United States District Court, W.D. New York
DIMITRIOS N. GRIGORIOU, Plaintiff,
FIRST RESOLUTION INVESTMENT CORPORATION, FIRST RESOLUTION MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, DUBIN & DUBIN, LLP, ROBERT J. DUBIN and JOHN DOE, Defendants.
Dimitrios N. Grigoriou, pro se Rochester, New York For Plaintiff.
For Defendants First Resolution Investment Corporation and First Resolution Management Corp. Christopher W. McMaster, Esq. Buffalo, New York For Plaintiff.
Dubin & Dubin, LLP and Robert J. Dubin Christopher Bopst, Esq. Goldberg Segalla LLP Buffalo, New York For Plaintiff.
DECISION AND ORDER
CHARLES J. SIRAGUSA, District Judge.
Plaintiff maintains that Defendants attempted to collect a debt from him that he did not owe, and in the process, damaged his credit history. Proceeding pro se, Plaintiff is attempting to assert claims pursuant to Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTC Act"), the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"). Now before the Court are Defendants' motions for judgment on the pleadings. (Docket Nos. [#23][#25]). The applications are granted and this action is dismissed.
The factual allegations in the Complaint [#1], which the Court presumes to be true for purposes of this Decision and Order, indicate the following: 1) First Resolution Investment Corporation and First Resolution Management Corporation ("the First Resolution Defendants") buy "junk debt, " attempt to collect such debt, and employ Dubin & Dubin, LLP, and Robert J. Dubin, Esq. ("the Dubin Defendants") to provide legal representation in connection with their debt-collection efforts; 2) on February 10, 2009, the Dubin Defendants, on behalf of First Resolution Investment Corp., sued Plaintiff, in Rochester City Court, to collect an alleged debt in the amount of $8, 320.51, which they maintained Plaintiff originally incurred to Chase Bank; 3) on February 30, 2009, Plaintiff informed Mr. Dubin, in writing and by telephone, that he disputed the debt, inasmuch as he never had a credit card with Chase Bank, and he "demanded validation of the alleged debt" pursuant to "15 U.S.C. § 1692(f)"; 4) Mr. Dubin told Plaintiff that he did not have information about the debt, and after talking with Plaintiff about Plaintiff's finances, told Plaintiff that "he would not be pursuing" the debt; 5) Plaintiff apparently heard nothing further about the alleged debt until September, 2010, when he applied for a student loan through the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation ("HESC") at an interest rate of 8.25%, and was denied because of "negative information" on his credit report; 6) thereafter Plaintiff examined his credit reports, furnished by several different credit reporting agencies, and found "a debt listed from First Resolution Investment;" 7) Plaintiff informed the credit reporting agencies that he disputed the debt, but the debt remained on his credit report; 8) subsequently, in October, 2010, Plaintiff obtained a student loan from a private lender at a higher interest rate (9.75%); 9) on January 17, 2012, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment in the City Court action, without ever having provided Plaintiff with any additional information about the debt; 10) Plaintiff characterizes the City Court action as "false and misleading, " because the debt collection action was time-barred, and because while the action was still pending, Mr. Dubin falsely told City Court that the parties had agreed to dismiss the action; 11) in March, 2012, Plaintiff obtained copies of his credit report, which still listed the disputed debt to First Resolution Investment; and 12) in March, 2012, and during the two years prior to that, Plaintiff received unsolicited, anonymous telephone calls, including a recorded message which he believes contains the voice of Robert Dubin, offering to help him refinance the alleged debt.
With regard to the City Court action, the Complaint indicates that Plaintiff asserted unspecified "counterclaims" against First Resolution Investment. The Complaint further indicates that on April 11, 2012, Plaintiff and First Resolution Investment "were able to conclude the [City Court] lawsuit." At oral argument, Counsel for First Resolution Investment explained that his client had voluntarily discontinued the City Court action against Plaintiff. As for Plaintiff, the Complaint indicates that he voluntarily withdrew his counterclaims against First Resolution Investment in the City Court action, because he intended to file the subject action in federal court, adding additional defendants and "additional claims."
On January 4, 2013, Plaintiff commenced this action. The Complaint purports to assert six separate causes of action, based on the facts alleged above. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violation the following provisions of federal law: the FTC Act, § 5(a), 15 U.S.C. § 45(a); the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(a)(1)(A) & (b); and the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692e & 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(b). The Complaint demands injunctive, equitable and monetary relief.
All Defendants except "John Doe" were served and answered the Complaint. On October 4, 2013, the First Resolution Defendants filed a motion [#23] for judgment on the pleadings. On December 20, 2013, the Dubin Defendants filed their own motion [#25] for judgment on the pleadings, adopting the First Resolution Defendants' arguments.
Plaintiff filed a one-page response [#26] to the First Resolution Defendants' motion, in which he asserts that his Complaint "states claims for declaratory and injunctive relief under the FDCPA and FCRA." His response, though, does not mention the FTC Act. Plaintiff further states that he opposes Defendants' motion because no discovery has been conducted.
On January 17, 2013, the First Resolution Defendants filed a reply [#27]. On March 13, 2014, the parties appeared before ...