The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sprizzo, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Jacob Shapiro brings the above-captioned action on
behalf of himself and others similarly situated, alleging a
violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act ("FDCPA").
Plaintiff claims that a debt collection letter sent by defendant
Dun & Bradstreet Receivable Management Services, Inc. ("RMS")
violated the FDCPA because it was so confusing as to "overshadow
or contradict" RMS's statutorily-mandated debt validation notice
advising plaintiff of his legal rights. Defendant moves to
dismiss plaintiffs claim pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and
plaintiff cross-moves for partial summary judgment pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). For the reasons set forth below, the Court
grants defendant's motion and denies plaintiff's cross motion.
The following facts are uncontested. On or about February 8,
2002, RMS sent a notice to plaintiff in connection with a debt
owed to ECONnergy Energy Company, Inc. ("the creditor"). See
Plaintiffs Memorandum of Law in Support of Cross Motion on
Pleadings dated May 6, 2002, Exhibit A, Debt Collection Letter
to Plaintiff dated February 2, 2002 ("the Letter"). The front
side of the Letter advised plaintiff that the debt was past due,
and further advised plaintiff:
At this time[the creditor] ha[s] have requested
assistance from [RMS] in collecting this debt. We ask
that you send your check directly to [the creditor]
for the amount owed. If you have already remitted
payment, thank you, and you can disregard this
If there are any questions regarding this account, or
if you wish to make payment arrangements, please
contact [the creditor] directly at [telephone #].
Should you wish to dispute this account, please refer
to the notice on the reverse side of this letter.
At the bottom of the page and in large bold letters, RMS
advised plaintiff: "NOTICE: SEE REVERSE SIDE FOR IMPORTANT
INFORMATION." On the reverse side, and in similar oversized
lettering, appeared the following language: "IMPORTANT NOTICE OF
YOUR RIGHTS UNDER FEDERAL LAW." The notice stated:
Unless you notify this office within 30 days after
receiving this notice that you dispute the validity
of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will
assume that this debt is valid. If you notify this
office in writing within 30 days from receiving this
notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or
any portion thereof, this office will obtain
verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a
judgment, if any, and mail you a copy of such
judgment or verification. If you request this office
in writing within 30 days after receiving this notice
this office will provide you with the name and
address of the original creditor, if different from
the current creditor.
In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court must
construe in plaintiff's favor any well-pleaded factual
allegations of the complaint. See Finnegan v. Campeau Corp.,
915 F.2d 824, 826 (2d Cir. 1990). A court may dismiss the
complaint only where it appears beyond doubt that plaintiff can
prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would
entitle him to relief. See Allen v. WestPoint-Pepperell, Inc.
945 F.2d 40, 44 (2nd Cir. 1991) (citing Conley v. Gibson,
355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957)).
Congress enacted the FDCPA in 1977 to "eliminate abusive debt
collection practices by debt collectors [and] to insure that
those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt
collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged."
15 U.S.C. § 1692. In the instant case, plaintiff seeks damages and
declaratory and injunctive ...