United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
KRISTIN S. HILL, Plaintiff,
BAYSIDE WOODS, HOA INC., COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION SERVICES OF INDIANA, PAYLEASE WEB, EADS, MURRAY AND PUGH PC, Defendants.
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE.
pending before the Court are Defendant Community Association
Services of Indiana's (“CASI”)
Motion to Dismiss, [Filing No. 59], and Defendant
PayLease Web's (“PayLease”) Motion
to Dismiss, [Filing No. 62], pro se
Plaintiff Kristin S. Hill's Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act (“FDCPA”) claims,
[Filing No. 4]. Ms. Hill asserts FDCPA claims
against CASI and PayLease for their actions related to debt
incurred for damage to the siding of the condominium where
Ms. Hill resides, which is owned by her father. For the reasons
that follow, the Court grants the pending motions to dismiss.
[Filing No. 59; Filing No. 62.]
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) “requires only ‘a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.'” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Fed. R. Civ.
Pro. 8(a)(2)). “Specific facts are not necessary, the
statement need only ‘give the defendant fair notice of
what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.'” Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93 (quoting
Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
motion to dismiss asks whether the complaint
“contain[s] sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
In reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, the Court must
accept all well-pled facts as true and draw all permissible
inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Active
Disposal, Inc. v. City of Darien, 635 F.3d 883, 886 (7th
Cir. 2011). The Court will not accept legal conclusions or
conclusory allegations as sufficient to state a claim for
relief. See McCauley v. City of Chicago,
671 F.3d 611, 617 (7th Cir. 2011). Factual allegations must
plausibly state an entitlement to relief “to a degree
that rises above the speculative level.” Munson v.
Gaetz, 673 F.3d 630, 633 (7th Cir. 2012). This
plausibility determination is “a context-specific task
that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Id.
following background is set forth pursuant to the applicable
standards, accepting all well-pled factual allegations
against CASI and PayLease from Ms. Hill's Amended
Complaint as true. Ms. Hill did not attach any exhibits to
her Complaint or Amended Complaint. [Filing No. 1;
Filing No. 4.] Thus, all representations regarding
the contents of the Bayside Woods homeowners' covenants
and Ms. Hill's correspondence with various individuals
are based exclusively on Ms. Hill's allegations and
accepted as true for purposes of these motions.
March 2012, Robert Ritter purchased a Bayside Woods
condominium in Carmel. [Filing No. 4 at 2.] Prior to
closing, Mr. Ritter was provided a copy of the Declaration of
the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions at Bayside Woods
(the “Covenants”). [Filing No. 4 at
2.] Mr. Ritter's daughter-Ms. Hill-moved her
belongings into the condominium shortly thereafter, but she
did not live in it until late May 2012. [Filing No. 4 at
2.] On April 23, 2012, Bayside Woods “sent Ritter
a letter stating that their BBQ grill had damaged the siding
of the building around the patio area and therefore it was
their responsibility to have it repaired.” [Filing
No. 4 at 2.] Ms. Hill contacted Meredith Reese, the
community manager, “to inform her that the BBQ grill on
the patio was not theirs; it was left by the prior owner . .
. .” [Filing No. 4 at 2.] Ms. Reese asked Ms.
Hill to put her dispute in writing, and she did. [Filing
No. 4 at 2-3.] Specifically, Ms. Hill stated that the
BBQ grill belonged to the previous owner, she did not use it,
and no one lived in the condominium until after Bayside Woods
sent the first letter about it. [Filing No. 4 at 3.]
Ms. Hill concludes that “[t]herefore, we are not
responsible for the upkeep of the outside of the building and
we did not cause the damage.” [Filing No. 4 at
September 8, 2012, Ms. Hill found that the damaged siding had
been repaired. [Filing No. 4 at 3.] She contacted
Ms. Reese, who responded, “Sorry for the delay in
responding. The Board determined the repair would still be
your responsibility. We will be sending you a letter shortly
with the information; if you are in disagreement you are
certainly welcome to petition again.” [Filing No. 4
at 3.] In a subsequent communication, Ms. Reese told Ms.
Hill that the Board vote had been unanimous and that
“[t]he damage is the owner's responsibility.”
[Filing No. 4 at 3.]
October 24, 2012, Bayside Woods “sent Ritter an invoice
for $355.48” and a letter stating:
Enclosed is Invoice 94967 for a CASI maintenance service call
to replace the siding damaged by the heat of a BBQ grill.
Since the issue was deemed an “owner
responsibility” the Association is not responsible for
payment of this service. The total amount due is $355.48.
This charge [h]as been applied to your homeowner account.
[Filing No. 4 at 4.] Ms. Hill petitioned, citing the
Covenants, which provide as follows:
[T]he Association shall provide exterior maintenance upon
each lot which is subject to assessment hereunder, as
follows: . . . exterior building surfaces and other exterior
improvements. . . . In the event that the need for
maintenance or repair is caused through the willful or
negligent act of the owner, his family, guests, or invitees,
the cost of such maintenance or repairs shall be added to and
become a part of the assessment of which such Lot is subject.
[Filing No. 4 at 4.] Ms. Hill's letter to
Bayside Woods states that it “has not provided any
reasonable basis for its conclusion that we are responsible
for the costs of repairing the damage regardless of whether
we caused the damage or even that the damage was caused by a
grill. If the Association believes that the prior owners did
cause the damage the Association had the opportunity to
notify them of the damage and repair it at their expense if
they didn't challenge that . . . .” [Filing No.
4 at 4.] On November 27, 2012, Ms. Hill sent a notarized
affidavit to Ms. Reese stating that “at no time had I,
the owner, a family member, guest or invitee even used the
grill” before Bayside Woods sent the April 2012 letter.
[Filing No. 4 at 5.]
Woods responded, standing by its initial decision and stating
“this decision is final and the charges stand as
originally submitted. Please make check payable to Bayside
Woods HOA . . . no later than December 14, 2012.”
[Filing No. 4 at 5.] After that time, Bayside Woods
sent “numerous letters reminding ...