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Karr v. Med-1 Solutions, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

May 7, 2014

KAREN KARR, Plaintiff,
v.
MED-1 SOLUTIONS, LLC, Defendant.

ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

DENISE K. LARUE, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, Karen Karr, brought this action against Defendant, Med-1 Solutions, LLC, alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"). Plaintiff contends Defendant's actions with regard to two debts violated the Act. This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment. [Dkt. 71.] For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Plaintiff's Motion.

I. Background

As a preliminary matter, the parties raise multiple issues in their briefs concerning whether certain claims are properly before the Court.[1] For example, Defendant argues that Plaintiff included a new FDCPA claim in her Motion for Summary Judgment concerning a letter from an attorney that she did not plead in her Complaint. Plaintiff responds that the letter is evidence relevant to the pleaded claim of threatening legal action on a time barred debt, rather than a new claim itself. Yet in another place in Plaintiff's reply brief, she references the letter as "yet another instance of the Defendant's violation of the FDCPA." [Dkt. 79 at 5.] It appears both parties have confused the pleading of claims in a complaint with the allegation of facts to support those claims.

A complaint is not required to allege all, or any, of the facts logically entailed by the claim. American Nurses' Association v. State of Ill., 783 F.2d 716, 727 (7th Cir. 1986). Here, Plaintiff's Complaint pleads two claims under the FDCPA:

1) Defendant violated § 1692(d), (e) and (f) by threatening to file a lawsuit on a debt that was beyond the statute of limitations; and
2) Defendant violated § 1692 (e) and (f) by advising Plaintiff to not attend a hearing in the lawsuit initiated by Defendant after the parties reached agreement as to the terms of re-payment of the debt.

[Dkt. 1 at 4.] These claims pertain to separate debts incurred by Plaintiff. Plaintiff asserts factual allegations in support of her claims both within her Complaint and her briefs. The Court will treat these allegations, such as the language of the attorney letter, as evidence in support of the relevant claim and not as a separate FDCPA claim.

Turning to the factual allegations, neither party's statement of facts complied with Local Rule 56.1. However, the Court does not believe the failure to comply with this Rule impedes its ability to determine whether there are disputed material facts that prohibit summary judgment in this case. In the interest of judicial economy, the Court will exercise its discretion to not enforce strict compliance with L.R. 56.1.

The facts, recited in the light most favorable to Defendant as the non-moving party, are as follows:

Defendant is a debt collection agency that attempted to collect two debts from Plaintiff. [Dkt. 1 at ¶17.] The first debt was incurred by Plaintiff in 2004 to the Heart Center of Indiana (the "Heart Center debt"). Id. at ¶25. Plaintiff received a letter dated June 12, 2012, on Defendant's letterhead, signed by "Richard Huston, Attorney at Law." [Dkt. 72-2.] In this letter, Mr. Huston states, "Before I review this account for possible legal action, I would like to give you another opportunity to resolve this account." Id.

In July of 2012, Defendant's employee Jessica Frank called Plaintiff in an attempt to collect the Heart Center debt. Id. at ¶26. This telephone call was recorded and played during Ms. Frank's deposition. [Dkt. 76-9 at p. 22.] The following are excerptions from that deposition:[2]

Ms. Frank:... After this, I mean, legal and stuff like that can get ...

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