United States District Court, D. New Jersey
RUKHSANA KAUSAR, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
GC SERVICES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, Defendant.
the Court is Defendant GC Services Limited Partnership's
(“Defendant”) motion to dismiss Plaintiff's
Complaint under Federal Rule of Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack
of subject matter jurisdiction. (D.E. No. 44
(“Motion”)). The Court has considered the
parties' arguments in support of and in opposition to
Defendant's Motion and decides this matter without oral
argument under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78(b). For the
following reasons, the Court DENIES Defendant's Motion.
parties are familiar with the facts and procedural posture of
this case, so the Court will be brief. Plaintiff Rukhsana
Kausar alleges that Defendant violated the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) when it sent
Plaintiff-and others similarly situated-a debt-collection
letter that omitted certain statutorily required disclosures.
(See generally D.E. No. 1 (“Compl.”)).
In particular, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant's
debt-collection letter violated the FDCPA because it failed
to communicate that requests (i) to verify the debt or (ii)
to obtain the name and address of the original creditor must
be in writing, as required by 15 U.S.C. §§
1692g(a)(4)-(5). (See, e.g., id. ¶
36). Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant, by failing to
advise that the foregoing requests must be made in writing,
“used a false representation or deceptive means to
collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain
information concerning a consumer” in violation of 15
U.S.C. § 1692e(10). (Id. ¶ 46).
seeks dismissal of Plaintiff's Complaint under Federal
Rule of Procedure 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. Defendant argues that Plaintiff lacks Article
III standing because she fails to allege “an intangible
harm that satisfies the injury-in-fact requirement.”
(D.E. No. 44-1 (“Def. Br.”)). Defendant's
Motion is based primarily on Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins,
136 S.Ct. 1540 (2016). Plaintiff opposed Defendant's
Motion (D.E. No 46 (“Pl. Br.”)), which is now
ripe for adjudication.
Article III Standing
III of the United States Constitution limits the jurisdiction
of federal courts to actual “cases” or
“controversies.” U.S. Const., art. III, § 2.
To establish Article III standing, a plaintiff must
demonstrate (1) an “injury in fact”; (2) a
“causal connection between the injury and the conduct
complained of”; and (3) a likelihood “that the
injury will be redressed by a favorable decision.”
Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61
(1992). “The plaintiff, as the party invoking federal
jurisdiction, bears the burden of establishing these
elements.” Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1547 (citation
allege an injury-in-fact, “a plaintiff must claim the
invasion of a concrete and particularized legally protected
interest resulting in harm that is actual or imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical.” In re Nickelodeon
Consumer Privacy Litig., 827 F.3d 262, 272 (3d. Cir.
2016) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).
“A harm is particularized if it affects the plaintiff
in a personal and individual way.” Id.
(citation, internal quotation marks, and alteration omitted).
A harm “is concrete if it is de facto; that
is, it must actually exist rather than being only
abstract.” Id. (citation and internal
quotation marks omitted).
motion to dismiss based on lack of standing must be brought
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) because
standing is jurisdictional. Ballentine v. United
States, 486 F.3d 806, 810 (3d Cir. 2007). A motion to
dismiss under 12(b)(1) may either (1) “attack the
complaint on its face” or (2) “attack the
existence of subject matter jurisdiction in fact, quite apart
from any pleadings.” Mortensen v. First Fed. Sav.
& Loan Ass'n, 549 F.2d 884, 891 (3d Cir. 1977).
For the former (i.e., a facial attack), “the court
looks only at the allegations in the pleadings and does so in
the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” U.S. ex
rel. Atkinson v. Pa. Shipbuilding Co., 473 F.3d 506, 514
(3d Cir. 2007) (citation omitted). For the latter (i.e., a
factual attack), “it is permissible for a court to
review evidence outside the pleadings.” Id.
initial matter, the Court construes Defendant's Motion as
a facial attack because Defendant does not appear to
challenge the validity of Plaintiff's factual claims.
Rather, Defendant argues that Plaintiff's allegations,
even accepted as true, are insufficient to establish Article
III standing. (See, e.g., Def. Br. at 8-10).
the Court turns to the sufficiency of Plaintiff's
allegations for purposes of establishing Article III
standing. Defendant argues that Plaintiff's allegations
are purely statutory and procedural. (Id. at 10). To
that end, Defendant avers that Plaintiff's “only
alleged injury is that Defendant did not make the correct
disclosures mandated by section 1692g.” (Id.
at 11). Consequently, Defendant argues that “[s]uch a
bare procedural violation alone does not constitute an
intangible harm that satisfies the injury-in-fact