The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has vacated a lower court’s conformation of an arbitration award in favor of a defendant that was sued for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act during the course of a lawsuit filed against the plaintiff in state court to collect an unpaid debt.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Davis v. Mandarich Law Group can be accessed by clicking here.
The Ninth Circuit determined that there is a “serious question” as to whether the plaintiff has established an injury in fact and is able to sue under Article III of the constitution. Under Article III, an individual must have suffered a “concrete injury” to be eligible to sue in federal court.
The plaintiff alleges that the defendant violated the FDCPA by offering declarations in lieu of direct testimony from individuals who did not have an address within 150 miles of the place of trial and were not available for service at the address given, which is a violation of Civil Procedure in California.
The Ninth Circuit determined that it did not have enough information on whether the plaintiff had standing to sue and rather than rule on the appeal, it decided to vacate the arbitration award and give the District Court the chance to rule on the issue in the first place.
Should the District Court rule that the plaintiff does not have standing to sue, it should dismiss the complaint, the Appeals Court ruled. If the District Court rules that the plaintiff does have standing, it can reinstate the arbitration award or “conduct whatever further proceedings it deems appropriate.”