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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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I am the defendant in a civil case in Texas. I answered the

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I am the defendant in a civil case in Texas. I answered the original petition with a general denial and responded to all requests for admissions and requests for production with denial or inability to answer because plaintiff has not supplied any evidence that the debt is mine. We went to trial last year in August. Because of the state of things, the judge asked the plaintiff if she would like a continuance. She said she did. I have heard nothing from the plaintiff all year. I received notice from the court that a new trial date has been set, followed by a letter from the plaintiff notifying me that a trial date has been set. It has been over 13 months since the previous "trial". Is there a time limit for continuances? Is when a continuance is granted, does the new trial date have to be set at that time? Am I required to receive notice of that?

LegalGems :

Hi! LegalGems here. I have extensive consumer law experience and will use this to assist you with your issue today. Rules 251-254 address the issue of continuance, and surprisingly there is no time restriction. http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us/rules/TRCP/RCP_all.pdf Generally, based on my experience, it is set for a few weeks, or up to 6 weeks out. A year seems excessive. A judge typically will not allow a continuance unless there is a valid reason. Since the rules don't address the timing issue, it is within the judge's discretion to determine the time frame. And when a continuance is granted, typically the date is set for the continued hearing, with both parties present. If it is set via a motion that is filed ex parte (parties not present) then the other party is to be served the appropriate papers to provide the relevant notice.

LegalGems :

Here is a typical motion for a continuance - and as you can see, there are certain reasons a continuance is granted - purposeful delay not being one of them. http://www.lanwt.org/txaccess/forms/mocon.pdf

Customer:

Thank you very much. Not the answer I was hoping to hear, but an answer nevertheless. I'm willing to pay another $34 to ask another question...

Customer:

Since the original petition did not have evidence attached, and I responded to all the requests, would a motion for a directed verdict & dismissal be out of line?

LegalGems :

You are welcome. Glad to have helped. I am surprised the code doesn't address it, but that's not much consolation unfortunately.

LegalGems :

Actually, the petition does not have to have all the evidence attached. It only needs to state, with detail, the elements of the cause of action. During discovery the opposing party would request the evidence (i.e. request for production, interrogatories).

LegalGems :

That being said, the plaintiff has the burden of proof- so if they can't prove the debt is valid/belongs to you, a judgment in plaintiff's favor would be rare (I say rare because judge's sometimes act outside of the law).

Customer:

ok. That tells me they have none because I didn't provide them with any. I don't have record of an account with that credit card number. Thanks again.

Customer:

Most excellent! yay! thank you!

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