RelayerPA

To be served, or not to be served...

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An eerie feeling arose when I received mail yesterday from various client soliciting lawyers that "a routine check of the court dockets" show that I may have been sued by a JDB. Pardon me for keeping the actual dates, and if possible, the municipality, as much as a mystery as possible. You know how JDBs troll these forums.

So I went to the state online system to check on what was referenced in those soliciting lawyer's letters and sure enough, there's a case waiting for me with a hearing date VERY soon in the future. The docket sheet shows that the summons was issued (no indication as to how) late last month, and in the past week, an entry that shows the summons was unclaimed. So I ask the other house member who's at home most of the day and they did not hear anybody knock on the door any day between those dates. Nor could I find any record, nor did I ever see a record,or notice, of a certified mail delivery attempt.

The case has a hearing date in the very near future. My dilemma is... do I tell the court right away that I plan to defend, or do I wait for a proper summons? Assuming that it was a mailed noticed, now returned, the next step for the Plaintiff by the county's rules is to publish the notice in the county bar association's public legal record (accessible electronically). According to local rules, such a notice shall be published 60 days before the case is terminated. It doesn't say anything how soon it needs to be published before the hearing date. For all I know, they could probably publish it the day before and call me "served with full notice to appear" with only one day to prepare for a defense. However, I would believe they cannot legally allow that from a civil fairness standpoint. The bar associations public electronic notices are posted every Thursday. I checked each one since the plaintiff's filing data and I do not appear in any of them. The notices for 7/11/2019 have not been posted on their website yet.

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What is the date that you have to answer complaint by. my suggestion would be to not let that date go by and run the risk of default against you.

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Wait until you are served.  In the meantime we can offer much better help if we know the following:

Who is the JDB
Who is the OC
What is the year of default
Would this be in Small Claims court

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I was finally served. Now, I would like to discuss tactics. 

I realize others on this forum wanting to know who the JDB and OC are, but as part of my tactic, I don't want to give the JDB any clues that they could easily find by simply searching for their name in this forum. All I ask is that those who try to help me please bear with me on the lack of plaintiff names and amounts. I can tell you is that it's in PA, and at the Magisterial Court level (small claims)

I'll try to explain where I am now in the research of case law and other forum posts that I found so far. I've been digging rather deep. I received the summons with the regular, "Dumb A. Lawyer, Esquire, verifies the facts set forth, etc., etc.", along with account(s) and totals.

I have not called in yet with my intent to defend. I will do so before the week is over. I just want to make sure I've exhausted any opportunity to file an objection (if any) to what has been stated in the summons. I already know that my chance of compelling arbitration will not work with this particular Magistrate, having learned that only an original copy of the contract allowing for arbitration is expected by the Magistrate because they will not accept a copy printed from a website. The trick here is, if a defendant does try and file an MTC for Arbitration using any copy of a credit card contract in this particular court, doing so causes the defendant to activate "ascension", where it's basically an admission by the defendant that the account is definitely theirs, thus allowing the Plaintiff to continue without having to prove  or defend their accusation a defendant owes them anything. This prevents challenging any form of standing of the JDB to even sue. One of my tactics is to make them lose on standing.

Continuing... I know confidential details about the account have been filed separately, and will either be sent to me after my intent to defend, or I'll have to go to the Magistrate office to pick those up in person. Once I have that information, I can plan additional tactics. Either way, my first defense will be calling the entire lot of information hearsay. I've studied up some on hearsay rules in Pennsylvania based on this forum posting:

If I understand it correctly, when a lawyer for a Plaintiff that's a JDB signs off on the "accuracy" of the information, that is hearsay, and should be cause for dismissal with prejudice at the hearing. However, Pennsylvania has a "business records" rule exemption against hearsay that could be used by the JDB as a defense. It is the latter that's needed to prepare to defend against. To make them prove anything is owed to them, and in the amounts they are claiming, one argument that could be used is that the JBD cannot authenticate their own records if the information transferred from another source. Even if a number of the JDB records are created in the course of doing business, and the JDB believes that the names, amounts, etc. of any account(s) they're suing for came from the OC, a defendant should (and would) have the right to ask for a witness from the OC to verify that the information they sent to the JDB is accurate. Otherwise, any JDB could just make a business generating any amount and account information they want and call it "verified records created in the course of doing business", and go sue crazy all they want, right? Nipping this in the but should be a big win for the defendant.

