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Swike v. Med-1 Solutions, LLC

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

September 15, 2017

ERIN SWIKE, Plaintiff,
v.
MED-1 SOLUTIONS, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Jane Magntis-Stinson, chief Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Med-1 Solutions, LLC's (“Med-1”) Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Standing. [Filing No. 14.] Plaintiff Erin Swike alleges that Med-1 continued to attempt to collect Ms. Swike's unpaid debt despite her written refusal to pay, in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692c. [Filing No. 1.] Med-1 now moves to dismiss Ms. Swike's complaint, arguing that Ms. Swike lacks a concrete injury as required to invoke this Court's jurisdiction under Article III of the Constitution. For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Med-1's Motion. [Filing No. 14.]

         I.

         Legal Standard

          Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) “allows a party to move to dismiss a claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.” Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police of Chicago Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). Jurisdiction is the “power to decide, ” and federal courts may only decide claims that fall within both a statutory grant of authority and the Constitution's limits on the judiciary. In re Chicago, R.I. & P.R. Co., 794 F.2d 1182, 1188 (7th Cir. 1986). When deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1), the Court accepts the allegations in the plaintiff's complaint as true and draws all reasonable inference in the plaintiff's favor. Long v. Shorebank Dev. Corp., 182 F.3d 548, 554 (7th Cir. 1999). The burden is on the plaintiff to demonstrate that subject matter jurisdiction exists for his or her claims. See Lee v. City of Chicago, 330 F.3d 456, 468 (7th Cir. 2003).

         II.

         Background

         The following facts are drawn from Ms. Swike's Complaint, [Filing No. 1], and are accepted as true for the purposes of resolving Med-1's Motion.

         In 2014, Ms. Swike incurred several debts for medical services. [Filing No. 1 at 2.] Ms. Swike was unable to timely pay the debts, so the medical provider sent them to Med-1 for collection. [Filing No. 1 at 2.] On April 16, 2015, Med-1 sent a collection letter to Ms. Swike demanding that she pay one of her outstanding debts. [Filing No. 1 at 2; Filing No. 1-3.] In response to Med-1's collection letter, Ms. Swike sent a letter stating that she was “refusing to pay for the alleged debt that you are trying to collect.” [Filing No. 1-4 at 1.] Ms. Swike's letter was delivered to Med-1 on April 23, 2015. [Filing No. 1-4 at 2.]

         Despite Ms. Swike's written refusal to pay, Med-1 resumed its attempts to collect the debt in 2017. [Filing No. 1 at 2-3.] Med-1 contacted Ms. Swike by telephone on March 7 and May 2, 2017, and sent a collection letter to Ms. Swike on May 4. [Filing No. 1 at 2-3; Filing No. 1-5.]

         On May 8, 2017, Ms. Swike filed her Complaint in this Court, [Filing No. 1], alleging that Med-1's conduct violates 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(c) which provides that “[i]f a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt, ” except in specific circumstances not relevant here. Ms. Swike seeks “actual and statutory damages, costs, and reasonable attorneys' fees” for Med-1's alleged violations of the FDCPA. [Filing No. 1 at 4.]

         III.

         Discussion

         Med-1 argues that Ms. Swike's Complaint must be dismissed because Ms. Swike lacks standing to bring her claim. Specifically, Med-1 argues that Ms. Swike has failed to allege, and is unable to allege, a concrete injury-in-fact as required to establish Article III standing. In support, Med-1 primarily relies upon Spokeo v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540 (2016), and three recent Seventh ...


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