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John, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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I am being sued and at the case management hearing we submitted

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I am being sued and at the case management hearing we submitted a motion to dismiss. The judge postponed the hearing and ordered that interrogatories be served to each party no later then 9/30. I have not rec'd mine yet. My att'y had the other parties sent on 9/23. I asked my att'y to send the plaintiff's att'y a letter to find out where they were and he said that it wasn't a good idea to remind an adversary that they're late because it could be an advantage to us if it ends up in trial. I don't see how it can be much of an advantage.

Is there anything that can be done at this point? Are they in contempt?
We never rec'd a response to the motion until the day before the hearing so I was unable to respond. They filed it with the court but never sent it to us. I feel that if my att'y was not on top of things this would not have happened and I'm afraid of something similar happening again. I would appreciate a second opinion. Hope I made sense.

I live in Ocean Cty NJ and my court date is set for 12/3/13
Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m happy to assist you with your question today.

First if the judge ordered each side to submit interrogatories by 9/30, then either side's not submitting it within that time could be contempt of court and cause to dismiss the case. Generally in these situations I'd send the other attorney an order for their signature promising that they'd comply with the court's order or consent to being held in contempt and sanctions, and if they refused that I'd otherwise file a motion to compel.

I can also see your attorney's side of it...he's basically hoping that they forgot and the court will issue a ruling on the motion before the other side submits its interrogatories. That may work and it will cost less for you in attorney fees. Further it's not at all clear how you'd benefit by providing the other side more information; more information to defend against your motion. So, I do see merit in this tactic. It just may delay resolution of the matter if the other side otherwise has no intention of submitting interrogatories, in which case you probably could get the hearing and dismissal now.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your answer, it was very helpful. I don't see how they could have forgotten since receiving our interrogatories would certainly have been a loud reminder.

Could I get a hearing for dismissal before my scheduled court date of 12/3 and then counter sue for my legal fees?


Very good point...not sure how they could have forgotten either. But law firms are generally pretty busy places, attorneys schedules get messed up if they don't keep their calendars properly.

You may be able to get that earlier hearing on a motion for violation of the earlier court order, which would be contempt of court, and seek dismissal and attorney fees as the sanction. It really depends on how aggressive the judge is in granting these. There's no way of knowing if it would be granted, but it is a possibility.

Hope this helps. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
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