United States District Court, E.D. New York
ELMAN ABRAMOV, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
I.C. SYSTEM, INC. and JOHN DOES 1-25, Defendants
For the Plaintiffs: Joseph K. Jones, Esq., Benjamin J. Wolf, Esq., Of Counsel, Law Office of Joseph K. Jones, LLC, New York, NY.
For the Plaintiffs: Ari H. Marcus, Esq., Of Counsel, Marcus Law, LLC, Asbury Park, NJ.
For the Defendant: IC Systems, Inc.: Concepcion A. Montoya, Esq., Of Counsel, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, New York, NY.
DECISION AND ORDER
ARTHUR D. SPATT, United States District Judge.
Familiarity with the factual and procedural history of this case is presumed.
By way of background, on July 1, 2014, the Plaintiff Elman Abramov (the " Plaintiff" ) brought this class action lawsuit on behalf of himself and a proposed nationwide class seeking redress for certain actions taken by the Defendants I.C. System, Inc. (" I.C. System" ) and John Does 1-25 (collectively the " Defendants" ) allegedly in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq. (the " FDCPA" ).
Of relevance here, the FDCPA authorizes courts to award individuals " any actual damage" sustained because of a violation of its provisions and " additional damages . . . not exceeding $1,000." 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(1)-(2)(A). The FDCPA further authorizes class damages up to the smaller of $500,000 or 1% of the defendant's value. 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(2)(B). In either individual or class actions, plaintiffs may also recover attorneys' fees and costs. 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(3). Here, the Plaintiff seeks both actual and statutory damages on behalf himself and the class.
On August 19, 2014, I.C. System moved pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (" Fed. R. Civ. P." ) 12(b)(6) to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
On August 28, 2014, I.C. System served the Plaintiff with a Rule 68 Offer of Judgment, which provided as follows:
Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 68, defendant I.C. System, Inc. hereby offers to allow judgment to be taken against it in this action as to the individual Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (" FDCPA" ) claim of plaintiff Elman Abramov in the amount of (a) One Thousand Five Hundred and One Dollars ($1,501.00) payable to Elman Abramov plus (b) reasonable attorney's fees and costs to be determined by the Court, payable to Elman Abramov for the benefit of all attorneys in this matter, including counsel of record. Any judgment entered pursuant to this offer will be in full satisfaction of the plaintiff's individual claims under the FDCPA for damages, costs, and attorney's fees in this action. See Compl. [Dkt. #1], ¶ ¶ 39-47. If this Offer of Judgment is not accepted in writing within fourteen (14) days after its services, it shall be deemed withdrawn.
(The Pl's Exh. B.)
That day, the Plaintiff's counsel e-mailed I.C. System's counsel advising that " said Offer is improper at this time and therefore Plaintiff can neither accept nor reject said Offer." (Pl's Exh. C.) The Plaintiff also contended that an Offer of Judgment could not moot a putative class action absent undue delay in the filing of a motion for class certification.
On October 14, 2014, this Court granted in part and denied in part I.C. System's motion to dismiss ...