Pay attention to all papers from the Plaintiff and the Court. Even if the paper doesn’t tell you a date to come to court, you may need to write a response.
Many people think they can wait and explain everything in court. This is a mistake. Sometimes you have to answer in writing first.
Here are three examples of things you might get in the mail that you have to respond to in writing:
- The Plaintiff may request (ask) to let a witness testify by phone. You don’t have to agree with Plaintiff’s request. You may say no, for example, if the testimony involves talking about papers, and the testimony will be confusing to understand over the phone.
- If the Plaintiff sends a “Request to Admit,” they are asking you to admit (agree) that certain statements are true. Make sure you send a written answer within 30 days. You should write the word “deny” by any statement that you don’t know to be true. Don’t lose your case because you didn’t respond or because you think that the Plaintiff’s statements may be true.
- In Superior Court, the Plaintiff can send you written questions (called interrogatories) to answer.
You can’t ignore these questions. You must answer in 30 days, or write to ask for more time to answer. If the Plaintiff asks you for documents and you don’t answer, the Plaintiff can ask the Court not to consider any of your documents at trial.
You don’t have to go to other people to get documents for the Plaintiff. You are only responsible for giving any documents they ask for that you already have.
You Can Send Questions for the Plaintiff to Answer
The Plaintiff has to follow the same rules. You can send the Plaintiff written questions (called interrogatories) for the Plaintiff to answer. Here are some questions you may want to send to the Plaintiff. You can copy and paste them into your letter.
FIRST SET OF INTERROGATORIES
- Describe and list the dates and amounts of purchases and cash advances made on the account claimed.
- Describe and list the dates and amounts of payments made on the account claimed.
- Describe and list the dates and amount of account fees, interest, late charges, over limit charges that add to the balance alleged on the account claimed.
- Please state the interest rate, at the time the last payment was made, on the account claimed.
- Please describe the terms of the contract applicable to the account claimed, including the date the agreement was made, the fees and charges applicable to use of the account, the interest rates applicable to the account, and the payment terms.
- Please state the date that Plaintiff purchased the account claimed, and who Plaintiff purchased it from.
- Please describe the terms and conditions of the purchase of the account claimed.
- Please state the purchase price of the account claimed from the Seller of the account claimed.
- Please list all the information and documents conveyed to Plaintiff from the Seller of the account claimed.
- Please list all the information and documents conveyed and the dates conveyed, to the Plaintiff subsequent to the date of purchase of the account claimed.
REQUESTS TO PRODUCE
- Please produce copies of the contract sued upon.
- Please produce copies of statements of account.
- Please produce any documents you relied on in any of your answers to interrogatories.
- Please produce any documents you intend to produce at trial.
The Plaintiff can’t ignore your questions. The Plaintiff must answer in 30 days or ask you in writing for more time. If the Plaintiff never answers, at trial you can ask the Court to not consider any of Plaintiff’s documents, because you asked for them but Plaintiff refused to share them ahead of time.