A District Court judge in Indiana has dismissed a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, ruling the plaintiff lacked standing on any of the claims he made because he did not allege sufficient concrete injuries to move forward with his lawsuit.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Friend v. CACH can be accessed by clicking here.
Among the allegations made by the plaintiff were that the defendant unlawfully communicated with the plaintiff despite notice that the plaintiff was represented by an attorney, that the defendant failed to cease communicating and/or validating the debt in question, that the defendant attempted to collect more than what was owed, and that the defendant reported an inaccurate balance to the credit bureaus.
While Judge James T. Moody of the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana noted that the plaintiff could have suffered a concrete injury for any of the allegations that he made, he did not provide enough details to demonstrate standing to proceed with his lawsuit. The only claim for which the plaintiff argued he had standing was the alleged unlawful communication because he was being represented by an attorney, but he did not provide enough evidence to support his claim and presented no evidence of concrete harm, Judge Moody ruled.
Even though the plaintiff failed to address the issue of standing on any of the remaining claims, Judge Moody went to the trouble of going through each and detailing why the plaintiff lacked standing.
Essentially, each of the remaining claims failed because the plaintiff did not identify any evidence that he suffered a concrete harm as a result of the alleged infractions.
“In this case, plaintiff has failed to point to any fact in the record demonstrating that any of the alleged violations of the FDCPA caused him concrete harm, or presented an appreciable risk of harm, related to the Act,” Judge Moody wrote. “In his supplemental brief, plaintiff merely recites the allegation from his amended complaint that ‘Defendant[‘s] conduct damaged Plaintiff financially[.]’ Reliance on an allegation in his pleadings is insufficient at this stage in the litigation. Plaintiff was required to produce evidence of specific facts that, taken as true, establish injury in fact. He failed to do so. Furthermore, this court has reviewed the summary judgment record and no such evidence can be found.”