As the title implies…is there such a thing as a silver bullet in a court case? The answer is Yes. However, it’s not what many think and it eludes the best researchers, some stumble across it without knowing it, many actually execute it without knowing it. What is this elusive “silver bullet”?
You can have the best arguments, the best case law, the best evidence and make the most profound statements in arguing your case. But many still lose.
Some background first. Subject-matter jurisdiction, what is it and why do I care? From the Legal Information Institute:
“The power of a court over the nature of a case and the type of remedy demanded. A court must have jurisdiction to enter a valid, enforceable judgment on a claim. Jurisdiction may be broken down into two categories: personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction”
Subject-matter jurisdiction is the power of the court to hear a specific type of claim or controversy. Subject-matter jurisdiction is paramount for the court to have the authority to hear and adjudicate on a case.
Want to have a guess at what the silver bullet is yet?
What does a Magistrate or Judge want to see between the parties, usually above all else? It’s one word:
A court loses subject-matter jurisdiction if there is no controversy to rule on – it’s already settled between the parties. There is NO claim, it’s been dealt with outside of the court.
Many defendants build up their arguments, take them into court and fire away – there’s nothing wrong with this approach, but it requires the adjudicator to determine where the agreement lies. Is it possible to avoid court altogether? Yes, by forming an admissible agreement between the parties that can be filed into court with a letter specifying that the parties have reached an agreement.
So why did I decide to write this now?
I see many people panic, become agitated, call the opposite party corrupted etc etc because the opposite party did or didn’t do something. What’s becoming common is the standard template letter from the opposite party stating that they believe the letter you sent them is a standard template letter from the internet and they believe it’s not valid. Really? In the world of contracts – you’ve just been had by a counter-offer. Every single lawyer or their admin staff uses template letters. This type of counter offer obfuscates the real issue being played out: The opposite party really doesn’t want to respond point by point to your claim.
In the world of big business offers and counter offers are made all the time. When you receive a counter offer, what do you do? You send it back, under your counter-offer (Conditional Acceptance) that they haven’t addressed the original points or whatever context is required.
The same is said for the non-responding opposite party. I hear people complain that the opposite party didn’t respond, or they ignore me. Are they really ignoring you or are they trying to protect themselves?
Once you’ve completed a 3 step process using a 3rd party presenter, you should have an admissible record of agreement between the parties, thus relieving the court of subject-matter jurisdiction. Now don’t give up the agreement when the opposite party claims there is no agreement – there is, and your 3rd party presenter/acceptor and custodian of records (a 2nd witness) has evidence of this. You don’t argue with the opposite party, instead conditionally accept their offer upon proof of claim that there isn’t an established record of agreement between the parties.
So again, many people successfully win or have their cases dismissed – because the adjudicator found agreement buried in the argument and evidence. This is one way. The other is to gain agreement with your brother or sister administratively and use that record to relieve the court of subject matter jurisdiction. Better known as……