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Extrinsic Fraud Questions

Extrinsic fraud normally "induces a person not to present a case in court or deprives a person of the opportunity to be heard". It usually refers to deliberate and fraudulent acts that prevent a person or persons from getting information about their rights or getting evidence in a lawsuit. This could also include the destruction of evidence or misleading a person about the right to sue. Whether an action constitutes an extrinsic fraud or not, and the legal implications of extrinsic fraud can lead to a number of legal questions like the ones below.

Is there a statue of limitation for extrinsic fraud?

In most situations the statue of limitations for extrinsic fraud is a minimum of four years after the date of the wrongful conviction.

If someone was hacking into another person’s email and stealing information on a case being built against them, could that person be sued for extrinsic fraud?

In most situations this would be a case of extrinsic fraud. The thing to do in this situation is take the hearing back to the judge. Showing that they had hacked into an email account to get information concerning the case, and confidential information shared with the lawyer, the judge reconsider the consent order. It’s best if they go to the judge that dealt with the case, because if they go before another judge, that judge may just leave the orders as they are, because they are not informed of everything that has happened before.

After being divorced for almost 12 years, if a person was given to understand by the attorney that the divorce was final when the divorce was not actually final, can they sue the attorney for malpractice?

In most situations, while you can sue the attorney, you would need to hire another attorney to represent you before the judge. Usually if it can be established that the previous attorney deliberately withheld information or misinformed you about the status of the divorce, you can request to move the dismissal of the first case due to the extrinsic fraud from the previous attorney.

Can someone reopen a case that has been closed for 11 years in the state of Maryland?

11 years is a long time to reopen a case. The laws in Maryland state that a case can be reopened only on the grounds of extrinsic fraud not intrinsic. Extrinsic fraud is where the fraud is considered collateral to issues that are tried in the case. Some examples of extrinsic fraud would be:
• Someone keeps another away from court
• A false promise
• Someone not having knowledge of the suit being tried against them
• An attorney acts as if they are going to represent someone in court and then don’t
Intrinsic fraud is where a fraud pertains to issues that involved in the original action. So if someone makes a claim and it is considered fraudulent then the court usually won’t consider reopening the case. However, you could hire an attorney to file a motion with the original court to reopen and reconsider the case. You would need to serve papers to all the parties that were involved in the original case.

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Tina, Lawyer
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