There's mixed belief that demanding a JDB to produce a signed contract is key to a case. Some say you don't want them to do that, which is true if there is an expectation that a JDB would even have one. However, the JDB certainly has copies of statements. How far back they go to prove the amount you owe may have an impact via PA supreme court case law.

https://www.casemine.com/judgement/us/5914e38fadd7b049348fb7d4

If I understand what I'm reading, in lieu of a signed contract, the Plaintiff (an OC in this case) was expected to produce copies of ALL statements leading back to a zero balance. Since this is case law, I don't see where this can't be applied to a case involving a JDB. But then again, a defendant would want to object to any evidence, even a handful of statements the plaintiff brings to try and prove the amounts they think they are owed. I'm not sure how I could do that if the hearing gets past an initial hearsay defense. Since there is no knowledge that the JDB doesn't have copies of all the statements, this particular tactic may need to be reserved for use only if needed.

Still working on attacking standing, one possibility is to attack whatever agreement the plaintiff believes entitles them to sue or be owed the alleged amount. In kind of a turn of the tables, if they cannot specify how, and through what instrumentality a cardholder agreement or credit was “extended” to the defendant if asked to do so, as well as failure to provide adequate grounds for the unavailability of the cardholder agreement, that could be a way to convince the Magistrate that the JDB does not have standing.

Meanwhile... still doing my research. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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31 minutes ago, RelayerPA said:

I was finally served. Now, I would like to discuss tactics. 

I realize others on this forum wanting to know who the JDB and OC are, but as part of my tactic, I don't want to give the JDB any clues that they could easily find by simply searching for their name in this forum. All I ask is that those who try to help me please bear with me on the lack of plaintiff names and amounts. I can tell you is that it's in PA, and at the Magisterial Court level (small claims)

I'll try to explain where I am now in the research of case law and other forum posts that I found so far. I've been digging rather deep. I received the summons with the regular, "Dumb A. Lawyer, Esquire, verifies the facts set forth, etc., etc.", along with account(s) and totals.

I have not called in yet with my intent to defend. I will do so before the week is over. I just want to make sure I've exhausted any opportunity to file an objection (if any) to what has been stated in the summons. I already know that my chance of compelling arbitration will not work with this particular Magistrate, having learned that only an original copy of the contract allowing for arbitration is expected by the Magistrate because they will not accept a copy printed from a website. The trick here is, if a defendant does try and file an MTC for Arbitration using any copy of a credit card contract in this particular court, doing so causes the defendant to activate "ascension", where it's basically an admission by the defendant that the account is definitely theirs, thus allowing the Plaintiff to continue without having to prove  or defend their accusation a defendant owes them anything. This prevents challenging any form of standing of the JDB to even sue. One of my tactics is to make them lose on standing.

Continuing... I know confidential details about the account have been filed separately, and will either be sent to me after my intent to defend, or I'll have to go to the Magistrate office to pick those up in person. Once I have that information, I can plan additional tactics. Either way, my first defense will be calling the entire lot of information hearsay. I've studied up some on hearsay rules in Pennsylvania based on this forum posting:

If I understand it correctly, when a lawyer for a Plaintiff that's a JDB signs off on the "accuracy" of the information, that is hearsay, and should be cause for dismissal with prejudice at the hearing. However, Pennsylvania has a "business records" rule exemption against hearsay that could be used by the JDB as a defense. It is the latter that's needed to prepare to defend against. To make them prove anything is owed to them, and in the amounts they are claiming, one argument that could be used is that the JBD cannot authenticate their own records if the information transferred from another source. Even if a number of the JDB records are created in the course of doing business, and the JDB believes that the names, amounts, etc. of any account(s) they're suing for came from the OC, a defendant should (and would) have the right to ask for a witness from the OC to verify that the information they sent to the JDB is accurate. Otherwise, any JDB could just make a business generating any amount and account information they want and call it "verified records created in the course of doing business", and go sue crazy all they want, right? Nipping this in the but should be a big win for the defendant.

