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What are the proper procedures for filing a Request for Dismissal in FL

Tampa, FL |

I'm now representing myself (I'm a single, self-employed mother of a toddler) in a Florida suit filed against me by a customer of mine who "stiffed" me $8000, after promising, in writing, to pay (I'm in another state). I called who I thought was still his part-time employer, who then advised me to call so-and-so and "tell him." I didn't know why, but I assumed that calling this guy would help get my money duly owed me. In a panic (and in the same hour I was advised my money wasn't coming), I did call so-and-so. Because I did, my customer who stiffed me (who'd led me to believe, up to the HOUR that the bank was closing, that he was going to wire the money, and then decided not to send it), threatened suit against me, and had his attorney friend e-mail me that I was banned from contacting anyone who might ever know this guy. I filed suit in my state, got a judgment, and, incredibly (because my bank had his information from previous orders) was able to collect. But, when I filed suit here, he went through with his (obviously retaliatory) suit in Florida, for defamation and slander. I then had to hire a Florida attorney, who then got every single penny of what I'd collected.
I had to let him go because I simply did not have the money to keep paying him.
Anyway, I want to file a Request for Dismissal, but have been able to get NOWHERE with the Hillsborough County Bar. I've called and called, left message after message, and have NEVER, EVER gotten a return call. I need to know procedures for doing this in Florida.
Also, after several months of not hearing anything, I recently got a Request for Production, and this jerk (who, by the way, is on the Board of a major Christian organization in Tampa Bay -- formerly as their Executive Director, but now their Treasurer, God forbid) is asking for all of my phone records from 2007 to now, all my bank statements, and all kinds of ridiculous stuff, which is no business of is, and the request is absurd.
Anyway, geez, sorry to ramble. I'm just batting zero here, and I need some assistance. Help!

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Attorney answers 2


Wow. I would say I can't believe that you got put through the ringer like that, butI guess I can. That said, it probably wasn't the bes thing for you to have called third parties and certainly put you in a tough spot but I feelfor you. Ok, if you want to file a dismissal, all you have to do is prepare a document called a Voluntary Dismissal and indicate in it that you are dismissing your action (with prejudice if you want it to be over for good). Here is the problem to consider, once you've done that, you may be succeptible to a charge of bad faith filing or otherwise be liable for fees and that assumes that the case was filed by you. If it was filed by him, you cant dismiss it because its not your case (subject to procedural grounds) may need to hire an attorney to evaluate where you are at or you may want to "offer" a walk away to the other side if they'll accept it. Its hard to say without knowing where you are at. The above is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to form an attorney client relationship or to constitute legal advice.


You are in a dangerous position. There is no such thing as a standard request for dismissal. Attorneys sometimes file Motions To Dismiss, alleging specific legal grounds for the court to consider, if they apply. There is no canned way to do this.

Unfortunately, these days with all the information that is on the Internet, people get the idea that they can properly represent themselves. Usually, this is untrue. While it may look like there are appropriate-looking documents you can adopt for your own use sometimes, this is rarely true - the documents and the ways and times they are to be used are not straightforward or obvious. I have seen this with people lately trying to defend themselves from foreclosure - they get a few things off the internet, sometimes they even get a little bit of success with the, and then they get the idea that that will allow them to win the case. That is not how it works. The legal system is very complex, attorneys train for many years to be competent at litigation, and even then, there is specialization depending on the kind of case. There is no realistic way that a person who is not legally trained or experienced can properly clean this up.

You need an attorney. Contact the county bar association to see if there is a legal aid agency in your area that might be able to assist you.