Discovery is the pre-trial phase in a lawsuit in which the plaintiff and defendant, through the law of civil procedure, can request documents and other evidence from other parties or can compel the production of evidence by using a subpoena or through other discovery devices, such as depositions upon oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories; production of documents or things or permission to enter upon land or other property for inspection and other purposes; physical and mental examinations; and requests for admission. The frequency of use of the above methods may be limited by your states law of civil procedure. Florida law states:
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter of the pending action, whether it relates to the claim or defense of the party seeking discovery or the claim or defense of any other party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter. It is not ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
You may find out that the debt collection attorney may not be forthcoming in providing you with the documents that you requested; for example, if you request the original signed contract or application for credit, the debt collection attorney may object, stating that the document is irrelevant to the case. In this case, you'll have to file a motion to compel. Also, small claims court is usually more relax when it comes to Discovery. Discovery is your chance to find out what supporting evidence the Plaintiff has in their possession; most likely, the only evidence the debt collection attorney has is a printout of alleged charges. Listed below is an example of what you might send the debt collection attorney in terms of Discovery. Sample Discovery Court Form. Always file original requests with the Clerk of Court and send copies to the debt collection attorney; keep a copy for yourself.
REQUEST TO PRODUCE
REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS
NOTICE OF SERVICE OF INTERROGATORIES
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