There's mixed belief that demanding a JDB to produce a signed contract is key to a case. Some say you don't want them to do that, which is true if there is an expectation that a JDB would even have one. However, the JDB certainly has copies of statements. How far back they go to prove the amount you owe may have an impact via PA supreme court case law.

https://www.casemine.com/judgement/us/5914e38fadd7b049348fb7d4

If I understand what I'm reading, in lieu of a signed contract, the Plaintiff (an OC in this case) was expected to produce copies of ALL statements leading back to a zero balance. Since this is case law, I don't see where this can't be applied to a case involving a JDB. But then again, a defendant would want to object to any evidence, even a handful of statements the plaintiff brings to try and prove the amounts they think they are owed. I'm not sure how I could do that if the hearing gets past an initial hearsay defense. Since there is no knowledge that the JDB doesn't have copies of all the statements, this particular tactic may need to be reserved for use only if needed.

Still working on attacking standing, one possibility is to attack whatever agreement the plaintiff believes entitles them to sue or be owed the alleged amount. In kind of a turn of the tables, if they cannot specify how, and through what instrumentality a cardholder agreement or credit was “extended” to the defendant if asked to do so, as well as failure to provide adequate grounds for the unavailability of the cardholder agreement, that could be a way to convince the Magistrate that the JDB does not have standing.

Meanwhile... still doing my research. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Did the plaintiff, attach as a copy the portion of the agreement where you agreed to make monthly payments.

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@RelayerPA

In Stucka, the issue was whether or not documentation attached to Discover’s amended complaint was sufficient to apprise the defendants of the claims against them.  

Here, the Bank, in its Amended Complaint, attached a copy of a written Discover Cardmember Agreement. The Bank alleged that the Stuckas' credit card was subject to the terms and conditions of that Agreement, and that a copy of the Agreement had been mailed to and received by the Stuckas. Amended Complaint, 1/19/10. The Bank further alleged that the Stuckas had failed to make monthly payments on the account balance as required by the Agreement, and, in support, attached to the Amended Complaint numerous Discover Card Account Summaries, addressed to the Stuckas, depicting the balance due and payments made from December 25, 2002 to May 25, 2009.”

Based on the above-cited authority, we conclude that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to allow amendment and dismissing the Second Amended Complaint. The allegations of the Second Amended Complaint were sufficient to apprise the Stuckas of the nature of the Bank's claims.”

The court made no ruling on the evidence or the merits of the plaintiff’s claims.  

If you are being sued by a JDB, and the cardmember agreement contains an arbitration provision, why not MTC arbitration?

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37 minutes ago, Robby8900 said:

Did the plaintiff, attach as a copy the portion of the agreement where you agreed to make monthly payments.

Not in the summons. That is very sparse, containing little more than their lawyer attesting that their claim is true by information and belief. I'll find out later this week if the confidential information contains any details of an agreement. 

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Just now, BV80 said:

 

If you are being sued by a JDB, and the cardmember agreement contains an arbitration provision, why not MTC arbitration?

If I file an MTC arbitration right away, it's as good as acknowledging the debt via "ascention", giving the plaintiff a huge advantage. Otherwise, why would I raise it as a defense if Ididn't think the debt was mine. My only source of any agreement I would need to even file an MTC would be a boilerplate copy from the internet. I know for a fact that this magistrate doesn't accept boilerplate copies. I don't want to give the plaintiff a break by even trying. However, I can prepare an MTC for if the plaintiff produces a copy of their own at the hearing and the magistrate accepts it as proof. At that point, I'll produce an MTC.

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1 hour ago, RelayerPA said:

If I file an MTC arbitration right away, it's as good as acknowledging the debt via "ascention", giving the plaintiff a huge advantage. Otherwise, why would I raise it as a defense if Ididn't think the debt was mine. My only source of any agreement I would need to even file an MTC would be a boilerplate copy from the internet. I know for a fact that this magistrate doesn't accept boilerplate copies. I don't want to give the plaintiff a break by even trying. However, I can prepare an MTC for if the plaintiff produces a copy of their own at the hearing and the magistrate accepts it as proof. At that point, I'll produce an MTC.

It is not an admission that you acknowledge the debt.  A JDB claims to own the account and, therefore, is bound by the arbitration provision.

How are they going to oppose it?  The plaintiff can’t say it’s not a party to the contract because that would be admitting it does not own the account. It cannot say you are not a party to the contract because that would be admitting they sued the wrong person. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has copies of credit card agreements.  By law, credit banks are required to provide their agreements to the Bureau.  That’s where you would get the copy.

