Once a civil ase is filed should the plaintiff stop communicating with the defendant even if its an attempt to settle the dispute out of court?

In short, I have been trying to collect money from a person who issued me bad checks 2 months ago. He has failed to repay the amount and is dodging me now. A week ago I filed for a civil court case. Since then, he has been communicating with me but still failing to repay the funds. To further complicate things, he comes into my place of work on a regular basis (a poker room). If I should stop communicating with him, then how should I respond to him when he tries talking to me?

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is  no law or court rule/procedure saying the parties can't communicate--and there is no requirement that they must. If you feel that talking to him could be productive, there's no reason to not...but if you feel it's unproductive, simply tell him that you've already explained your position and see no value to continuing to speak when you are so far apart; if he wishes to pay what he owes, then he can contact you, otherwise, you will see him in court.

If a party has a lawyer, it is proper to make communications only through the attorney--indeed, while a person could deliberately go around his/her own attorney and talk directly to the other party, the other party should initiate or address it's communictions through the lawyer.

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