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Feldman v. Sanders Legal Group

United States District Court, S.D. New York

December 19, 2012

Chaim FELDMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
SANDERS LEGAL GROUP, John Doe 1-10, and XYZ, Inc. 1-10, ten names being fictitious and unknown to the plaintiffs, the persons or parties intended being the persons or parties, if any, Defendants.

Page 596

Joshua N. Bleichman, Joshua N. Bleichman, Esq., Spring Valley, NY, for Plaintiff.

Tracy Martinelli Henry, The Anderson Law Group, P.A., Clearwater, FL, for Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

RAMOS, District Judge.

Plaintiff, Chaim Feldman, commenced this action against Defendants Sanders Legal Group (" Defendant" or " SLG" ), John Doe 1-10 and XYZ Inc [sic] 1-10 (" Defendants" ), alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692 et seq. (" FDCPA" or the " Act" ) and Section 349 of the New York General Business Law, and state law claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and defamation. Doc. 1 (" Compl." ) ¶¶ 15-42. Before the Court is SLG's Motion for Summary Judgment seeking dismissal of Plaintiff's Complaint in its entirety pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Doc. 18. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion is GRANTED in full.

I. Background

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated numerous provisions of sections 1692b, 1692c, 1692d and 1692e of the FDCPA,[1] through telephone communications with Plaintiff and third parties regarding an alleged debt in which SLG, inter alia, made threatening, harassing and/or abusive statements, used false representations in an attempt to collect the alleged debt, refused to respond to Plaintiff's inquiries about the nature of the alleged debt and the identity of the creditor, and disregarded Plaintiff's requests that Defendant stop contacting Plaintiff via telephone repeatedly and at unusual hours. Compl. ¶¶ 5-10, 12, 14, 16-24. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant " is a debt collector, pursuant to the FDCPA." Id. ¶ 4.

Defendant argues that it is entitled to summary judgment on Plaintiff's FDCPA claim because, inter alia, there is no evidence in the record demonstrating that it is a debt collector or that it undertook any of the telephone communications alleged in the Complaint.

A. Factual Background

The following facts are undisputed.[2] Defendant is a Florida corporation that

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enters into contracts with other companies (" Contracting Companies" ) for the purpose of processing credit card payments from consumers at the request of the Contracting Companies. Def.'s Stmt. Material Facts (" Def.'s 56.1 Stmt." ) ¶¶ 1-3, Doc. 19.[3] The Contracting Companies provide Defendant with the credit card information for consumers who are legally obligated to pay the Contracting Companies, along with a credit card authorization form for each consumer. Id. ¶ 4. Defendant will not accept a transaction from a Contracting Company unless an authorization form has been signed, and the consumer confirms that the charge is authorized and that he agrees to make the payment. Id. ¶ 5. SLG has no involvement in any debt collection activities undertaken by the Contracting Companies. Id. ¶¶ 5, 7. It is undisputed that SLG is not licensed to do business as a debt collector in either Florida or New York. Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. (" Def.'s Mem." ) Ex. B, at 5 ¶¶ 1-2, Doc. 18-2.

SLG entered into a contract with Global Debt Collections, a third party company that is not a party to this action. Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 1. On August 16, 2010, Defendant processed a credit card payment from Plaintiff in the amount of $1, 245.99, which was confirmed on August 17, 2010. Def.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 20 (citing Def.'s 56.1 Stmt. Ex. C). Defendant mailed confirmation of the payment and a copy of the transaction receipt to Plaintiff. Id. ¶ 21 (citing Def.'s 56.1 Stmt. Ex. D); Pl.'s 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 4. ...


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