Mary Kay Lawsuit Hunt (split from AC thread)

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Shakespearegirl

Mary Kay Lawsuit Hunt (split from AC thread)

Postby Shakespearegirl » Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:00 pm

SBM and Wserra:

do you have any handy references on how to search courthouse records?

I'm hunting for something on Mary Kay. Assuming that I can take a stroll over to the Dallas courthouse, how do I go about this? Do you have a link or something?

I've spent enough time lurking here that I'm fully edumacated...but I still need some help on my info-gathering.
thanks guys
:wink:

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Postby wserra » Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:01 am

Sure, SG, I'll give it a shot, but it's a big subject. Most states have nothing like PACER (the federal courts database), and so finding the cases is far more difficult. I knew both parties in the case SBM is posting about, so finding the right case was easier, and I was able to direct SBM (thank you, SBM!) to the right courthouse and docket.

So, to find a case in a courthouse, first you must have some sort of index. The cases themselves are physically organized in every courthouse I know by index (docket) number, so parties starting with "A" will have their files right next to those starting with "Z".

Q: What is the relationship between the numbers "22" and "846"?
A: They're adjacent rooms at the Warsaw Hilton.

Ahem. So most courthouses have some sort of alphabetical party index which directs you to the right docket numbers. Some are electronic, some on paper. So if you want "Mary Kay", you look that up in the party index. The problem is that this is pretty brute-force: you can just as easily find suits over a commercial debt as ones claiming that MK is a blatant pyramid ripoff. Sometimes the docket books will tell you, sometimes not, and sometimes they'll only tell you by means of a code the meaning of which is not obvious.

For example, from a WestLaw search:
CASE INFORMATION

Case Number: 0103583L
Filing Date: 04/30/2001

Case Type: DAMAGES
Case Category: 28440

Filing Office: DALLAS COUNTY DISTRICT COURT - 193RD CIVIL DISTRICT
Venue: DALLAS, TX



PARTY INFORMATION

Plaintiff: ALONSO CYNTHIA MINOR

Plaintiff: ALONSO JENNIFER MINOR

Plaintiff: ALONSO MARIA ETAL

Defendant: MARY KAY INC ETAL
Defendant: HOLT PATSY J
It gives you the Court, the docket number, the parties, but you have no idea what the suit is about. The word "Damages" just means the case is not only about (for example) an injunction.

Another example:
LAWSUIT RECORDS

Current Date: 06/20/2007
Court Current Through: 06-15-2007
Source: CLERK OF THE COURT, DALLAS COUNTY DISTRICT COURT, TX
Database Last Updated: 06-18-2007



CASE INFORMATION

Case Number: 0500857C
Filing Date: 01/26/2005

Case Type: DAMAGES
Case Category: 28440

Filing Office: DALLAS COUNTY DISTRICT COURT - 68TH CIVIL DISTRICT
Venue: DALLAS, TX



PARTY INFORMATION

Plaintiff: ANISA INTERNATIONAL I

Plaintiff: MS PERRY COMPANY INC

Plaintiff: PERRY MICHAEL

Plaintiff: PERRY STARR

Defendant: MARY KAY INC ETAL
Defendant: MARY KAY COSMETICS IN
Defendant: MARY KAY GLOBAL INC
Defendant: MARY KAY HOLDING CORP
Defendant: MARY KAY INTERNATIONA
Defendant: MARY KAY WORLDWIDE IN
Same story. The letter "C" after the docket number may mean "commercial" - it does in at least one courthouse I know of - and thus not be something you're interested in, but it may not. Given both the number of plaintiffs and the fact that they are also companies makes the conclusion that it is a commercial suit more likely - but certainly not definite.

Hint: the WestLaw search of the string "Mary Kay" as a party to a lawsuit yields 1715 hits for Texas alone. Without more information, needle in haystack territory.

If you have something specific in mind, I'll be glad to run it for you if you have no other access.
"A wise man proportions belief to the evidence."
- David Hume

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Postby soapboxmom » Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:22 am

http://www.dallascounty.org/pars2/crimi ... The+Search

Here is what dallascounty.org had. If you go to the Allen court building downtown like I did you must have the cause or case number. If you don't, they will direct you to a computer and you will be on dallascounty.org as I was in the link I provided. The folks at the records department are of zero help if you aren't armed with the number.

