United States District Court, D. New Jersey
DOLLIE GATES, On behalf of herself and all others similarly situated,, Plaintiff,
NORTHLAND GROUP, INC., Defendant.
HILLEL MARCUS MARCUS ZELMAN LLC On behalf of Plaintiff
RAPHAEL EASLEY SESSIONS, FISHMAN, NATHAN & ISRAEL, LLC On
behalf of Defendant
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
before the Court is the unopposed motion of Defendant to
dismiss, and compel arbitration of, Plaintiff's putative
class action complaint, which alleges that Defendant violated
the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692 et seq. For the reasons expressed below,
Defendant's motion will be granted.
Dollie Gates, alleges violations of the FDCPA arising from
the collection of her delinquent and outstanding Citibank,
N.A. (“Citibank”) credit card debt. Defendant
Northland Group, Inc. (“Northland”) is a
collection agency, collecting defaulted accounts owed to
August 2015, Citibank assigned Plaintiff's account to
Northland for collection purposes. On August 11, 2015,
Northland sent Plaintiff a collection letter in an attempt to
collect on the delinquent account. Plaintiff claims that
Northland's collection efforts violated the FDCPA because
it did not make it clear whether the account was collecting
interest. Plaintiff has brought her claims as a putative
class action under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 for all New Jersey
consumers who were sent the same or similar collection letter
within one year to the date of the filing of the complaint.
has moved to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint and compel
arbitration of her claims on an individual basis, arguing
that the credit card agreement, which governs the
relationship between Plaintiff, Citibank, and Northland,
contains an arbitration provision and a class action waiver
applicable to Plaintiff's claims. Plaintiff has not
opposed the motion.
Subject matter jurisdiction
Court has jurisdiction over this matter under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., and 28 U.S.C.
Standard for Motion to Dismiss
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, they do require that the pleadings give
defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is
and the grounds upon which it rests.” Baldwin Cnty.
Welcome Ctr. v. Brown, 466 U.S. 147, 149-50 n.3 (1984)
(quotation and citation omitted). A district court, in
weighing a motion to dismiss, asks “‘not whether
a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant
is entitled to offer evidence to support the
claim.'” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 563 n.8 (2007) (quoting Scheuer v.
Rhoades, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)); see also
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684 (2009) (“Our
decision in Twombly expounded the pleading standard
for ‘all civil actions' . . . .”); Fowler
v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009)
(“Iqbal . . . provides the final
nail-in-the-coffin for the ‘no set of facts'
standard that applied to federal complaints before
in reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion must only consider the
facts alleged in the pleadings, the documents attached
thereto as exhibits, and matters of judicial notice. S.
Cross Overseas Agencies, Inc. v. Kwong Shipping Grp.
Ltd.,181 F.3d 410, 426 (3d Cir. 1999). A court may
consider, however, “an undisputedly authentic document
that a defendant attaches as an exhibit to a motion to
dismiss if the plaintiff's claims are based on the
document.” Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. White
Consol. Indus., Inc., 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (3d Cir.
1993). If any other matters outside the pleadings are