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ARdave 10-11-2014 12:04 PM

False property tax lawsuit?
Im in Houston Texas.

a few weeks ago, we received notice of pending litigation over unpaid property taxes, with our address, but a different persons name, and tax account number listed. contacted the attorneys office and alerted them to the mistake, which they confirmed was 100% a mistake on their end, and that it would be corrected ASAP.

Today, we get served with a lawsuit, naming the other person (who we don't know), as well as us. still listing the incorrect tax information (our account has never been late or unpaid and currently shows $0 balance owed by the way).

Now. Im as understanding as the next guy. but im also greedy. So i guess the heart of my question is this. Since we made the good faith effort to correct their information, and they falsified a legal document when they filed that suit anyway. would a counter-suit be a slam dunk? I'm going Monday to talk to a lawyer and see if we can file against them. But i thought i would ask for some random opinions first. to

also, what would you consider as reasonable punitive damages to seek? 500k, 1 million? need it to be enough to make the deal sweet for a lawyer to want to take. my mother is the owner of the house, for her whole life, and she has already suffered multiple heart attacks, and is now complaining about chest pains after opening the letter. Does this make things better as well? pain and suffering and all that? Sorry. Green eyed monster taking over. Haha

rhinojd 10-15-2014 06:03 PM

Probably not going to get to much money Punitive Damages are very limited, despite what you see on T.V. Ridiclous Jury Awards are often awarded, but then overturned right after, but you don't hear that part from the Media.

The Supreme Court has ruled that you cannot recover 9x more than your actual damages. I.E. if you get hit by a car and have $100,000 in damages the max in punitive damages is $900,000.

In addition Punitive Damages are not easy to get, and you need to prove reckless or intentional misconduct negligence is insufficient.

In your situation, it is not clear what if any damages you sustained I suppose your time to deal with it, and they really enforce the lawsuit and you win maybe there is some sort of statutory provision, but at this point I think the most likely outcome is the attorney writes a letter on your behalf and the IRS goes away.

I would not count on a big pay-day based on these facts, but no harm in talking with the lawyer.

ARdave 10-15-2014 08:00 PM

Yeah, ignore me. I was somewhat angry at the thought of having to go to the freekin district court house down town just to sit there and show these educated legal types how to read a property tax account number and ACTUALLY SUE THE CORRECT PERSON.

but we called the law office AGAIN, and they assured us AGAIN that it was a mistake in their computer and it would be taken care of. And yet here we sit 3 days later, no email, fax or even phone call acknowledging that its been taken care of. starting to wonder if this is some sort of scam by the county to try to trick people into paying a tax debt they don't owe. If we get another notice of any kind I will be going to the local news media to embarrass these idiots for their gross incompetence.

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