Midland Funding files a lot lawsuits here in Arizona. And many people I meet with make the decision to go it alone and represent themselves in their lawsuit. However one step in the collection lawsuit that makes people nervous is when the court schedules a pre-trial conference. In every Midland Funding case there will be a pre-trial conference.
Understanding what this hearing is all about will take a lot of the anxiety out of your life and help you avoid some of the common pit-falls that can seriously damage your case.
Whether your case is filed in the Arizona Justice Court or the Arizona Superior Court will not make much of a difference when it comes to the pre-trial conference. The Justice Courts in Arizona handle cases where the amount in dispute is less than $10,000 and the Superior Courts handle the larger cases where the amount in dispute is more than $10,000.
The purpose of the pre-trial conference is for the judge to see where the case it at. It is surprising to most people that in most cases the judge really has not been following along as to what is going on in your case. The pre-trial conference is an opportunity for the judge to hear where the case is at and what (if anything) needs to be done prior to a trial being set.
Most of the time the pre-trial conference is handled over the telephone. Particularly in the Superior Court the judges prefer to get both parties on the phone and handle the hearing that way. The court will send out a notice along with the telephone number that you need to call.
In the justice courts they typically will want you to appear in person unless you ask for permission to appear over the phone ahead of time. The attorneys for Midland Funding will always ask for permission to appear over the phone simply because it is more convenient. So if you show up and they are not there in person it is important to ask the judge if they obtained permission to appear telephonically before the hearing.
The hearings are generally pretty short – most last less than 5 minutes. You may or may not get a trial date at the hearing. The judge may elect to mail it out at a later date.
Warning – Consequences if You Don’t Show Up
A big warning if your Midland Funding lawsuit is in the justice court. If you don’t show up to the pre-trial conference there is a good chance that the court will grant judgment against you. This will typically not happen in the Superior Court, but if you are in the justice court make sure that you show up. If you don’t, it could cost you big time!