United States District Court, D. New Jersey
PHILIP YUNGREIS, on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated, Plaintiff,
TENAGLIA & HUNT, P.A. and JOHN DOES 1-25, Defendants.
Kevin McNulty United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on the motion of defendant
Tenaglia & Hunt, P.A. ("T&H"), to dismiss
the complaint for failure to state a claim, pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (DE 5) The complaint alleges that
certain language in a debt collection letter failed to
clearly advise the debtor of his rights and is therefore
invalid under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C § 1692 et seq.,
Defendant's brief points out that the language in its
letter virtually tracks that of the statute, and that
identical language has been upheld in multiple cases in this
district. For the reasons stated herein, the motion to
dismiss the complaint will be granted.
standards governing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss a
complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted are familiar. For the purposes of a motion to
dismiss, the facts alleged in the complaint are accepted as
true and all reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the
plaintiff. New Jersey Carpenters & the Trustees
Thereof v. Tishman Const. Corp. of New Jersey, 760 F.3d
297, 302 (3d Cir. 2014).
and plain statement of plaintiffs entitlement to relief will
do. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Nevertheless, "a
plaintiffs obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his
'entitlement to relief requires more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do." BellAtl Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The complaint's
factual allegations must be sufficient to raise a plaintiffs
right to relief above a speculative level, so that a claim is
"plausible on its face." Id. at 570;
see also West Run Student Housing Assocs., LLC v.
Huntington Nat. Bank, 712 F.3d 165, 169 (3d Cir. 2013).
That facial-plausibility standard is met "when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 556). While "[t]he plausibility standard is not akin
to a 'probability requirement'... it asks for more
than a sheer possibility." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
Court in considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is confined to
the allegations of the complaint, with narrow exceptions:
"Although phrased in relatively strict terms, we have
declined to interpret this rule narrowly. In deciding motions
under Rule 12(b)(6), courts may consider "document[s]
integral to or explicitly relied upon in the complaint,"
In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d
1410, 1426 (3d Cir. 1997) (emphasis in original), or any
"undisputedly authentic document that a defendant
attaches as an exhibit to a motion to dismiss if the
plaintiffs claims are based on the document," PBGC
v. White Consol. Indus., 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (3d Cir.
In re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No.
VI), 822 F.3d 125, 134 n.7 (3d Cir. 2016). See also
Estate of Roman v. City of Newark, 914 F.3d 789, 796-97
(3d Cir. 2019) ("complaint, exhibits attached to the
complaint, [and] matters of public record" as well as
documents "that a defendant attaches as an exhibit to a
motion to dismiss," if "undisputedly
authentic" and "the [plaintiffs] claims are based
[on them]"); Schmidt v. Skolas, 770 F.3d 241,
249 (3d Cir. 2014) ("However, an exception to the
general rule is that a 'document integral to or
explicitly relied upon in the complaint' may be
considered 'without converting the motion to dismiss into
one for summary judgment.' ") (quoting In re
Burlington Coat Factory, 114 F.3d at 1426); Pension
Ben. Guar. Corp. v. White Consol. Indus., Inc., 998 F.2d
1192, 1196 (3d Cir. 1993). "The rationale underlying
this exception is that the primary problem raised by looking
to documents outside the complaint-lack of notice to the
plaintiff-is dissipated '[w]here plaintiff has actual
notice ... and has relied upon these documents in framing the
complaint.” In re Burlington, 114 F.3d at 1426
(quoting Watterson v. Page, 987 F.2d 1, 3-4 (1st
Cir. 1993) (quoting Cortec Indus., Inc. v. Sum Holding
L.P., 949 F.2d 42, 48 (2nd Cir. 1991)).
complaint attaches a copy of a collection letter, the wording
of which is the very foundation of the allegations.
("Letter," DE 1-1) I may consider it on this motion
without converting it to one for summary judgment.
defendant, T&H, sent the plaintiff, Mr. Yungreis,
Helinski, a letter dated October 18, 2018 (the
"Letter"). A copy is attached to the complaint as
Ex. A. (DE 1-1)) The Letter was sent by a debt collector in
connection with collection of a consumer debt. It is on
body of the Letter reads as follows:
Dear Philip Yungreis
Our law firm is outside counsel to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
("Wells Fargo Bank, N.A."), and has been asked to
contact you regarding the unpaid balance on the above
referenced account (the "Account"). Our
client's records indicate that as of the date of this
letter you owe $7, 486.99. This balance may increase over
time due to costs and/or fees.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has a range of payment options that
may be available to assist you. Our law firm is committed to
working with you to try to identify a solution to resolve
your balance. If you have any questions or wish to discuss
payment arrangements, please call our firm toll free at (866)
723-0578, Extension 120 to speak with Charles Hall Jr.
Please make all payments payable to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Payments may be mailed to our law firm at 395 W. Passaic St.,