United States District Court, D. New Jersey
PREDRAG FILIPOVIC, IFIGHT4JUSTICE L/O OF PEDRAG FILIPOVIC, PHILADELPHIA, PA, Counsel for Plaintiff.
DIANA C. MANNING, BENJAMIN JAMES DILORENZO, BRESSLER, AMERY, & ROSS, FLORHAM PARK, NJ, Attorney for Defendants.
NOEL L. HILLMAN, District Judge.
This cases arises under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Before the Court is defendant's motion to dismiss. For the reasons set forth below, defendant's motion will be denied.
I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
On August 5, 2012, plaintiff and her spouse entered into a two-year written lease for real property located in Bordentown, New Jersey, with landlords Satish and Kavitha S. Palaniappan, for $2700 per month. Defendant Anjanie Kumar of ERA Central Realty Group Inc. ("ERA"), brokered the lease transaction and furnished the lease document.
On August 18, 2013, plaintiff's rent was overdue by 10 days. Her landlord Satish Palaniappan wrote to plaintiff about the overdue rent, seeking penalty fees in the amount of $840. Plaintiff alleges that on August 18, 2013, August 19, 2013, and in October of 2013, Defendant Anjani Kumar wrote emails to plaintiff in attempt to collect the rent in arrears in a harassing and belligerent manner, and threatened to contact plaintiff's employer, U.S. Army Command, regarding this debt.
Plaintiff alleges that prior to August 18, 2013, she had been issued a military employer directive known as a "mobilization order" for one year at a salary of $84, 000 per year. Plaintiff states that after defendants communicated to her employer on August 18 and August 19, 2013 regarding collection of late rent, on August 25, 2013, plaintiff received a telephone call from "LTC Sullivan, the 2nd 312th Battalion Commander." LTC Sullivan informed her he had received a call from Col. Osborne, the commander of her entire Brigade, stating that Defendant Kumar left a "very nasty message" on Col. Osborne's phone informing him that he needed to "handle" his officer (the Plaintiff) for late rent issues.
Plaintiff states that, according to LTC Sullivan, after having heard the voice mail left for him by defendant Kumar, Col. Osborne questioned plaintiff's ability to manage her finances and accordingly her active duty mobilization order. Plaintiff states that she explained to LTC Sullivan that Kumar was not her landlord but an ERA employee trying to collect rent on behalf of landlord, and that she and her spouse had made the arrangements with their actual landlord to pay the required amount. Soon thereafter the U.S. Army Command revoked plaintiff's mobilization order and $84, 000 yearly salary, an event plaintiff alleges was a direct result of defendants' actions.
Defendants move to dismiss plaintiff's complaint on grounds that they are not "debt collectors" under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA").
Plaintiff brought this action pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692. This Court exercises federal question subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
III. STANDARD FOR MOTION TO DISMISS
When considering a motion to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a court must accept all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Evancho v. Fisher, 423 F.3d 347, 351 (3d Cir. 2005). It is well settled that a pleading is sufficient if it contains "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Under the liberal federal pleading rules, it is not necessary to plead evidence, and it is not necessary to plead all the facts that serve as a basis for the claim. Bogosian v. Gulf Oil Corp., 562 F.2d 434, 446 (3d Cir. 1977). However, "[a]lthough the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not require a claimant to set forth an intricately detailed description of the asserted basis for relief, ...