A District Court judge in California has denied a plaintiff’s request to remand a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case to state court, ruling the plaintiffs have standing to sue because an FDCPA cause of action was “undeniably” alleged in the complaint.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Ramirez et al. v. NBGI et al. can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiffs, who are representing themselves, also had a motion for costs and expenses as a result of bringing the motion denied by Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the District Court for the Central District of California.
It appears as though the plaintiffs are fighting a foreclosure and filed a claim against the defendants, alleging violations of state law in California as well as the FDCPA. The case was originally filed in state court, but the defendants removed the case to federal court based on the question of federal jurisdiction.
The plaintiffs allege one of the defendants violated the FDCPA in the complaint’s first cause of action, and “repeatedly” cite various sections of the FDCPA as well as state they are seeking “actual, statutory, and punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. [Section] 1692.” One of the claims is that the defendants made false representations in attempting to collect on the underlying debt.
“If, as Plaintiffs allege, Defendant has used ‘false representation[s] or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect a debt’ from Plaintiffs, then Plaintiffs can likely demonstrate an injury-in-fact to support Article III standing,” Judge Fitzgerald wrote in his ruling. “Because an FDCPA cause of action was undeniably alleged in the Complaint at the time of Defendant’s removal, the Court has federal question jurisdiction over this action.”
Only if the Court determines there is not a viable FDCPA claim will it consider remanding the case back to state court, Judge Fitzgerald ruled.