United States District Court, D. New Jersey
SAKS STEIN SAKS, PLLC Attorneys for Plaintiff Lorinda Mincey.
R. EASLEY SESSIONS, FISHMAN, NATHAN & ISRAEL Attorneys
for Defendant Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC.
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Jefferson Capital
Systems, LLC’s (“Defendant”) Motion to
Dismiss Plaintiff Lorinda Mincey’s
(“Plaintiff”) Complaint (the “Motion to
Dismiss”). (Docket No. 5). Plaintiff has filed
opposition. (Docket No. 8). For the reasons expressed below,
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss will be granted.
our recitation of the facts from Plaintiff’s Complaint.
Sometime before February 6, 2018, Plaintiff incurred a debt,
as that term is defined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices
Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et
seq. (Docket No. 1 (“Compl.”) at
¶¶9-10, 12). On or about February 6, 2018,
Defendant, a debt collector, sent Plaintiff a letter
regarding that debt (the “February 6 Letter”).
(Compl. ¶16; Docket No. 1-1). The February 6 Letter
contains general information about the debt and also includes
a notice advising the recipient about how to object to the
validity of the debt, commonly termed a “validation
notice” (the “Validation Notice”). The
terms of the Validation Notice are at the center of this
action, and provide as follows:
NOTICE: Unless you notify this
office within 30 days after receiving this notice that you
dispute the validity of this debt or any potion thereof, this
office will assume this debt is valid.
If you notify this office in writing within 30 days after
receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this
debt or any portion of it, this office will obtain
verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgment and
mail you a copy of such judgment or verification.
If you request of this office in writing within 30 days after
receiving this notice, this office will provide you with the
name and address of the original creditor if different from
the current creditor.
(Docket No. 1-1).
January 9, 2019, Plaintiff filed a two-count Complaint
alleging that Defendant’s Validation Notice violates
the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692e (“Section
1692e”), because it makes a “false, deceptive, or
misleading representation or means in connection with the
collection of [the] debt[.]” (Compl.
¶¶32-34). More specifically, Plaintiff asserts that
the Validation Notice provides unclear instructions on how
Plaintiff must object to the validity of the debt. Plaintiff
suggests that the Validation Notice could be read as
permitting either written or non-written objections, and is
therefore, “open to more than one reasonable
interpretation, at least one of which is inaccurate.”
(Compl. ¶¶32-33). For the same reasons, Plaintiff
alleges Defendant’s Validation Notice violates 15
U.S.C. § 1692g (“Section 1692g”) by omitting
an instruction that any validation request or dispute of the
debt must be made in writing. (Compl. ¶38).
February 15, 2019, Defendant moved to dismiss
Plaintiff’s complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). (Docket No. 5). Plaintiff opposed
Defendant’s motion. (Docket No. 8). As such, the
present Motion to Dismiss is fully briefed and ripe for
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1367.
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.”
a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss
does not need detailed factual allegations, a
plaintiff’s obligation to provide the
‘grounds’ of his ‘entitle[ment] to
relief’ requires more than labels and conclusions, and
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do . . . .” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (alteration in
original) (citations omitted) (first citing Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957); Sanjuan v. Am. Bd.
of Psychiatry & Neurology, Inc., 40 F.3d 247, 251
(7th Cir. 1994); and then citing Papasan v. Allain,
478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)).
To determine the sufficiency of a complaint, a court must
take three steps. First, the court must “tak[e] note of
the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim.”
Second, the court should identify allegations that,
“because they are no more than conclusions, are not
entitled to the assumption of truth.” Third,
“whe[n] there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a
court should ...