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How do I get discovery?

 

Discovery includes:

  1. Request for Production of Documents: You can ask the plaintiff to produce the documents that prove what they are claiming, like bills, their ledger and contract with you. See a sample Request for Production of Documents.
  2. Request for Interrogatories: You can ask the plaintiff to answer questions in writing about your case and the debt, like
    • “When did the debt occur?”
    • “How long has the company owned the right to collect the debt?”,
    • “How much is the debt actually for?”
    • “What is the interest rate used to calculate the debt?” and
    • Other questions you think would be helpful in your case. See a sample Request for Interrogatories.
  3. Request for Admissions: You write down a list of things that you think are true about the case. Send the statement to the plaintiff and ask if they agree or disagree. See a sample Request for Admissions.
  4. Depositions: You have the right to ask for a deposition where the plaintiff must answer your questions in person, under oath. If you need this type of discovery, you need a lawyer.

You can use any of the tools above. You do not have to use any of them.

To see how or why you might use discovery to help your case look at some sample discovery forms.

  1. Look over the sample forms and edit them to fit your case. Sign each of the forms you want to use.
  2. Look at the “certificate of service” on each form. This is where you certify or swear to the court that you have provided the plaintiff, with copies of the documents. Giving copies to the plaintiff’s attorney counts as “providing the plaintiff with copies of the documents”.
  3. Find the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney on the complaint he sent to you. Put the same name and address that is on the complaint on the certificate of service.
  4. Write in the date you will be mailing the package of papers.
  5. Make two copies of all of the certificate of service and all of the forms papers you are sending.
    1. File the original at the Court. Either deliver it in person or mail it.
    2. Mail a copy of the package to the Plaintiff’s attorney.
    3. Keep a copy of everything yourself.
  6. The plaintiff should send a package of information to you. This information should be the plaintiff’s response to the Discovery requests you submitted. See What happens if the plaintiff does not give me responses to my discovery requests?

Produced by Mariah Jennings-Rampsi, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, with funding from American College of Bankruptcy
Created June 2012


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