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Sued a 2nd Time on Same Debt - Arbitration Procedural Questions


Around The Fur
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I am being sued a 2nd time by the same Plaintiff on the same debt. The first time around, CKS Prime Investments voluntarily dismissed the suit (without prejudice) after I had filed my MTC. The SOL on Promissory Notes in Louisiana is 10 years, so unfortunately this new case is entirely legitimate.  I went through the same process on this new claim (filed answer w/ MTC, etc.) Today, I received a thick stack of new court documents the Plaintiff filed related to Arbitration. I have not received the court-approved MTC yet, but it seems this JDB is trying to swamp me with various filings in hopes that I stumble. I have completed the JAMS arbitration demand form online, but have not yet paid the $250 as I am waiting on the MTC ruling. Just to note, this Court has denied my MTC on a separate case in the past. I went through the appeals process, and won. However, it's difficult to automatically assume that my MTC will be granted. To be clear, at this point I have filed Answer to Petition, MTC, and response to Request for Admission of Facts. I have not received anything back from the Court granting my MTC, nor have I completed payment for JAMS.

If anyone can guide me on what my next steps need to be, I'd greatly appreciate it. Do I need to respond to the Court for all of these filings w/ the standard "not proper jurisdiction due to arbitration language?" Do I go ahead and initiate with JAMS (despite not receiving approved MTC from Court yet?) The following are new Court filings from the Plaintiff:

Note Interrogatories

  1. The creditor indicates a balance on the note of $11,938.92 as of July 30, 2021. Do your records reflect otherwise and if so, please describe.
  2. The creditor indicates that all funds described in the note were advanced. Do your records reflect otherwise and if so, please describe.
  3. The creditor indicates that all payments and credits have been applied to the balance. Do your records reflect otherwise and if so, please describe.
  4. The note includes various terms, including provision for interest and attorney's fees as reflected in the petition. These terms were agreed upon when you signed the note. Please fully describe any terms which you feel are not accurately reflected in the petition; fully detail the suggested accurate terms; and describe and attach any document which substantiates an agreement as to any different terms.

Request for Genuineness of Documents / Request for Production of Documents

  1. Please admit or deny the genuineness of the attached documents transferring ownership of the account to CKS Prime Investments, LLC.
  2. Please admit or deny the genuineness of the attached signed loan document confirming the customer and account information.
  3. Please admit or deny the genuineness of the attached business records of the creditor confirming the customer and account information.
  4. Please produce any documents which might indicate information other than that presented by the creditor in the attached documents transferring ownership of the account to CKS Prime Investments, LLC.
  5. Please produce any documents which might indicate information other than that presented by the creditor in the attached signed loan document confirming the customer and account information.
  6. Please produce any documents which might indicate information other than that presented by the creditor in the attached business records of the creditor confirming the customer and account information.

Request for Production of Documents

  1. Please produce documents showing that arbitration has been initiated by you in accordance with the Section 18 Arbitration provision of the Loan Agreement.
  2. Please produce documents showing a response from JAMS to your request for arbitration.
  3. Please produce documents  showing payment of the arbitration fee by defendant to JAMS.
  4. Please produce documents identifying the name of the arbitrator selected by JAMS pursuant to defendant's initiation of Arbitration.

Plaintiff's Reply to Defendant's MTC Arbitration

(brief version) Defendant has elected arbitration; therefore, he must do so through the appropriate entity. The plaintiff has received notice from the defendant that he wishes to have this matter arbitrated. Plaintiff has not received any notification from AAA or JAMS that defendant has initiated any arbitration claims.  If defendant initiates arbitration as described in the loan agreement, plaintiff would request this matter be stayed pending the outcome of that arbitration. If defendant has not initiated arbitration pursuant to the loan agreement, plaintiff requests this Court establish a deadline for defendant to initiate arbitration proceedings with either AAA or JAMS, in default of which all stays be lifted and the Plaintiff's suit allowed to continue.

Motion to Set Deadline for Defendant to Initiate Arbitration

This document was attached to a letter stating that the Plaintiff "plans" to file the following documents on 3/1/22. It essentially asks the Court to set a deadline for filing with JAMS. A Consent Judgement  was also attached w/ a repayment plan (full amount w/ interest, atty fees, etc.)

My main questions are:

  1. Do I need to respond and file for all of these documents?
  2. Do I also have to prepare a response for the Consent Judgement?
  3. I will call the Clerk today and see if my MTC was approved. Should I go ahead and complete the JAMS form, or wait for Court response?
  4. Any tips on my responses to these documents?

I love you all and THANK YOU for any help you can provide!