15 U.S.C. 1632(d)

(d)Additional electronic disclosures

(1)Posting agreements

Each creditor shall establish and maintain an Internet site on which the creditor shall post the written agreement between the creditor and the consumer for each credit card account under an open-end consumer credit plan.

(2)Creditor to provide contracts to the Bureau

Each creditor shall provide to the Bureau, in electronic format, the consumer credit card agreements that it publishes on its Internet site.

It would be difficult for the plaintiff or the judge to discredit a copy of an agreement that was required by law to be posted with the Bureau.

“When one party to an agreement seeks to prevent another from proceeding to arbitration, judicial inquiry is limited to determining (1) whether a valid agreement to arbitrate exists between the parties and, if so, (2) whether the dispute involved is within the scope of the arbitration provision. An agreement to arbitrate a dispute is an agreement to submit oneself as well as one's dispute to the arbitrators' jurisdiction.”  Midomo Co., Inc. v. Presbyterian Hous. Dev. Co.,739 A.2d 180, 186 (Pa.Super.1999).

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20 minutes ago, BV80 said:

It is not an admission that you acknowledge the debt.  A JDB claims to own the account and, therefore, is bound by the arbitration provision.

How are they going to oppose it?  The plaintiff can’t say it’s not a party to the contract because that would be admitting it does not own the account. It cannot say you are not a party to the contract because that would be admitting they sued the wrong person. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has copies of credit card agreements.  By law, credit banks are required to provide their agreements to the Bureau.  That’s where you would get the copy.

15 U.S.C. 1632(d)

(d)Additional electronic disclosures

(1)Posting agreements

Each creditor shall establish and maintain an Internet site on which the creditor shall post the written agreement between the creditor and the consumer for each credit card account under an open-end consumer credit plan.

(2)Creditor to provide contracts to the Bureau

Each creditor shall provide to the Bureau, in electronic format, the consumer credit card agreements that it publishes on its Internet site.

It would be difficult for the plaintiff or the judge to discredit a copy of an agreement that was required by law to be posted with the Bureau.

“When one party to an agreement seeks to prevent another from proceeding to arbitration, judicial inquiry is limited to determining (1) whether a valid agreement to arbitrate exists between the parties and, if so, (2) whether the dispute involved is within the scope of the arbitration provision. An agreement to arbitrate a dispute is an agreement to submit oneself as well as one's dispute to the arbitrators' jurisdiction.”  Midomo Co., Inc. v. Presbyterian Hous. Dev. Co.,739 A.2d 180, 186 (Pa.Super.1999).

I see your point. Believe me, I would rather take this to arbitration. However, I am once bitten, twice shy having tried an MTC arbitration in a previous suit as a defendant. The MTC was completely set aside (dismissed as irrelevant due to it source, actually). I even included a lot of case law about honoring arbitration clauses. I was ordered to pay only the dollar value of the line items of the few actual charges they had on paper from copies of a few statements they had on hand. I didn't even think about fighting those on standing. None of the MTC was considered because the magistrate concluded the agreement, as written, was not valid. I didn't appeal the ruling because the judgment was for less than 10% of the sought amount. I don't think I could have gotten as low of a judgment if it did go to arbitration. I considered myself lucky on such a low judgment amount.

However, I learn lessons, and I improve my defenses. You brought up some useful resources for a MTC arbitration that I did not consider before. However, I still have to keep in mind that the same magistrate (and it is the same) will try to rule as before. This puts me in a bind because I don't want a repeat of things to happen if I even try. On the other hand, if I don't assert arbitration, I can't bring it up in case of an appeal. That's something I need to keep on the back burner for now. So, I'm considering different tactics for the moment. I don't mind putting in the time and effort to do so. If it looks like I can attack standing with a good chance of success, I'd rather try that. I can still bring up standing in case of an appeal. To attack standing, I prefer to find case law that shows this JDB (or any JDB) lost in Pennsylvania due to lack of standing and the law behind the ruling.

I do appreciate the advice you've been giving.

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2 hours ago, RelayerPA said:

If I file an MTC arbitration right away, it's as good as acknowledging the debt via "ascention", giving the plaintiff a huge advantage. Otherwise, why would I raise it as a defense if Ididn't think the debt was mine. My only source of any agreement I would need to even file an MTC would be a boilerplate copy from the internet. I know for a fact that this magistrate doesn't accept boilerplate copies. I don't want to give the plaintiff a break by even trying. However, I can prepare an MTC for if the plaintiff produces a copy of their own at the hearing and the magistrate accepts it as proof. At that point, I'll produce an MTC.

