A District Court judge in Oregon has granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss after it was sued for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, ruling that the law’s statute of limitations precludes one of the plaintiff’s claims while the other — a “minor procedural misstep” as described by the judge did not meet the threshold of a violation.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Ingersoll v. Brandsness et al. can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff incurred a number of medical bills that were owed to the same facility. The bills were not paid, and the account was placed with one of the defendants for collection. The defendants filed a collection lawsuit. Even though the plaintiff filed a response to the collection lawsuit, the defendants filed a motion for default, which was denied. That case has been scheduled for a jury trial.
The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the defendants are attempting to collect amounts not owed and that they violated the FDCPA by inappropriately seeking a default against him.
The defendant argued that the claim associated with collecting an amount not owed is barred by the FDCPA’s one year statute of limitations, an argument that Judge Ann Aiken of the District Court for the District of Oregon concurred.
Regarding the erroneous motion for default, Judge Aiken labeled the act as “innocuous” and noted that other cases — in which a defendant accidentally sought a writ of garnishment yet still was found not to have violated the FDCPA — involved more severe measures than what the plaintiff claimed in this case. “The erroneous motion for default amounted to a minor procedural misstep that, like the improper writ of garnishment, was quickly resolved by the state court,” Judge Aiken wrote. “Indeed, the conduct in the present case is even more innocuous than the acts taken by the defendants in Anglin because, unlike the writ of garnishment in that case, the erroneous motion for default was denied at the outset by the court and did not require remedial measures.”