My ex-wife's brother-in-law and sister are suing me for a $5,000 loan made to my business in 2008. I did not want the loan and do not remember signing a promissory note for it. My ex-wife basically did this without my consent and I know she was the one who endorsed the back of the check with my business name and account and deposited the check. She then proceeded to use the funds for other purposes (she had access to my business account--I know, I am dumb). I am requesting a copy of the promissory note from the attorney who is suing me (their family member) but he refuses to give me a copy (I believe my wife forged my signature) and does not tell me why. Am I, by law, entitled to a copy of the note so that I may defend myself (with or without counsel)? Is the refusal illegal?
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
You are entitled to a copy of the Promissory Note and both sides of the check AND you are also entitled to inspect the originals. It is not clear what court you are being sued in - NYC Civil Court Small claims? Per NYC Civil Court Rule 1101, you can make a discovery and inspection demand under CPLR 3120. If you are in Small Claims, the clerk for that part may be able to give you further guidance.
Criminal Defense Attorney
You are entitled to it under Article 31 of the CPLR. Make a motion to compel production of the documents you want.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Securities / Investment Fraud Attorney
There is also something in NY called a "Bill of Particulars" which may be used by you to ascertain exactly what it is that forms the basis of their law suit.
The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client relationship.