Judge Denies Motion to Remand FDCPA Case Back to State Court; Grants MTD

A District Court judge has denied a plaintiff’s motion to remand a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case back to state court while also granting the defendant’s motion to dismiss, ruling that the plaintiff had standing to sue in federal court, but did not state a claim on which the case could be based.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Johnson v. Hunter Warfield can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff filed suit in New York state court, claiming that the defendant violated the FDCPA by “frequently” attempting to collect $503 from her, for reporting the debt to credit reporting agencies, and for “breaching” its duties under the FDCPA. The plaintiff claimed not to be responsible for the debt.

The defendant removed the case to the District Court for the Northern District of New York. The plaintiff sought to remove the case back to state court, but Judge David N. Hurd agreed with the defendant that the plaintiff’s claim to have suffered “costs, loss of credit opportunities, and stress,” and that she was entitled to actual damages was sufficient to confer standing to sue in federal court. Judge Hurd also noted in a footnote that remand was improper because the complaint raised questions of federal law and neither the removal nor supplemental jurisdictional statutes “authorizes a federal court to remand claims over which it has original jurisdiction.”

Turning to the defendant’s motion to dismiss, because the plaintiff did not identify the specific provisions of the FDCPA that the defendant allegedly violated and by only making a “vague allegation” that the defendant attempted to collect a debt that the plaintiff claims she did not owe, Judge Hurd said the plaintiff’s complaint was “insufficient” to support a claim under the FDCPA.

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