(CN) – A credit-card issuing bank should not have had its collection case dismissed because it missed a pretrial status conference, the Maine Supreme Court ruled.
Unifund CCR Partners sued Judy Demers for collection of a $16,000 debt.
The bank tried to postpone the conference, cancel it, or participate by telephone, but the court refused. When the bank did not appear at the conference, the court dismissed with prejudice.
Justice Alexander vacated the decision, ruling that the court’s action was too severe.
“Although defendant may have been inconvenienced by appearing at the pretrial conference, the court made no determination that she was prejudiced by Unifund’s failure to appear,” Alexander wrote.