Hello. I received a Civil Action Lawsuit from a lawyer stating that I am being sued for a set amount plus attorneys fees etc. I have no recollection of this account. The account is for JCPenny, and supposedly this is from 2007. Ive requested that the plaintiff send me verification of debt, and they have not. All the sent was another copy of the judgement stating I owe a set amount. Now I have to answer this judgement by appearing at the Courthouse and filling out a form. If the collector cannot provide a contract with my signature, can I have this lawsuit dismissed? Thanks!Jeremy from NJ.
State/Country relating to question: New Jersey
Hello and thank you for the question. I am sorry to read of this dilemma. The lawyer must provide proof of debt. This is required under the fair debt collection practices act. Also, in any civil lawsuit, you can get discovery to confirm the debt. Often the lawyer lacks the proof, and when pressed either discontinues or has case dismissed. You can file the answer. If proof wont be forthcoming the case can be dismissed.
Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses
Thanks. I forgot to include the certified letter I sent the plaintiff. I also CC'd the court. On Thursday, May 3rd 2012, I was served papers from the Superior Court of New Jersey, County of Camden, Docket Number DC-007024-12, stating that your office filed a Civil Action complaint against me regarding a Retail Credit Card for creditor GE CAPITAL / JC PENNEY. The document stated there is a total amount due of $526.93 (including interest and attorney fees). Client Acct #: 6008893327790097Be advised, this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice sent pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809 (b) that your claim is disputed and validation is requested.This is NOT a request for “verification” or proof of my mailing address, but a request for VALIDATION made pursuant to the above named Title and Section. I respectfully XXXXX XXXXX your office provide me with competent evidence that I have any legal obligation to pay you.Please provide me with the following:• What the money you say I owe is for;• Explain and show me how you calculated what you say I owe;• Provide me with copies of any papers that show I agreed to pay what you say I owe;• Provide a verification or copy of any judgment if applicable;• Identify the original creditor;• Prove the Statute of Limitations has not expired on this account;• Show me that you are licensed to collect in my state; and• Provide me with your license numbers and Registered Agent.If your offices have reported invalidated information to any of the three major Credit Bureau’s (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion), said action might constitute fraud under both Federal and State Laws. Due to this fact, if any negative mark is found on any of my credit reports by your company or the company that you represent I will not hesitate in bringing legal action against you for the following:• Violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act• Violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act• Defamation of CharacterIf your offices are able to provide the proper documentation as requested, I will require at least 30 days to investigate this information and during such time all collection activity must cease and desist.Also during this validation period, if any action is taken which could be considered detrimental to any of my credit reports, I will consult with my legal counsel. This includes any information to a credit reporting repository that could be inaccurate or invalidated or verifying an account as accurate when in fact there is no provided proof that it is.If your offices fail to respond to this validation request within 30 days from the date of your receipt, all references to this account must be deleted and completely removed from my credit file and a copy of such deletion request shall be sent to me and the Superior Court of NJ immediately.I would also like to request, in writing, that no telephone contact be made by your offices to my home or to my place of employment. If your offices attempt telephone communication with me, including but not limited to computer generated calls or correspondence sent to any third parties, it will be considered harassment and I will have no choice but to file suit. All future communications with me MUST be done in writing and sent to the address noted in this letter.This is an attempt to correct your records, and any information obtained shall be used for that purpose.Best Regards, XXXXXThis was back in May when I was first served the Lawsuit Summons. Today, they sent me the same exact thing with NO proof at all. There was an additional letter (I'm assuming to the court, made by the Plaintiff) that said "Please reissue Summons and Complaint" with my name and address. Could you also give me a quick answer on what discovery is? I will file the answer, but not sure how I should word my answer. Would "Plaintiff lacks sufficient proof including signed contract that this debt is valid" work?
That is an excellent letter. Well done. Discovery is legalese for seeking information relating to the case. After the answer is filed, one can ask the plaintiff for proof. This can be through a deposition or through asking for documents. That process is called discovery. Now the debt can be validated through statements and showing charges, but if there is a defense that the charges are valid but they have the wrong person, they need to show you are liable through a contract signed by you for example.
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