If I was sued for unpaid debt and a judge dismissed the case, can another debt collection agency try to collect the debt?

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If I was sued for unpaid debt and a judge dismissed the case, can another debt collection agency try to collect the debt?

Asked on October 25, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The issue is why and  how was the case dismissed. If it was dismissed with prejudice (which is lawyer-speak for "this is not a good case) owing to either (1) the statute of limitations (time to sue) being over or (2) failure to state a claim for which relief may be granted (i.e. there's something wrong with the debt or paperwork they are suing on), then probably no--no one else can now sue you for it. On the other hand, if it was either a dismissal without prejudice (lawyer speak for you did something wrong with the paperwork), such as if the plaintiff suing you missed a filing deadline, or even was a with prejudice dismissal, but the dismissal was personal to that plaintiff (e.g. they personally couldn't establish their right to collect), then someone else may be  able to sue. So the issue  is why was the case dismissed, and on what grounds.


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