Judge Denied Summary Judgment - Credit Repair Forum from Creditnet
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  1. #1
    lostinoz is offline Junior Member
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    Judge Denied Summary Judgment

    This a continuation of a post I entered on 10.30.09
    Anywho, went to court today and the Plaintiff wanted to enter a Summary Judgment against me. Even though the Judge said that he normally would because a response on my Answers was not according to procedure (I was supposed to either admit or deny and I said that I didn't have sufficient evidence), he said that he would not enter judgment against me on on a technicality. He scheduled a trial for Feb but said that the Plaintiff would probably send an Appeal on the Summary Judgment. Is there any recourse once this is done, or should I try to find a lawyer. I really don't have much money and have done most of the leg work up to this point with the help from this Board and the Internet and prayer. The Judge even said that I had done a good in trying to defend myself but need a better understanding of some of the rules of the law.

    As always, any help is appreciated. Thanks so much!

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  3. #2
    ccbob is offline Senior Member
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    Can you sit in a few trials or hearings to see how others handle the courtroom procedures?

    Can you look up the rules of civil procedure for your court on line? They're usually pretty straightforward (in that legalese sort of way).

  4. #3
    Dumb Bob is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostinoz View Post
    This a continuation of a post I entered on 10.30.09
    Anywho, went to court today and the Plaintiff wanted to enter a Summary Judgment against me. Even though the Judge said that he normally would because a response on my Answers was not according to procedure (I was supposed to either admit or deny and I said that I didn't have sufficient evidence),
    It's important to follow the court rules as exactly as you possibly can. Because not all court rules are the same, only you can go to your court and find out where they have a copy of the court rules you can read, download, print, etc.


    he said that he would not enter judgment against me on on a technicality.
    A technicality? Did the plaintiff meet its burden as a matter of law? Did you show a material fact question that would need a trial?


    He scheduled a trial for Feb but said that the Plaintiff would probably send an Appeal on the Summary Judgment.
    How does that work? Denying a summary judgment isn't a final determination. Do the rules say that they can appeal the denial of the summary judgment before the trial? Are you in a court that is high enough that the next higher court is referred to as an appeals court?


    Is there any recourse once this is done, or should I try to find a lawyer.
    Dumb Bob gets posters all mixed up, but didn't he drone on endlessly about the potential monetary exposure the farther forward a legal process went? He has no idea how much the plaintiff wanted when this started, but if you lose, surely there is the possibility that the plaintiff will move for legal fees and "reasonable" attorney fees. Should you talk to a lawyer? What do you think?


    I really don't have much money and have done most of the leg work up to this point with the help from this Board and the Internet and prayer.
    A summary judgment basically works to end the legal wrangling if there are no material fact issues that are likely to affect the outcome and one side or the other meets its burden as a matter of law. Trial adds in live testimony. This allows the judge, or the jury, to weigh the fact issues, such as the documentation and whatnot submitted by the various sides, and decide the case on its merits. Being pro se at trial is fantastically hard to do without any experience and completely by yourself. Even lawyers tend to hire lawyers when they are in court about themselves.

  5. #4
    cap1sucks is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostinoz View Post
    Even though the Judge said that he normally would because a response on my Answers was not according to procedure (I was supposed to either admit or deny and I said that I didn't have sufficient evidence),
    Answers to what? Discovery requests or your initial response to the court? If discovery then yes, he probably should have given them the summary judgment on the spot. On the other hand it seems a bit unusual that they would move for summary judgment because you failed to respond to discovery requests in the proper way. Normally they would move the court to have their questions deemed admitted or move to compel production of documents first then go for summary. Of course, they can move for summary at any time.
    he said that he would not enter judgment against me on on a technicality.
    That was nice of him and he didn't have to do that.
    He scheduled a trial for Feb but said that the Plaintiff would probably send an Appeal on the Summary Judgment.
    Seems to me that would be trying to appeal a judge's decision and that's not a way to win cases. If I were a lawyer I doubt I would go that route. I think I would be more inclined to sue the judge for a declatory judgment but that might require them to pay a new filing fee and if that were true I probably wouldn't want to do that either. Same thing with filing an appeal. They would definitely have to pay a filing fee for that and losing the appeal wouldn't be good.
    Is there any recourse once this is done, or should I try to find a lawyer.
    Why throw good money after bad? The ugly truth is that you are a cinch to lose either way in local court. Of course, I'm well aware that many people here don't like me saying those kinds of things but the reality is that if you don't have a solid defense and know how to present it your chances of winning are slim to none whether you hire a lawyer or not. The only plausible way to win is knowing the law, knowing the rules of procedure, knowing how to prepare the case and present it to the court. Winning isn't really about who is right and who is wrong. It has much more to do with knowing the proper strategy to use at the proper time plus knowing all the above. Those skills take time and cost money to acquire.

