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Cameron v. LR Credit 22, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. New York

February 24, 2014

PAULETTE CAMERON, Plaintiff,
v.
LR CREDIT 22, LLC, MEL S. HARRIS AND ASSOCIATES, LLC, MEL S. HARRIS, RACHEL HISLER, and JOHN DOES # 1-10, Defendants

Page 294

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 295

For Paulette Cameron, Plaintiff: Ahmad Keshavarz, Ahmad Keshavarz, Law Offices, Brooklyn, NY; Nasoan Channa Sheftel-Gomes, Urban Justice Center, New York, NY.

For LR Credit 22, LLC, Mel S. Harris and Associates, LLC, Mel S. Harris, Rachel Hisler, Defendants: Scott Evan Wortman, LEAD ATTORNEY, Mel S. Harris & Associates(5 Hanover Sq.), New York, NY.

Page 296

OPINION & ORDER

PAUL A. CROTTY, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Paulette Cameron claims that Defendants violated her rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (" FDCPA" ) and related state laws by filing a time-barred lawsuit to collect a debt from her. Defendants contend that the New York City Civil Court has already resolved this matter pursuant to a stipulated settlement agreement. Defendants move (1) to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and (2) for judgment on the pleadings. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), 12(c). For the reasons below, the motions are DENIED.

BACKGROUND

Defendants are debt collectors who sought to recover a debt that Cameron allegedly owed to non-party Chase Bank USA, NA (" Chase" ).[1] The gravamen of Cameron's Complaint is that Defendants deceived her into making payments on the debt by filing a time-barred complaint in New York City Civil Court, Bronx County. ( See Compl. ¶ ¶ 21, 33-34.) Cameron makes her claims under the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692d-f; New York General Business Law § 349; and New York Judiciary Law § 487.[2]

Defendants filed their debt collection action against Cameron in Civil Court on April 4, 2012 for a cause of action that allegedly arose on December 17, 2008. ( See Compl. ¶ ¶ 16, 24.) Cameron alleges that Chase " resides" in Delaware, which subjects the debt to Delaware's three-year statute of limitations pursuant to New York's borrowing statute. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 27-31 (citing N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 202; Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 8106).) Cameron does not seek to recover the funds she was induced to pay, but rather seeks damages for her pain and suffering, lost time, and costs that she allegedly incurred from the lawsuit against her, in addition to applicable statutory damages.

Defendants respond that the Complaint omits an important and judicially noticeable fact: the parties agreed to a Stipulation of Settlement in the Civil Court that resolved this dispute. The Settlement provided that Cameron would pay $550 in monthly installments of $25 (substantially less than the amount claimed, $1,302), but that in the event of Cameron's default, the Civil Court would enter judgment for the full amount claimed. The Settlement further provided that:

Any counterclaim set forth by or for [Cameron] is discontinued with prejudice. Further, any and all potential defenses [Cameron] may have regarding this matter and any other claims [Cameron] may have to date against [LR Credit 22, ...

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