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How can discovery help me?

Produced by Mariah Jennings-Rampsi, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, with funding from American College of Bankruptcy
Reviewed December 2019

Discovery is a way to get information from the other side about your case.  The plaintiff and defendant are parties in the case. Both parties can request discovery. If the plaintiff requests discovery, they can get information from you that they hope will help them win their case.

If you request discovery you can get information about the creditor’s case against you.  You could also get information to help you prove any counterclaims.


The Plaintiff must prove two things:

  1. you owe the debt, and
  2. the amount of the debt.

They will probably ask you questions and ask you for documents that help them prove this.

The plaintiff should have given you documents to prove you owe the debt and the amount you owe when they filed the case.  If they did not, and you ask for them in discovery and they do not give you:

  1. the contract, the agreement you signed, that says you owe the debt,
  2. the account number or
  3. the “ledger” of your account. Their ledger is their records of what you owe them;

tell the Judge.

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