    As defendants we don't realize how much it costs to even file a case against a defendant in a credit card or other debt related case and those costs are going up dramatically. Florida just raised it's filing fees up to more than $400 and other courts are being forced to raise their fees too. Lawyers in some places are demanding anywhere from $500 up to as much as $1500 to file and prosecute a single case and usually want 25% of all money collected on the judgment after that. I'm sure that if a bank or debt collector can feed them a few hundred cases a month they might be willing to come down some but probably not a lot. The lawyer who will take a debt collection case on contingency is rare indeed.
    And how long does it take a lawyer to prepare a case? Probably less than 15 minutes and all it takes from the attorney is review of the case. After that initial review he turns it over to a typist who does the actual work and the typist can have the case ready to go to court in about 20 to 30 minutes or less. All the typist needs to know is the name and address of the defendant, the plaintiff and the amount of money involved. After that it is a simple copy and paste operation. Anybody who already has the forms can get it done in 30 minutes max.
    After that the case and a few more like it can be filed by a secretary in less than an hour at the court house and the lawyer will spend about 10 minutes in court getting the judgment if that. So let's imagine that on average an hour of time is spent per case. It should be about the same for a pro se defendant but it isn't. Those relatively few who decide to fight have a hard time getting it done in the 20 or 30 days allowed by the court within which time they must respond. First they have to get over the initial shock of getting served. That can take days all by itself. Once that phase is over they usually spend another day or two looking for a lawyer and then realize they can't get one or can't afford one so they go looking all over the net for help only to run into one or more clowns who want an arm and a leg for worthless garbage they dreamed up or got by listening to some other fruitcake. Then they go to court and lose anyway.
    Yes, it is a dismal picture indeed but what needs to be realized is that when you are before the court there is only one question which has to be answered and the defendant either answers that question or loses. The question is does the defendant owe the money or not. Whoever has the answer to that simple question will win every time.
    Could I win in court if I were to be sued for a debt I didn't pay? No matter how smart or how dumb I might be I probably couldn't win either. All I could do is give them a really hard time but in the end they would most likely win but I'd be seeing them in federal court where I at least stood a decent chance to turn the table on them and win.
    I really don't have much money and have done most of the leg work up to this point with the help from this Board and the Internet and prayer.
    And what good has all of that done you? Out of the 3 things you mention, prayer was probably the best of all.
    The Judge even said that I had done a good in trying to defend myself but need a better understanding of some of the rules of the law.
    The judge was absolutely correct. Knowing the law and the rules of the law is the key. Knowledge may or may not win the case for you but at least it can keep you from doing things that make you look foolish.
    As always, any help is appreciated. Thanks so much!
    We don't mind giving people as much help as possible but most of us aren't attorneys and most of us don't have the knowledge and experience it takes to win against seasoned attorneys but we might be able to give you some bits of advice such as learn the law and the rules of procedure but not much more than that. Even those few here who might be law students, students of the law (there is a difference) or attorneys can't give you legal advice. Even though I have painted a bleak picture for you I have also told you what I think you have to do to hopefully turn a loss into a win. While you may have already lost the case you can turn it around and eventually win if you are willing to learn and can come up with at least some money. You can't fight for free unless you can prove you are a pauper. Even then it will cost some money but you could easily get a cardboard sign and stand on some busy street corner and come up with enough money to pay those costs. (LOL)

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