The judge isn't going to grant a MTC  on claims referable to arb in which a defendant did not agree to arbitrate. 

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27 minutes ago, Robby8900 said:

The judge isn't going to grant a MTC  on claims referable to arb in which a defendant did not agree to arbitrate. 

I lost my chance at arb in a previous case because the magistrate did not accept an internet printed agreement that I provided. I can only assume the same will happen again from the same magistrate if I try it again. I feel like I'm screwed out of that option because I'm damned if I do (through ascention) and damned if I don't. 

My thinking is, both parties are going in without an account agreement in hand, I can at least try to fight on standing. If the plaintiff produces happens to produce an agreement AND the magistrate rules the account terms are valid based on that agreement, wouldn't it's arbitration clause then be able to be invoked at that time, assuming it has an arbitration clause that allows for arbitration to be requested, even while a case is currently being litigated? I've seen many that have those kind of clauses. 

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2 minutes ago, RelayerPA said:

I lost my chance at arb in a previous case because the magistrate did not accept an internet printed agreement that I provided. I can only assume the same will happen again from the same magistrate if I try it again. I feel like I'm screwed out of that option because I'm damned if I do (through ascention) and damned if I don't. 

My thinking is, both parties are going in without an account agreement in hand, I can at least try to fight on standing. If the plaintiff produces happens to produce an agreement AND the magistrate rules the account terms are valid based on that agreement, wouldn't it's arbitration clause then be able to be invoked at that time, assuming it has an arbitration clause that allows for arbitration to be requested, even while a case is currently being litigated? I've seen many that have those kind of clauses. 

you have not provided any information we don't even know if an arbitration agreement exist regarding the claim in the plaintiff's complaint.  Why attack standing, if the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction if an arb clause replaces the parties rights to litigate in court if elected by either party.

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23 minutes ago, Robby8900 said:

you have not provided any information we don't even know if an arbitration agreement exist regarding the claim in the plaintiff's complaint.  Why attack standing, if the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction if an arb clause replaces the parties rights to litigate in court if elected by either party.

That's the point I've been trying to make. This magistrate has a record of ignoring any MTC arbitration UNLESS it is backed by what they believe is a valid copy of an agreement. I already know that internet printed copies from a consumer bureau (my only option) are rejected in this court. 

In other words, there's little chance I can provide proof of an arbitration agreement acceptable by the court. So, my only other choice to even call for my right to arbitrate (preferred outcome) is if the plaintiff produces an agreement that includes the clause. 

I have no other choice but to consider arbitration as a last option, and only if the plaintiff uses the agreement. 

Meanwhile, that leaves me with standing as my next best defense that I need to pursue, at least until I get a copy of the confidentiality filed evidence they submitted to the court. If the agreement is with that paperwork, I'm going right for the MTC. And yes, there's a very good chance that an arbitration clause exists. 

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6 minutes ago, RelayerPA said:

That's the point I've been trying to make. This magistrate has a record of ignoring any MTC arbitration UNLESS it is backed by what they believe is a valid copy of an agreement. I already know that internet printed copies from a consumer bureau (my only option) are rejected in this court. 

In other words, there's little chance I can provide proof of an arbitration agreement acceptable by the court. So, my only other choice to even call for my right to arbitrate (preferred outcome) is if the plaintiff produces an agreement that includes the clause. 

I have no other choice but to consider arbitration as a last option, and only if the plaintiff uses the agreement. 

Meanwhile, that leaves me with standing as my next best defense that I need to pursue, at least until I get a copy of the confidentiality filed evidence they submitted to the court. If the agreement is with that paperwork, I'm going right for the MTC. And yes, there's a very good chance that an arbitration clause exists. 

if it were me personally, i would file a MTC and include a notarized affidavit attesting to the true and correct copy of the agreement governing the account retrieved from the CFPB credit card database. The plaintiff, would have to rebut the affidavit.

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14 minutes ago, RelayerPA said:

That's the point I've been trying to make. This magistrate has a record of ignoring any MTC arbitration UNLESS it is backed by what they believe is a valid copy of an agreement. I already know that internet printed copies from a consumer bureau (my only option) are rejected in this court. 

