Today was the hearing for the lawsuit brought by ALLEN ADKINS & ASSOCIATES on behalf of CITIBANK after they told me for months they were only a third party debt collector while telling the court they were retained counsel. That and other issues were going to be a part of my case today before the judge.
I arrived at 10:25 for our 11 AM hearing fully prepared with my four inches of records regarding the actions of both CITIBANK and ALLEN ADKINS & ASSOCIATES case and supporting paperwork. According to the electronic marquee outside his chambers that listed today’s court docket for Judge W. M. "Mike" Yarbrough of the Justice of the Peace we were still scheduled at 11 AM. In fact, we were the first case of the day which explained why the court room was empty and closed as I was very early.
I checked in with the court clerk and was instructed to wait in the lobby area outside the courtroom. During the next thirty minutes, I visited with a number of people including a Game Warden I have known for nearly twenty years while we all waited for someone, anyone, representing ALLEN ADKINS & ASSOCIATES or CITIBANK to show up.
11 AM came and went and their people were STILL a no show.
Judge Yarbrough and I continued to wait and wait for the people who brought the lawsuit and promised to bring at least 11 witnesses against me today to show, as promised when they had filed, how ALLEN ADKINS & ASSOCIATES and CITIBANK had suffered “great economic harm and damage” because of me. This was the trial they had insisted upon having today despite knowing the great economic harm we have suffered here due to my loss of employment from PISD (who could not find another job for me anywhere in the district doing anything), Sandi’s probably terminal cancer, etc.
Finally, at 11:20 the court got tired of waiting for opposing counsel to show and the hearing began. I stood before the judge braced against the defense table and hoped like crazy I would not fall. Noting their lack of appearance on time as scheduled, Judge Yarbrough opened the trail by asking me if I knew of any reason why anyone for ALLEN ADKINS & ASSOCIATES or CITIBANK had failed to show.
I did not.
I noted for the record that I had, in addition to the summons to them sent directly by the court back in November, provided to both parties my copy of the summons. Furthermore, while documenting circumstances and proving the appropriate proof, I had reminded them in every single letter the date and time of said hearing. The judge noted that as well as the fact I had kept the court and both sets of Plaintiffs clearly fully aware of our financial situation, Sandi’s health, etc. He further questioned me as to whether or not I had ever received ay responses to the communications I had sent, especially during the last three months. I explained that other than the filing with the court by them of the 11 expert witnesses list (all ALLEN ADKINS & ASSOCIATES paid employees) that arrived in November while Sandi was in the hospital, I had received nothing from them at all.
After several minutes of answering his questions it was clear that the Judge was annoyed and not at all with me. I pointed out again and again that I had fully documented the situation once I had been served. I reminded the court that clearly I had made all the efforts in the case in an attempt to not waste the court’s valuable time. That I had even had filed a motion two weeks ago to dismiss the case because there was nothing to adjudicate since the case had been settled as far as I was concerned back in September when I agreed to their one and only settlement offer of $900. I noted they had not responded to the court at all on the matter.
I furthermore pointed out that I had promised in my motion to dismiss that I would continue to make payments of $5.00 per month directly to CITIBANK until the sum and total of $900 was paid and would continue to honor that, with or without a court order today to do so, as I had promised under the settlement agreement. I pointed out to the court that the figure of $900 that I agreed to was what ALLEN ADKINS & ASSOCIATES had offered back in September and was approximately the amount I had owed before CITIBANK ceased to work with me in March 2010 and had returned my payments instructing me to no longer pay if I was not willing to pay the full amount each month regardless of my circumstances at that time.
I noted again that I had clearly agreed to their $900 figure back in September as the sum and total of the debt owed and had made my promised payments with no reply from them at all. I explained to the court that as far as I was concerned that meant they had agreed to said settlement and that no payments had been returned to me as of today before I left for court. I reminded the court that I had followed through on payments as promised and had provided proof to all parties on said payments.
By this point it was 11:30 and they STILL were a no show. No sign of any counsel OR any of their eleven witnesses.
The judge instructed me that he was dismissing the case due to their failure to show. When I asked, Judge Yarbrough stated they could appeal but would have to show good cause for their missing the hearing they were fully aware was scheduled today.
My sense of the hearing was that it was very clear he was very unhappy with their actions in the case to this point and was extremely unhappy with their failure to appear. Judges do not like it when you waste their time. It seemed pretty clear to me as he reviewed the extensive case file and asked if they had ever responded to the various materials I had sent them month after month for more than a year now (the answer was no each time), he was not happy at all. Couple that with their failure to show today and he was obviously not at all pleased.
With a final “good luck” to me, he said the case was dismissed and sent me on my way.
According to the online system this afternoon, Judge Yarbrough has signed the order dismissing the case. A copy of his order should soon be in the mail to all parties. Pending an attempt to appeal by them it is a done deal.
Now that Sandi and I have this weight off of our backs we can focus on her PET SCAN and lab work this Friday morning.