suspicious: No evidence? No Witnesses?) I did the same.

I was late to send out my Discovery/ Demand for Documents to the Plaintiff. This was a mistake. The deadline is tricky. I understood it to be 30 days before trial. But it closes 30 days before trial. I feel I still don't completely understand the deadline, but I now at least know to get it done early, at latest 65 days before trial.

That being said- it would have been understandable and permissive for the Plaintiff to just ignore my discovery requests. However, they ended up replying the day before the trial with a point by point refusal of each of my discovery demands per my violation for CCP 2024.020(a)

So, why even bother sending me that? Did they have to? Or, were they trying to psyche me out?

Anyway...

TRIAL DAY!

I wake up early, keep a positive attitude, go the gym, "Mama Said Knock You Out" on repeat! Get to the court house early. Breathing deep. Courtroom doors open at 9:00 am sharp. Friday trial call. Everybody signing in. All kinds of people and civil matters stacking the day's schedule.

Contract lawyer for the Plaintiff strides in, calls me out while he signs in and announces "I'm going to dismiss your case" . We wait for the judge to call us into the octagon to make it official. And that's it! 5 minutes. 

So, what happened here? Am I lucky? Did I simply answer and show up? Did I use the Magic Words?

Well, like I said- no gloating here. I got TWO MORE of these things on deck.

 

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