In other words, there's little chance I can provide proof of an arbitration agreement acceptable by the court. So, my only other choice to even call for my right to arbitrate (preferred outcome) is if the plaintiff produces an agreement that includes the clause. 

I have no other choice but to consider arbitration as a last option, and only if the plaintiff uses the agreement. 

Meanwhile, that leaves me with standing as my next best defense that I need to pursue, at least until I get a copy of the confidentiality filed evidence they submitted to the court. If the agreement is with that paperwork, I'm going right for the MTC. And yes, there's a very good chance that an arbitration clause exists. 

If the judge denies a MTC, you’d probably have the right to an interlocutory appeal.  That would allow you to immediately appeal the judge’s denial to.a higher court.  

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9 hours ago, RelayerPA said:

That's the point I've been trying to make. This magistrate has a record of ignoring any MTC arbitration UNLESS it is backed by what they believe is a valid copy of an agreement. I already know that internet printed copies from a consumer bureau (my only option) are rejected in this court. 

In other words, there's little chance I can provide proof of an arbitration agreement acceptable by the court. So, my only other choice to even call for my right to arbitrate (preferred outcome) is if the plaintiff produces an agreement that includes the clause. 

I have no other choice but to consider arbitration as a last option, and only if the plaintiff uses the agreement. 

Meanwhile, that leaves me with standing as my next best defense that I need to pursue, at least until I get a copy of the confidentiality filed evidence they submitted to the court. If the agreement is with that paperwork, I'm going right for the MTC. And yes, there's a very good chance that an arbitration clause exists. 

File the MTC anyways and if the magistrate refuses to grant it, file an appeal to a higher court that is more likely to know the Federal Arbitration Act and would be more likely to grant it based on your arguments.

Magistrate court is similar to small claims and quite a few times, the judges treat that as their own fiefdom. You need to either get the case out of that court OR have another judge tell the magistrate court judge that they are wrong.

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9 hours ago, RelayerPA said:

This magistrate has a record of ignoring any MTC arbitration UNLESS it is backed by what they believe is a valid copy of an agreement. I already know that internet printed copies from a consumer bureau (my only option) are rejected in this court. 

You mean like filing an affidavit testifying that to the best of your knowledge the card agreement you are filing is a true and correct copy of the original agreement which is the basis of the Plaintiff's alleged debt?  Yeah, without that, a judge COULD deny it.  Although that is also extremely ripe for appeal.

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14 hours ago, BV80 said:

If the judge denies a MTC, you’d probably have the right to an interlocutory appeal.  That would allow you to immediately appeal the judge’s denial to.a higher court.  

Aren't interlocutory appeals supposed to be made before a trial or hearing has ended? Most of these civil suits are adjudicated within 30 minutes or less from when the hearing starts. How does one file (or demand?) an interlocutory appeal during the hearing in such a case when the only legal authority is the magistrate at the bench?

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If Magistrate Court is small claims, then you can file an appeal after the case has ended. The idea is that you can decide you want a more formal hearing of the case than what small claims provide.

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3 minutes ago, RelayerPA said:

Aren't interlocutory appeals supposed to be made before a trial or hearing has ended? Most of these civil suits are adjudicated within 30 minutes or less from when the hearing starts. How does one file (or demand?) an interlocutory appeal during the hearing in such a case when the only legal authority is the magistrate at the bench?

Obviously it would just be a full appeal.  A lot of these lower Magistrate Courts have de novo appeals.  Have you checked your court rules?

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5 hours ago, fisthardcheese said:

You mean like filing an affidavit testifying that to the best of your knowledge the card agreement you are filing is a true and correct copy of the original agreement which is the basis of the Plaintiff's alleged debt?  Yeah, without that, a judge COULD deny it.  Although that is also extremely ripe for appeal.

If I understand what you're saying, in other words, if I take steps to find (from legally designated sources) published copies of agreements for the OC(s) the Plaintiff lists in their complaint, and have an affidavit notarized that TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, this is what I BELIEVE the Plaintiff is basing their claims, rights, and ownership of the debt. In effect, although I may be doing a bit of the work that could benefit the Plaintiff by producing such an agreement, it still would prevent the magistrate from using "ascension" to consider that I acknowledge the debt because I brought a copy of the agreement with me. But then, it would then require the Plaintiff to address the agreement and either acknowledge it's true (giving me a right to MTC arbitration based on the terms in the agreement), or deny it (giving me an argument against their standing to even sue me). And if the magistrate STILL uses ascension, I will have grounds for an appeal.

