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Ask David Stewart Your Own Question
David Stewart
David Stewart, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 172
Experience:  Highly experienced attorney Commercial Law, Litigation, Intellectual Property Law, and Family Law
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I need to know how to make an argument against the statute

Customer Question

I need to know how to make an argument against the statute of limitations for Defanation. My attorney recently dropped out of the case after making a deal with the defense attorney and I've got one hell of a malpractice claim but that's not my concern at the moment. I'm looking for an attorney to replace the one that left but considering how complicated this case is I don't know if I'm going to be able to. I must be able to extend the statute of limitations on claims and from what I understand they can be extended if the other party is directly responsible for preventing you from filing within that initial period. The torts and my current lawsuit are against the trustees that own my house and provide my income. They've actually been telling me for the past five years if I sue them for any reason whatsoever then I will lose my home my income and everything will pass me by as if I was deceased. Well I have a mental disability and cannot work so that has been a terrifying idea. I've literally been living in fear of these guys for years without any recourse but recent acts have been egregious enough to where I had no choice but to file a lawsuit. I've been evicted from my home and I've been cut off from income because of it. Some of those torts includefalse imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, trespassing, and defamation. You're not gonna believe this but I've discovered the existence of almost a dozen police reports and almost 30 pages from the local mental health department that outline a year-long effort to try to help me declared legally incompetent so I can't sue them for estate fraud. The first report states that they didn't have enough evidence to do it and the rest of the reports were supposed to serve that purpose, they were supposed to serve as the evidence that they needed to ultimately needed to have they declared incompetent. The statute of limitations for defamation on some of these reports has recently passed because the reports span over such a great great length of time. The attorney that I had thought that he could make an argument to extend the statutes but he is gone and I have no clue what to do or say. I need to file a motion ASAP can you please offer some advice?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  David Stewart replied 2 months ago.

Chad: I am really sorry for all of your troubles and having to deal with an attorney you are not at all pleased with at the moment. In reference to your inquiry about statute of limitations, the period does not begin to accrue until you know or should have known of the defamatory statements about you. In this instance based on your explanation, the statute of limitations would not have begun until you discovered the reports you are referencing in your statement. I would suggest you file an amendment to your lawsuit that includes the new claims you want to file. This is very often done by you contacting the otherside's attorney and seeing if they will agree to let you amend your claims and if so you simply amend the original lawsuit filing to include your new allegations. I do not see any reason to raise the statute of limitations issue unless the other side does, and if they do you should check to see if you are still within the period from the date you discovered the reports referenced above. I hope this helps! All the best, David

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
David thank you, ***** ***** have already raised the statute of limitations defense for a number of things. My attorney had an agreement with the defense to extend service but all I have is an email between the two the two attorneys saying as much. They clearly state that "nobody will claim that the statute of limitations have passed" but now they are saying that that agreement wasn't binding. At the time, my attorney said it was but he's long gone. I discovered the false reports over a year ago but didn't hire an attorney until just a few months ago out of fear of the repurchasing of a lawsuit. Now that I've sued I've lost my home and income and these guys even took away my own attorney. I actually have an email from him saying "they've agreed to accept service but I have to agree to get out of the case"... It's very strange I know.What can you tell me about arguing for an extension of those limits?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Sorry about the typos
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Or if you can't, what can you tell me about my defamation claim if I've known about the source of defamation for over a year but have just recently discovered how far it actually extended? They reported all this to the police and from what j understand that is considered privelaged and can't be use as a basis for defamation anyway. The police were obviously concerned about what they had been told because I just heard from a neighbor of men that the police warned them about me based on what they had been told. I found that out two weeks ago but I discovered the defamation that caused it to happen over a year ago, does that make a difference?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I should add that they are arguing privelage against the defamation claim for the police reports. From what I understand anything said to the police is privelaged even if the person making the statements did so maliciously and knowing that it was false information. Am I wrong?
Expert:  David Stewart replied 2 months ago.

I am going to offer you a call to talk through your situation confidentially and in more detail. However, statutes of limitations are very hard to overcome. You may be faced with needing to sue your attorney for malpractice, but first I think you should get a copy of the attorny's files and understand exactly what has happened. As for the police, I dont know whether they have any obligation to give you the reports but if I were you I would focus my efforts on finding your attorney who will know and understand your case. If I dont get to speak with you I wish you all the best.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Sorry, I stepped away for a bit. I'll put everything I have into finding someone but I do have one question about a comment you made... My attorney has told me that there are not any more files other than the few he copied me on but I know that's not true. How can I go about getting my file from him? Is there a rule that I can reference?
Expert:  David Stewart replied 2 months ago.

Yes, you should site the Rules of Professional Conduct all atrorneys must comply with in their dealings with the court and clients. All the best, David

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Ok, but what happens if they don't, I'll leave a good tip after this but you won't believe what the defense has pulled. Just a couple examples... There are 4 trustees and my mother is one of them, they have named her on an eviction and a protective order against my wife and I and she didn't even know that she was evicting us until I showed her the papers. They tried to trick me into a default judgement by cancelling the eviction hearing right after serving me and rescheduling on for two days away without telling me about it. He offered me a sworn affidavit stating that the alias was delivered when it was not. I flat out have an email from my own attorney that says "they've agreed to accept service but I have to agree to get out of the case"... Then he dropped me. These guys have done everything they can to prevent me from bringing this lawsuit and we haven't even started yet. I'm on my own and want to make a motion to get rid of these guys or sanctions or something... What can I do when the defense has already broken every rule in the book?
Expert:  David Stewart replied 2 months ago.

What you are describing could be considered criminal conduct so if you are unable to proceed in civil court you might consider filing a police report to see if there is anything that can be done to restore your status of trustee. Other than that I believe you need to get an attorney to watch over your assets in court. There is not a specific motion to be filed, but you will need to reapond to a motion to dismiss if one is filed.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Ok, would you ask for sanctions at this point? After all, they are responsible for taking my own attorney away from me, I don't think it would be too much to ask for them to pay my new attorneys fees, have you ever seen conduct like this go unpunished or can I possibly do something about it? At this point I'm appearing pro se
Expert:  David Stewart replied 2 months ago.

You can certainly ask for sanctions. I have never seen co duct like this before out of attorneys. If you want any chance of sucessfully winning sanctions you have very little chance of doing so pro se. You need counsel to navigate the situation for you. These are not cookie cutter situations that I can advise you on what motion to file or argument to make. Good luck with everything.