If you have the number they will pull the records within several days of your written request. Then you may ask them for copies at the cost of 1 dollar per page and go back to pick them up the the next day. You will be in the dungeon/basement where they have a sparsely furnished room where you may read and then paperclip the pages you wish copied. You will have to pay with cash or a check showing an address that agrees with your driver's license.

I would do it again in a heartbeat, but it is very time consuming. If you are near the train you can get off at the West End stop and walk for 5 minutes to the Allen building on Commerce if that is where the recodrs you desire are kept. So, it is something of an adventure to be sure. Make sure you carry nothing in your purse that is questionable. They confiscated a 12 ft. tape measure I had just put in my bag for a trip to the furniture store and then several days later when my change purse was empty from feeding the machines there they noticed my nail clippers in the purse and took those too. I had to count film canisters I was carrying to drop off as well. It was quite a challenge just to get in the door.

It will be quite an adventure!

Soapboxmom

Shakespearegirl

Postby Shakespearegirl » Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:02 am

oh holy smokes!

okay, this is going to be tough. Here's what I'm looking for:

I was told a story about Mary Kay Ash and a lawsuit she was involved in back in the 80's. I need to confirm details by finding the records of the case.

all I know is the general time frame, what the case was about (it was between MK and a construction contractor). I could get the plaintiff's name maybe.

I wasn't sure what you meant by "commercial" -- does that mean it was between two corporations?

I'm not in Dallas - but I could drive there if I was reasonably sure I'd find what I was looking for. hmm

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Postby wserra » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:39 pm

I spun these posts into a separate thread, so as not to intrude on the good scammers from Advantage Conferences. They deserve their day in the sun.

SG - this is going to be a problem. I don't have much time to spend now, but from what I found, Texas has this site for its courts, and has no statewide case database. You can apparently search individual districts or counties, but you have to (of course) know the right one first. Moreover, few electronic databases go back to the 1980s. They didn't exist then, and the data entry to catch up would be overwhelming.

I did a quick search on WestLaw. I didn't expect to find anything from the 1980s and I was correct. It might help to have the plaintiff's name, but might well not help as well.

"Commercial" means a business matter as opposed to (for example) personal injury or employment. From your description, you are looking for a commercial matter.

If you can get more info - place (county at least), exact year, plaintiff name - I'll be glad to try again.
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Shakespearegirl

Postby Shakespearegirl » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:49 pm

thank you so much - I knew this might be hard.

I'm getting in contact with the person who told me this story, in order to pinpoint the names of the county and plaintiff.

One small question: let's say the construction contractor lived in one part of Dallas and the MK job was in another. If he filed a lawsuit against MK, would it be filed under the county MK corporate was located in, or would the case be filed in the county where the plaintiff lived? (Trying to narrow down the possibilities.)

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Postby wserra » Sat Jun 23, 2007 11:13 am

Shakespearegirl wrote:One small question: let's say the construction contractor lived in one part of Dallas and the MK job was in another. If he filed a lawsuit against MK, would it be filed under the county MK corporate was located in, or would the case be filed in the county where the plaintiff lived?


I am not admitted in Texas and have never done any legal work there. However, the following is generally true everywhere that I know of (Texas practitioners please correct me where applicable).

Venue is generally properly laid in either place - the residence of any party. Plaintiffs will usually file where they are, both for reasons of convenience and because jurors tend to favor their neighbors, and the choice among proper venues belongs to the plaintiff. It does not happen that way in every case, though, since sometimes the plaintiff's residence is unfavorable to plaintiffs generally, and other times (albeit rarely) venue is changed after suit is filed.

So I'd start with the plaintiff's location, understanding that you may not find it there.
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Postby Judge Roy Bean » Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:30 pm

Shakespearegirl wrote:...all I know is the general time frame, what the case was about (it was between MK and a construction contractor). I could get the plaintiff's name maybe
...


FYI, in Texas, I'm pretty sure a civil suit follows with about 50% of all custom home construction. :roll:
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Shakespearegirl

Postby Shakespearegirl » Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:27 am

lol

well in this case it appears that Mary Kay Ash almost bankrupted a small subcontractor. I have to look into it more. The person who gave me the story is MIA at the moment so I'm waiting for more info.

And since I just moved to TX and just bought a house here, I'm learning about this civil suit tendency :P


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