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3 hours ago, Around The Fur said:

I will call the Clerk today and see if my MTC was approved. Should I go ahead and complete the JAMS form, or wait for Court response?

You need to file with JAMS ASAP.  They are not opposing your MTC so you do not need to wait for one to be signed by the court.  They are hoping you keep waiting so they can argue to the court you were not serious because you never filed when they said they weren't opposing.

3 hours ago, Around The Fur said:

Please produce documents showing that arbitration has been initiated by you in accordance with the Section 18 Arbitration provision of the Loan Agreement.

File and send them the copies.

3 hours ago, Around The Fur said:

Please produce documents showing a response from JAMS to your request for arbitration.

When you get it send it.

3 hours ago, Around The Fur said:

Please produce documents  showing payment of the arbitration fee by defendant to JAMS.

This will be indicated in the JAMS response.

3 hours ago, Around The Fur said:

Please produce documents identifying the name of the arbitrator selected by JAMS pursuant to defendant's initiation of Arbitration.

This is too early in the process.  A statement that JAMS has not asked the parties to select an arbitrator yet and that the creditor is required to participate in the selection process.

3 hours ago, Around The Fur said:

Do I also have to prepare a response for the Consent Judgement?

I don't think so.  I believe that for it to be valid you would have to sign it.  

 

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The problem is that in the first case, the plaintiff agreed to arbitrate and you did not initiate arbitration. They can now argue that because of that, you were not serious about going into arbitration either. You need to file with JAMS ASAP before doing anything else so that you can show the judge that you were serious about it to begin with.

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14 hours ago, Around The Fur said:

In the first case, they never agreed to arbitration. They instantly dismissed once I sent notice I wanted to arbitrate. I will complete JAMS ASAP. Thank you!

They sent notice because they agreed to arbitrate the case as you requested and dismissed the case because there was nothing for the judge to rule on. They were simply waiting for you to start the arbitration and when you did not, they refiled the case and would oppose your MTC by saying you are not serious about arbitration and are trying to avoid having the issue litigated. Not all arbitration cases begin with a MTC. Many are agreed upon before the judge rules.

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2 hours ago, WhoCares1000 said:

They sent notice because they agreed to arbitrate the case as you requested and dismissed the case because there was nothing for the judge to rule on. They were simply waiting for you to start the arbitration and when you did not, they refiled the case and would oppose your MTC by saying you are not serious about arbitration and are trying to avoid having the issue litigated. Not all arbitration cases begin with a MTC. Many are agreed upon before the judge rules.

Let me add to this wonderful post. 
 

Judges are unpredictable.  Two judges can look at the same case and rule opposite ways.  If this were not the case, every Supreme Court decision would be unanimous. 
 

Handling a case is like playing poker.  You make the best play for your hand.  You could lose to a bad beat or you could fill a flush on the River.  But if your opponent folds you can’t lose the hand. 
 

You basically kept your opponent in the game hoping they wouldn’t refile.  But they did. It is possible the judge will still rule in favor of your MTC even if you don’t file in JAMS. However, you gave them a strong case to show you aren’t serious about arbitration.  
 

Just follow the advice above. File in JAMS ASAP.  That shows you are serious about arbitration and takes their argument away from them.  
 

If they contest the MTC you need to have some answer as to why you didn’t file the last time. 

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Update:  Initiated demand arbitration with JAMS. I'm going to attach that confirmation to my response for their Request for Production of Documents - file and send certified copies.
 

Still slightly confused on which of these documents they sent that I need to respond to:

  1. Plaintiff's Reply to Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration: Cautiously assuming I don't need to respond to this one? In it, they don't object to arbitration, only ask that the judge set a deadline for initiating arbitration on my end.
  2. Note Interrogatories: (I don't believe this is an actual court filing. It is addressed to me rather than the Court and doesn't contain the legal language in their other court filings.) Do I still need to respond and file my answer with the Court?
  3. Request for Genuineness/Production of Docs: Preparing a formal response that I will file later today
  4. Motion to Set Deadline for Defendant to Initiate Arbitration: Attached to a cover sheet saying they "plan" on filing this motion on 3/1. Sent alongside their reply to my MTC. Again, asking judge to set a deadline - which is moot because I have already filed with JAMS and will file all confirmation with Court today (and send certified to atty.)

To recap, I'm responding to their request for production of docs today (which includes JAMS payment and initiation confirmations.) They sent two, separate requests for production of docs - one related to arbitration/JAMS and another one related to the debt in question. I am responding to both, but on the latter objecting and citing lack-of-jurisdiction responses. I'll hold off on doing anything else until I can learn a bit more.

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