Instructions for Preparing & Filing the Application for a Court Order
Before you begin to fill out the court order application, take time to review and copy it. Also, it will be much easier for you to fill out the application if you first gather relevant documents such as copies of identity theft complaints that you have filed and information reflecting account numbers, transactions and events in which you were a victim of identity theft. For your convenience, each of the following instructions corresponds to a specific section or paragraph of the court order application:
Instruction for Top of Application:
At the top of the application, under the "IN THE MATTER OF" heading, fill in your full name since you are the identity theft victim who is filing this application. Also, fill in the name of the county where you live since that is where you will be filing this court order application. To file your application, you will go to the office of the district clerk at your county courthouse. There the clerk will give you a "Cause number" and "Judicial district" numbers to fill in the remaining blanks.
Instruction for Paragraph 1:
Enter your full name.
Instruction for Paragraph 2:
In this paragraph you are telling the court which portions of your personal information (for example, Social Security or driver's license numbers) were used without your circumstances.
Instruction for Paragraph 3:
In this paragraph you are providing information to the court regarding whether you filed an identity theft complaint with a law enforcement agency and telling the court where and when you filed such a complaint or complaints. Remember that the judge will later have a hearing to consider your application and at that time you will need to present a copy of each such complaint to the judge.
Instruction for Paragraph 4:
In this paragraph you are providing information to the court regarding the status of any identity theft criminal complaints you have filed. If you do not know what has happened as a result of your filing a complaint, you may need to contact the law enforcement agency where you filed to find out what has happened as a result of your complaint, including whether or not they have been able to identify the person or persons who used your information. Based on what they tell you, you will check ONLY the boxes that fit your circumstances. Also, fill in the date that law enforcement provided you with the information that you include in this paragraph.
Instruction for Paragraph 5:
At the beginning of this paragraph, enter the date that you fill out the application. In this paragraph, you are telling the court about each type of unauthorized transaction in which your name or other information was used without your authorization (for example, an unauthorized transaction establishing a utility account using your name). Only check those boxes which generally reflect transactions or events in which your information was used without your permission. If your information was used in a way that is not already described, there are blank spaces provided at the end of paragraph five where you can explain specifics of what happened in your case.
Instruction for Paragraphs 6, 7, 8 AND 9:
Read these paragraphs carefully. They explain that this application does not include specific information (such as your account numbers) in order to protect the confidentiality of that information but that you understand that when the court holds a hearing on your application, you will be prepared to present evidence of each of the unauthorized transactions which you listed in this application. Because the law requires the court to enter specific findings, for each account or transaction that you checked off in paragraph five, you will need to have the following information and related documents to present when you appear before the court: (1) the name of the institution, merchant or business where information was used without your authorization; (2) any relevant account numbers; (3) the dollar amount of the accounts or transactions affected; (4) the date or dates that your information was used without your authorization; and (5) information you may have (if any) identifying the person or persons who used your personal identifying information.
Instruction for Paragraph the Signature Block at the End:
You must sign this application and include your printed name, complete mailing address and telephone number. Be sure to provide a correct address and telephone listing because this is how the court's staff will contact you. Failure to accept delivery or pick up mail addressed to you is generally treated by the courts as if you received that mail.
FILING YOUR APPLICATION:
Once you have completed your application, review it to be sure it is accurate, sign the original and attach to it a copy (provided here) of relevant portions of the Act. Make a copy for your file. Then take your original and copy to the office of the district clerk at your county courthouse. Explain to the staff in that office that you wish to file this application. Your application is being filed pursuant to a law which went into effect September 1, 2005. If the District Clerk's office is unfamiliar with this type of proceeding, show them the copy of the law which is attached to your application noting that Section 48.202(a) provides that these types of applications are to be filed in district court. When you file your application, the clerk will keep the original and you should ask the clerk to stamp your copy as "filed." Keep that copy for your records. At the time that you file your application, you must also be prepared to pay a filing fee to the office of the district clerk.