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Request for Discovery Continued from Previous Notice of Dismissal Want of Prosecution

Discussion in 'Civil Court, Procedure & Litigation' started by txcowboyangels, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. txcowboyangels

    txcowboyangels Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I hired a law firm to represent me in a tax lien debt collector lawsuit over 2 years ago. The case was dismissed and I received a Notice of Dismissal Want of Prosecution notice, on March 26th, 2019. The Plaintiff's lawyer refiled on April 15th, 2019. However, I was not served the papers until November 8, 2019. I am now scheduled to appear in court by January 29th, 2020. The likely outcome is that I will lose the house my disabled son currently lives in, to foreclosure by this company.

    Unfortunately, I am no position to afford a lawyer any longer. I am now representing myself in court.

    My lawyer had originally requested discovery documents and the Plaintiff's law firm never replied during the two year period of time.

    My question:

    • I am running out of time. Any attempt at this point for a request for discovery of documents will not provide sufficient enough time for the Plaintiff's lawyer's to respond. Can I request a Motion for order compelling discovery based on the original requests during the first lawsuit? If so, does anyone have any idea what form I should use and how I should phrase the wording?
    • Can I reference the outcome of the original lawsuit and their inability to work with me and my lawyer the first time?
    Any additional information you can provide that would guide me through this process would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
  2. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, no. When the prior case got dismissed, that also meant that all pending actions in the case were terminated too. Thus, there was no longer any need for the creditor to respond to the discovery request because that case was over. Even if you could pursue such a motion, it is unlikely it could be decided before the scheduled trial date in just a little over 3 weeks from now.

    You were served the new lawsuit back in November. Why didn't you promptly get out any discovery that you wanted to do back then?

    That too won't help you. The creditor had no obligation to "work with you" and the fact that the creditor failed to prosecute the case the first time around doesn't help you here unless the creditor fails to prosecute it again, in which case you could ask for a dismissal with prejudice. But at the trial that prior dismissal is irrelevant. I assume this is collection of real estate taxes owed and the tax agency already has the real property tax lien on the property. If that's the case then the issue in the trial will be whether the tax agency has met what it needs to show to get the court to order the sale of the property to satisfy the lien. So what you present would have to be relevant to that issue.

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