1The topic of this issue of the newsletter is a brief discussion of the issue of identity theft as a partial or total affirmative

defense to any lawsuit based in whole or in part on unauthorized charges made to a credit card, or other account. --------------Reminder: THE AUTHOR NOW SELLS COLLECTIONS OF SAMPLE LEGAL DOCUMENTS AT A HUGE DISCOUNT! VISIT THE WEBSITE BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION. http://www.scribd.com/LegalDocsPro/documents --------------In other words if the underlying debt is partially or entirely the result of identity theft, then the victim of identity theft has a valid defense to the portion of the charges that were unauthorized, and to any resulting interest or fees related to the charges. Remedies are also available under California law, for instance, a victim of identity theft may sue affirmatively and seek injunctive relief in the form of a finding that the individual does not owe a debt. Note that the first thing a person who is the victim of identity theft should do is file a police report immediately as soon as they realize that they have been victimized by identity theft. This is required in order to utilize the remedies in California. They should also send a written notice to the creditor attempting to collect the debt based on the unauthorized charges. The California statutes relating to the remedies available for a victim of identity theft are contained in Civil Code Sections 1798.92-1798.97. The full text of several of the statutes are reproduced below. Civil Code §1798.92 states that, “For the purposes of this title: (a) "Claimant" means a person who has or purports to have a claim for money or an interest in property in connection with a transaction procured through identity theft. (b) "Identity theft" means the unauthorized use of another person' s personal identifying information to obtain credit, goods, services, money, or property. (c) "Personal identifying information" means a person's name, address, telephone number, driver's license number, social security number, place of employment, employee identification number, mother's maiden name, demand deposit account number, savings account number, or credit card number. (d) "Victim of identity theft" means a person who had his or her personal identifying information used without authorization by another to obtain credit, goods, services, money, or property, and did not use or possess the credit, goods, services, money, or property obtained by the identity theft, and filed a police report in this regard pursuant to Section 530.5 of the Penal Code.” Specifically anyone who has been served with a lawsuit based on a debt or claim based in whole or in part on unauthorized charges made to a credit card, or other account due to identity theft may file a cross-complaint against the person suing them and ask the Court for affirmative relief that the individual does not owe a debt.

And if they can show that they notified the party who filed the lawsuit that they were the victim of identity theft at least 30 days prior to filing their cross-complaint they may be entitled to actual damages, attorney fees, costs and any equitable relief that the Court deems is appropriate. In fact, in certain circumstances they may also be entitled to a civil penalty of up to $30,000.00 if they can show by clear and convincing evidence that they notified the other party and the other party failed to diligently investigate the claim of identity theft and continued to pursue their claim even after they were notified. Civil Code § 1798.93 states that, “(a) A person may bring an action against a claimant to establish that the person is a victim of identity theft in connection with the claimant's claim against that person. If the claimant has brought an action to recover on its claim against the person, the person may file a cross-complaint to establish that the person is a victim of identity theft in connection with the claimant's claim. (b) A person shall establish that he or she is a victim of identity theft by a preponderance of the evidence. (c) A person who proves that he or she is a victim of identity theft, as defined in Section 530.5 of the Penal Code, as to a particular claim, shall be entitled to a judgment providing all of the following, as appropriate: (1) A declaration that he or she is not obligated to the claimant on that claim. (2) A declaration that any security interest or other interest the claimant had purportedly obtained in the victim's property in connection with that claim is void and unenforceable. (3) An injunction restraining the claimant from collecting or attempting to collect from the victim on that claim, from enforcing or attempting to enforce any security interest or other interest in the victim's property in connection with that claim, or from enforcing or executing on any judgment against the victim on that claim. (4) If the victim has filed a cross-complaint against the claimant, the dismissal of any cause of action in the complaint filed by the claimant based on a claim which arose as a result of the identity theft. (5) Actual damages, attorney's fees, and costs, and any equitable relief that the court deems appropriate. In order to recover actual damages or attorney's fees in an action or cross-complaint filed by a person alleging that he or she is a victim of identity theft, the person shall show that he or she provided written notice to the claimant that a situation of identity theft might exist, including, upon written request of the claimant, a valid copy of the police report or the Department of Motor Vehicles investigative report promptly filed pursuant to Section 530.5 of the Penal Code at least 30 days prior to his or her filing of the action, or within his or her cross-complaint pursuant to this section. (6) A civil penalty, in addition to any other damages, of up to thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) if the victim establishes by clear and convincing evidence all of the following: (A) That at least 30 days prior to filing an action or within the crosscomplaint pursuant to this section, he or she provided written notice to the claimant at the address designated by the claimant for complaints related to credit reporting issues that a situation of identity theft might exist and explaining the basis for that belief. (B) That the claimant failed to diligently investigate the victim' s notification of a possible identity theft.(C) That the claimant continued to pursue its claim against the victim after the claimant was presented with facts that were later held to entitle the victim to a judgment pursuant to this section.” The Court has continuing jurisdiction for 10 years from the filing of the original action in order to join related causes of action and defendants based upon the theft of the same person’s identity, the Court may also extend the jurisdiction over the matter if good cause is shown.

Civil Code § 1798.95 states that, “A court shall have continuing jurisdiction over an action or cross-complaint filed pursuant to this title in order to provide for the joinder of related causes of action based on the theft of the same person's identity and the joinder of further defendants based upon the theft of the same person's identity, regardless of whether a final judgment has been entered as to any defendant. The court's continuing jurisdiction shall terminate 10 years after filing of the original action unless the court, prior to that date, finds good cause to extend jurisdiction over the matter.” The cross-complaint or any joinder of a defendant should be brought within 4 years of the date that the victim of identity theft, knew, or should have known of the identity theft. See Civil Code § 1798.96. The remedies that are discussed here are cumulative to the rights and remedies provided under other laws, and they do not restrict any legal actions against the person who perpetrated the identity theft. See Civil Code § 1798.97. As the number of incidents of identity theft have risen dramatically in California as well as the rest of the United States the chances of someone becoming the victim of identity theft have greatly increased. Proper use of the remedies discussed in this issue could prove to be very advantageous for the victim of the identity theft. Attorneys or parties in California who would like to view a sample letter to a credit by a California victim of identity theft can use the link shown below. http://www.scribd.com/doc/121608204/Sample-letter-to-creditor-by-California-victim-ofidentity-theft Attorneys or parties in California who would like to view a portion of a sample cross-complaint by a California victim of identity theft that is sold by the author can use the link shown below. http://www.scribd.com/doc/123446581/Sample-Cross-Complaint-by-Identity-Theft-Victim-inCalifornia If you enjoy this newsletter, tell others about it. They can subscribe by visiting the following link: http://www.legaldocspro.net/newsletter.htm It would be greatly appreciated if you would visit the website at http://www.legaldocspro.net and give it a like with Google + if possible. Have a great week and thanks for being a subscriber. Yours Truly, Stan Burman The author of this newsletter, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in

California and Federal litigation since 1995, and recently relocated to Asia. Copyright 2013 Stan Burman. All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: Please note that the author of this newsletter, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this newsletter is NOT intended to constitute legal advice. These materials and information contained in this newsletter have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this newsletter is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the sender and receiver. Subscribers and any other readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.