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5 minutes ago, fisthardcheese said:

Obviously it would just be a full appeal.  A lot of these lower Magistrate Courts have de novo appeals.  Have you checked your court rules?

Magistrate court rules are de novo appeals. I only asked for details about interlocutory appeals you mentioned just in case I missed anything. Plus, this dialog helps me figure things out AND hopefully will help others in the future having similar cases and search through these forums.

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5 minutes ago, RelayerPA said:

TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, this is what I BELIEVE the Plaintiff is basing their claims, rights, and ownership of the debt.

To the best of my knowledge, this is a TRUE AND CORRECT COPY.

5 minutes ago, RelayerPA said:

although I may be doing a bit of the work that could benefit the Plaintiff by producing such an agreement,

I disagree that it benefits them in any way.

6 minutes ago, RelayerPA said:

I acknowledge the debt because I brought a copy of the agreement with me.

Unless you state also in your affidavit, motion or answer that you agree that you owe money to the Plaintiff, then this in no way can be construed as you owing anything to the Plaintiff.  At WORST, they can say you agree that you once held a credit card issued by the OC, a fact that I personally have no problem agreeing to because it has nothing to do with the JDB's assignment nor whether there was ever any debt owed or what that debt amount might be or if the JDB is the proper party to collect any alleged debt.  And aside from that, if you look at all of the case law, once there is a valid agreement to arbitrate, the ONLY thing the court may rule on is the issue of arbitration.  The MTC stops all issues of the debt in court and shifts the argument to arbitration only.  Case law makes it clear that the Court has no real choice but to grant the MTC.

10 minutes ago, RelayerPA said:

. But then, it would then require the Plaintiff to address the agreement and either acknowledge it's true (giving me a right to MTC arbitration based on the terms in the agreement), or deny it

Your sworn testimony in the affidavit can not be counter-argued by the attorney in court.  They will need either an affidavit of their own from the OC stating that the agreement you submitted is incorrect, or a live witness from the OC stating the same.  They can't and won't, since anyone from the OC will see the agreement and know it is one of their agreements.  The attorney can not testify to these facts because he has no first hand knowledge of the OC's business practices or agreements that were used.  Therefore, any oral arguments against the card agreement in court should be met with an objection stating that the attorney has no knowledge of the OC's business and that there is no statement from anyone with knowledge about the contracts to overcome your testimony on it.

11 minutes ago, RelayerPA said:

Magistrate court rules are de novo appeals. I only asked for details about interlocutory appeals you mentioned just in case I missed anything

Magistrate and small claims courts often do not allow for interlocutory, but de novo appeals.  The process is essentially the same.  A de novo appeal just means that there is no record of the Magistrate case and everything starts over "anew" in the higher court.  However, I don't think this step should be necessary with an affidavit testifying to the accuracy of the card agreement.

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21 minutes ago, RelayerPA said:

If I understand what you're saying, in other words, if I take steps to find (from legally designated sources) published copies of agreements for the OC(s) the Plaintiff lists in their complaint, and have an affidavit notarized that TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, this is what I BELIEVE the Plaintiff is basing their claims, rights, and ownership of the debt. In effect, although I may be doing a bit of the work that could benefit the Plaintiff by producing such an agreement, it still would prevent the magistrate from using "ascension" to consider that I acknowledge the debt because I brought a copy of the agreement with me. But then, it would then require the Plaintiff to address the agreement and either acknowledge it's true (giving me a right to MTC arbitration based on the terms in the agreement), or deny it (giving me an argument against their standing to even sue me). And if the magistrate STILL uses ascension, I will have grounds for an appeal.

You really need to get over the acknowledgment by ascension thing.  Locating a copy of the agreement for an account that the plaintiff claims you owe means nothing more than you located the agreement for an account that the plaintiff claims you owe.  

You also have to realize that if the plaintiff presents credit card statements with your correct name and address, most judges are going to be pretty sure that, absent ID theft, you opened the account.  You’d have to come up with a good explanation as to how those statements show your name and address but were never delivered to your mailbox and you never realized there was a credit card account opened in your name. 

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