Judge Denies Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand Hunstein Case Back to State Court

A District Court judge in Illinois has denied a plaintiff’s request to move a Hunstein case back to state court, ruling that the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in the case lays the groundwork for the kind of concrete injury that is needed to be suffered in order for the case to be tried in federal court.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Liu v. Radius Global Solutions can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff filed her suit in May, about a month after the Eleventh Circuit issued its ruling in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection & Management Services, determining that using a letter vendor to print and mail collection notices counts as a communication under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Hundreds of similar suits have been filed nationwide in the months following the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling, and cases are moving through the courts across the country.

In this case, the plaintiff originally filed her suit in state court, but the defendant had the case removed to federal court, after which the plaintiff moved to have it sent back to state court. The plaintiff argued that the case should be heard in state court because the defendant failed to demonstrate that the plaintiff has standing to sue in federal court, especially because she was not seeking actual damages.

Ultimately, the “disclosure of private information is a harm traditionally recognized as cognizable,” leading Judge Sara Ellis of the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, to deny the motion to remand the case back to state court on both the 1692c(b) and 1692f counts of the complaint. Along with the Hunstein decision, Judge Ellis also relied on the Supreme Court’s ruling in TransUnion v. Ramirez, which held that “various intangible harms can also be concrete,” including the “disclosure of private information.”

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