Denials and demand for "strict proof" - Will County
To keep it simple (again). This is for a Rule 137 case. I already know the general "feeling" about ProSe litigants and Rule 137 so thanks for helping either way.
The question I have is about the response I received in response to my complaint. Basically, the Petitioner denied the allegations in all paragraphs and requested "strict proof thereof". This is what the response looks like for almost all paragraphs: "Petitioner denies the allegations in paragraph x and demands strict proof thereof."
This is true even in cases where the Petitioner knows the facts to be true. How do I provide "strict proof"? Isn't that just basically a frivolous tactic? I'm assuming now I wait for the hearing?
7 attorney answers
The "strict proof" language is just one of those many "lawyerly" phrases that still hangs around in documents because some people still like to use it and/or they cut and paste from other answers they've used and it's still there--and , let's be honest, it sounds intense. The main point though is to just read over it. It adds nothing. It's just a denial. An unnecessarily wordy denial, true, but still just a denial. There is no basis for a 137sanction on a denial phrased to sound like a tough guy. The addition of the word "strict" does not change the standard of proof needed to defeat your claim. It's just rhetoric. Don't let it bother you.
You should focus on the evidence and the proofs that are necessary to establish your defense and/or claim. Do not worry about the style of the pleading. If it turns out that a party has filed a pleading which is knowingly false you can obtain sanctions at a later date.
This answer is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be nor should it be considered the providing of legal advice.
If your allegation is not specific enough to be answered, it must be admitted or denied and should be denied. Your opponent could also have served you with a Demand for Bill of Particulars. This entire line of questions from you has been a little disconcerting since you have in effect asked all the lawyers who have contributed to your inquiries to teach you how to practice law. At some point, you need to either hire your own lawyer or stop asking us to provide you with all your answers. We went to law school and have over time learned how to practice law. You are asking us to do for you for free what we do for our paying clients. Attorneys only have one thing to offer and that is our services based upon our skill and experience.
I say this with respect for you and fully anticipate your response which could be that if I don't wish to answer, I should not, but keep in mind that your continued questions here are, albeit unintentional, disrespectful of the volunteer attorneys and their time. Pleasae consider hiring an attorney to coach you through the process if you persist in handling your case pro se. You are being out-lawyered.
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I would agree completely, only adding that if you were served with a Bill of Particulars, it would be titled just that and you would know it. If you received an answer "denying this allegation and demanding strict proof thereof," that's a bit different, in that they are merely denying what you claim and you'll have to prove it. Pretty much anything you allege either has to be admitted or you have to prove it. That's the deal with anything legally--you allege something and the other side either admits or denies it. If they admit all the elements of your case, great, you should be able to file a Motion for Summary Judgment and get your victory. If they don't, which is typical, then you have to prove these allegations at trial. Avvo is a wonderful site that allows lay people to find lawyers, get some basic guidance to their legal questions, and understand a bit about the process. IT IS NOT A HELP DESK. Nor should it be used as one. We are volunteer attorneys doing this on our own time. Sometimes we can help people, sometimes not. Sometimes we point people in the right direction, while other times the people clearly need a lawyer. We always hope to be the lawyer those people retain. Either way, you've done great so far on your own. But now you really need to understand that, while lawyers are costly, we do provide a valuable service that you may not be able to perform yourself. I can't butcher my own meat, fix my own plumbing, or make my own clothing. I hire people to do that. Costs me money I'd rather have, but then again I like flushing my toilet without it flooding my house, like to eat food that looks and tastes appetizing, and prefer clothing that actually fits and lasts. All professionals provide a service. Sometimes it really is worth paying them rather than thinking you can DIY.
First, I want to say thanks again to everyone, Judy Goldstein, and ,Stephen Laurence Hoffman, included. I do NOT take offence to what you have said regarding the time spent and that you are volunteer lawyers. I thought my questions were basic enough and within the realm of the idea behind this site "free answers from experienced lawyers." I do thank each person that has helped so far and apologize if I have offended anyone or wasted anyone's time with my line of questions.
Appreciate the support and glad to help.
First of all, the "strict proof thereof" is a term that was in vogue when I began practicing two and a half decades ago. It is virtually meaningless and of no legal heft these days. You either deny or admit things alleged in a complaint. If you have no knowledge, you can say so and neither admit nor deny.
We can't give you a lesson on how to plead your case, nor can we explain exactly what procedural tact you should take. Again, the fact that you alleged something and the other side denied it. So the next step is to prove it at trial.
A good example is I get injured in a car crash and allege the other driver caused it and that I'm injured as a result. They admit that the cars crashed but deny they were at fault or that my bills are related. So at trial, my job then is to prove they are at fault and that my bills are related. I'd have to call witnesses, offer documents etc. to do this. How you do that is up to you, but obviously has to be within the bounds of the rules of evidence and civil procedure.
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Hah! You are right but I still use it cuz it makes my clients feel just swell and shows I'm really standing up for them.
It is up to you to prove your case. This is true even if the, I am guessing you meant the Defendant, knows the facts to be true. Without knowing what you have alleged, it is difficult to say if the answers are worthy of sanction. The allegations in your complaint are not in and of themselves sufficient. Attorneys are prohibited from soliciting your business through this website. You will need to contact attorneys individually. You might try an internet search or use the Find a Lawyer tab at the top of the page.
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The concept of "strict proof" is not found anywhere in Illinois law and it is not proper to make such demands.
Judges are loathe to enter sanctions under Rule 137. Any motion brought pursuant to that Rule is itself subject to Rule 137.
I think Rule 137 litigation is to lawsuits what the bomb squad is to police work. It is different in kind and deadly. One mistake and you are cooked. Get a lawyer, please.
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