Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Smith v. GC Services Limited Partnership

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

July 17, 2017

FRANCINA SMITH, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
GC SERVICES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, a Delaware limited partnership, and OWNERS RESOURCE GROUP GC GP BUYER, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Defendants.

          ENTRY ON PLAINTIFF'S SECOND AMENDED MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION

          RICHARD L. YOUNG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff, Francina Smith, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, claims the Defendants, GC Services Limited Partnership and Owner Resource Group GC GP Buyer, LLC, sent her and the putative class a debt collection letter that violated various provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. Plaintiff now moves for class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) and (b)(3). For the reasons that follow, the court GRANTS Plaintiff's motion.

         I. Background

         Defendants sent Plaintiff a form collection letter, dated March 17, 2016, which reads, in relevant part:

As of the date of this letter, our records show you owe a balance of $3, 095.00 to Synchrony Bank. If you dispute this balance or the validity of this debt, please let us know in writing. If you do not dispute this debt in writing within 30 days after you receive this letter, we will assume this debt is valid.
However, if you do dispute all or any portion of this debt in writing within 30 days of receiving this letter, we will obtain verification of the debt from our client and send it to you. Or, if within 30 days of receiving this letter you request in writing the name and address of the original creditor, we will provide it to you in the event it differs from our client, Synchrony Bank.

(Filing No. 25-3, Collection Letter). The text of Section 1692g(a)(3) of the FDCPA, however, simply says that a consumer need only “dispute[] the validity of the debt.”

         Plaintiff's Amended Complaint - Class Action, filed on October 18, 2016, alleges that Defendants violated Section 1692g by wrongfully informing Plaintiff that disputes must be in writing when, in fact, an oral dispute is valid. (Filing No. 25, Amended Compl. ¶¶ 12-15). She alleges Defendants' letter also violated Sections 1692e and 1692f because the statement-that any dispute of the debt must be in writing-was false, deceptive, and misleading, (id. ¶¶ 16-19), and unfair and unconscionable, (id. ¶¶ 20-23).

         Plaintiff requests the court allow her to represent a class with the following definition:

[A]ll persons similarly situated in the State of Indiana from whom Defendants attempted to collect a delinquent consumer debt allegedly owed for a Synchrony Bank/Sam's Club account, via the same form collection letter that Defendants sent to Plaintiff, from one year before the date of the initial Complaint to the present.

(Filing No. 68, Plaintiff's Statement as to Class Definition). Plaintiff asserts that all the prerequisites for class certification pursuant to Rules 23(a) and (b)(3) are met. Defendants argue otherwise.

         II. Rule 23 Requirements

         Class action suits are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. A party seeking class certification bears the burden of establishing that certification is appropriate. Retired Chicago Police Ass'n v. City of Chicago, 7 F.3d 584, 596 (7th Cir. 1993). The decision whether to grant or deny a motion for class certification lies within the broad discretion of the trial court. Id.

         Rule 23 prescribes a two-step analysis to determine whether class certification is appropriate. First, a plaintiff must satisfy Rule 23(a)'s requirements of numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation. Clark v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., 256 Fed.Appx. 818, 821 (7th Cir. 2007); Williams v. Chartwell Fin. Serv., Ltd., 204 F.3d 748, 760 (7th Cir. 2000). The failure to meet any one of these requirements precludes certification of a class. Retired Chicago Police Ass'n, 7 F.3d at 596. Second, the action must also satisfy one of the conditions of Rule 23(b). Clark, 256 Fed.Appx. at 821; Williams, 204 F.3d at 760. Plaintiff seeks certification under Rule 23(b)(3), which permits class certification if “questions of law or fact common to class ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.