I am defending myself, Pro Se, in a Pennsylvania civil lawsuit by a Homeowner's Association. which didn't account for thousands of dollars paid to them.
Accordingly, I initially answered the charges in the suit by demanding that the Plaintiff provide documentation of all charges made to my wife and I in addition to all payments made by us to the H.O.A. No answer was given!
As part of discovery, in my Interrogatories I asked the Plaintiff to produce these records again. That was in July of this year. No answer was given.
Before asking a second time for my Interrogatories to be answered, I need to know the answer to some legal questions. I now realize that I probably should have been requesting the Production of Documents rather than using Interrogatories to get the H.O.A.'s billing and payment records.
My first question is if there is a problem with me using Interrogatories to request these records rather than the Production of Documents?
Secondly, having already requested the records in both my lawsuit answers and in first set of Interrogatories to the Plaintiff, can I now petition an Order to Compel from the Judge to force the H.O.A. Plaintiff to provide complete and accurate records of what they are suing me for? Or do I first have to make any other appeals to the H.O.A./Plaintiff before filing for an Order to Compel?
Isn't it incumbent on the H.O.A./Plaintiff to provide provable complete and correct records of all monetary charges against my wife and I as well as ALL payments made by us to the H.O.A./Plaintiff?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Thank you for your inquiry. While your question goes well beyond general legal advice as is the purpose of the site, I can provide some answers.
First, an Answer to a Complaint doesn’t obligate the Plaintiff to do or produce anything. Rather, an Answer is either an admission or denial of allegations. New Matter raises legal defenses beyond mere denials, such as the statute of limitations.
Interrogatories are generally intended to seek answers to questions while a Request for Production of Documents seeks what you are looking for, documents. Some parties seek documents in Interrogatories and, to the extent the Interrogatories successfully did so, it is possible to pursue those answers via a Motion to Compel.
I strongly advise that you seek advice from counsel and consider retaining counsel for this matter.
Feel free to call or email me on a free initial basis.
Matthew R. Nahrgang, Esquire
35 Evansburg Road, Ste 400
Collegeville, PA 19426
(610) 489-3041 o
(610) 489-3042 fax