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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    10

    Default How Long Does It Take to Go to Court After You Have Been "Sued"

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: TEXAS


    I won a Texas Workforce Commission claim. My ex employer then sued the Texas Workforce Commission and named myself in the case. They had to file the suit in the county I live in. (Williamson)

    This was done so that they wouldn't have to pay me wages owed.

    The suit was filed in August of 2011. It has now been over a year and I have not heard anything else from the court. I do call about once a month to both the court and TWC to make sure I haven't missed anything.

    My question is, after filing a civil suit, How long does it take to go to court to see a judge ? Is there not a time table for this? Or can legal cases just sit in limbo for as long as the plaintiff wants?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Republic of Texas
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: How Long Does It Take to Go to Court After You Have Been "Sued"

    It takes as long as it does...

    Not trying to be flippant, but the length of time to get to court depends on a lot of variables, including what court is going to hear the suit, how busy they are (docket length), and how many dilatory tactics the plaintiff's attorney can get through. Honestly, it is to the benefit of the plaintiff to drag the process out, since it isn't costing anything except attorney fees until a decision is rendered.

    From what I gather about Williamson County, there are a bunch of people suing each other, so the docket is fairly well booked. If the court clerk can't give you some indication of where your case is, I'm afraid I can't, either.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    9,434

    Default Re: How Long Does It Take to Go to Court After You Have Been "Sued"

    There is no constitutional right to a speedy civil disposition.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: How Long Does It Take to Go to Court After You Have Been "Sued"

    The clerk cannot give you any information beyond what you can already get online about the progress of your case. Anything filed in the case is generally online within a few days. That is pretty much all a clerk knows about a case, and much less cares about.

    http://judicialrecords.wilco.org/default.aspx

    From the website you can get a cursory review of what has been done in your case in the past year.

    It appears that in your case nothing has been done beyond the initial complaint and answer. A notice was sent out a couple of weeks ago. That may have been by the clerk for a DWOP. Either way, review your case, and if needed go to the court and ask to see your file. They should allow you to see it and get copies of whatever you need if you are a party and representing yourself. If the notice recently sent applies to your case and you have not received it, then you need to see what that is

    If the case does get dismissed, which it should if Plaintiff has not done anything in this case for so long, that should end the lawsuit. Even if dismissed without prejudice, that Plaintiff will not be able to refile again because any dismissal of the first suit does not toll limitations.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: How Long Does It Take to Go to Court After You Have Been "Sued"

    Thank you for that. I was unaware I could see it.

    From my conversation today with the TWC..... The employer was forced to pay me for losing the case against the TWC.

    Because they filed suit, the TWC actually holds that money until the case is resolved.

    So based on the above, I guess I sit in purgatory and wait to see if the Plaintiff moves forward, if not, the judge/court will eventually "dismiss" this case?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: How Long Does It Take to Go to Court After You Have Been "Sued"

    If you were sent notice a couple of weeks ago, and you do not have it, you need to find out what that is about

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: How Long Does It Take to Go to Court After You Have Been "Sued"

    The notice stated my Attorney General has changed from "Blank" to a new person named "blank".

    No date set etc

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: How Long Does It Take to Go to Court After You Have Been "Sued"

    Eventually this case will either go to trial and be decided, or it will be dismissed by the court and you will get your money.

    It may be that Plaintiff filed suit and did not fully realize how much it actually costs to litigate this, and would rather now just let it sit since at this point he has little to lose by making you wait as long as possible for your money.

    As a CYA measure, you might still need to file and serve an answer on your own, even if only a one liner general denial. It may be that the TWC answer does not cover you, since they were named separately in the suit. If so, you should file and serve one before anything else is done.

    If this is not a lot of money, it may be best to wait it out. One day you may get a check in the mail.

    If it is a lot of money, there are some things you can file and serve on your own to light a fire under Plaintiff, but that will take time and effort on your part.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: How Long Does It Take to Go to Court After You Have Been "Sued"

    I have filed an answer, (within 10 business days of being served). It's a decent amount of money. What could I file to "light a fire"?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: How Long Does It Take to Go to Court After You Have Been "Sued"

    Texas allows a motion for no-evidence summary judgment Tex. R. Civ. P. 166a(i). This motion alleges the other party has no-evidence on at least one essential element of their cause of action of which they have the burden of proof at trial. If this is true, then the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

    This differs from traditional summary judgments in that it throws the ball into the other parties court to show they do have some evidence. But if they do show evidence that raises questions of fact, then the motion is defeated.

    If the Plainitff does not respond, the court MUST grant a no-evidence summary judgment.

    While such motions can be very short and to the point, it is not a trivial matter, and there may be consequences (attorney fees) if it determined to have been frivolously filed.

    It may be that if your employer impulsively filed suit out of anger and simply not wanting to pay up, and did not really think through all the elements of their cause of action, at least one of those elements may be found to lack merit, and attacked with a no-evidence motion.

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