A local entrepreneur hired ADT Security Services Inc. to safeguard his business. When ADT billed Michael S. Manuel for its services, Manuel responded by filing a $75,000 suit, claiming the company misrepresented the amount owed.

ADT was a debt collector as defined under the Texas Debt Collection Practices Act, who proceeded through its agents to collect amounts allegedly due to the defendant for security services provided to Manuel's business, according to the plaintiff's petition.

"Michael Manuel now sues the Defendant under the Texas Debt Collection Practices Act, V.T.C.A., Finance Code § 392 et seq. for misrepresenting the amounts due and owing to the Defendant, for negligent collection of a debt, and for other and further causes of action which will be addressed later," the suit says.

"Michael Manuel sues for all damages allowed under law, which were proximately caused by Defendant's actions, including mental anguish, attorney's fees and punitive damages as a result of the harassing debt collection techniques of Defendant. The amount in controversy far exceeds the jurisdictional limits of this Court."

The suit continues by saying Manuel is suing for an amount less than $75,000.

He is represented by Chris Portner, attorney for the Reaud, Morgan & Quinn law firm.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B181-593

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