Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal of FDCPA Suit Over SOL

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has upheld the dismissal of a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuit that a lower court deemed was time-barred by the law’s one-year statute of limitations, striking down the plaintiff’s argument that a state law in Georgia should have allowed the case to continue.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Edwards v. Solomon & Solomon can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff filed an action against the defendant in a Georgia state court in April 2019, claiming the defendant committed violations of the FDCPA in May and July of 2018. The defendant removed the case to federal court, at which point the defendant dismissed his lawsuit. The plaintiff re-filed the lawsuit in November 2019 in state court, making the same allegations as were made in the original complaint. The defendant removed the case again to federal court, but this time sought dismissal because the violations were outside of the FDCPA’s one-year statute of limitations. The plaintiff opposed the dismissal, arguing that a state law in Georgia allows for the re-filing of lawsuits within six months of dismissal. But the District Court judge ruled that the state law can not extend a statute of limitations that has been imposed by Congress. The plaintiff appealed.

The Appeals Court sided with the defendant and the lower court, ruling that what Congress has deemed to be the statute of limitations, no state law can alter. “… incorporating Georgia’s renewal statute into the FDCPA would
undermine the uniform application of this federal limitation,” the Appeals Court wrote. “We therefore conclude that Georgia’s renewal statute does not extend the FDCPA’s one-year statute of limitations.”

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