from the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Ohio at Columbus. No. 2:16-cv-00516-Michael H.
Watson, District Judge.
C. Shane, Bellevue, Kentucky, Stephen R. Felson, Cincinnati,
Ohio, for Appellant.
W. Gentry, LAW OFFICE OF BOYD W. GENTRY, LLC, Beavercreek,
Ohio, for Appellees.
Before: GUY, SILER, and DONALD, Circuit Judges.
BERNICE BOUIE DONALD, Circuit Judge.
Levy, Levy & Associates, LLC, Kirschenbaum, Phillips
& Levy, PC, and Krishna Velayudhan (collectively,
"Appellees") brought a collection action against
Brendan Lyshe. Alleging that Appellees' discovery
requests violated state procedural rules, Lyshe brought a
claim for relief under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
("FDCPA"). For the following reasons, we conclude
that Lyshe did not suffer any concrete harm from
Appellees' alleged state procedural violations.
Accordingly, we AFFIRM the district
court's judgment dismissing his claim for lack of
2016, Appellees brought a collection action against Lyshe.
Soon after bringing the action, Appellees served Lyshe with
discovery requests. They did not send a separate electronic
copy, but instructed Lyshe to contact them if he would like
an electronic copy. As part of the discovery, the requests
for admission required that Lyshe verify that his responses
were "true and correct to the best of [his] knowledge,
information and belief, " and included a blank notary
block. Ex. C, ECF No. 1-3, Page ID 12. It further provided
that any matter would be deemed admitted unless Lyshe made a
sworn statement in compliance with the Ohio Rules of Civil
then brought suit, alleging that Appellees violated the FDCPA
by failing to provide electronic discovery without prompting
and requiring that the responses to the requests for
admission be sworn and notarized. Appellees moved to dismiss
under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6).
Relying on Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540
(2016), the district court concluded that it lacked subject
matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1), and dismissed the
case on that ground. Specifically, it held that Lyshe did not
plead any injury in connection with the alleged violations of
the state procedural rules. According to the district court,
Appellees did not violate the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure
by offering to send electronic copies of the discovery only
upon Lyshe's request. Regarding the alleged errors in the
requests for admissions, the district court reasoned that
Lyshe failed to allege that he was misled, that he felt
compelled to make a sworn verification or engage a notary, or
that he even responded to the challenged requests, so his
allegations were insufficient to confer jurisdiction upon the
federal courts. Lyshe appeals, arguing that this court has
subject matter jurisdiction and that his complaint states a
claim upon which relief may be granted.
III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of federals
courts to hear only actual cases and controversies. U.S.
Const. art. 3, § 2. The doctrine of standing aids us in
defining these limits. The plaintiff bears the burden of
establishing standing. Summers v. Earth Island
Inst., 555 U.S. 488, 493 (2009). To satisfy the
"irreducible constitutional minimum of standing, "
the plaintiff must establish that: (1) he has suffered an
injury in fact that is (a) concrete and particularized and
(b) actual or imminent rather than conjectural or
hypothetical; (2) that there is a causal connection between
the injury and the defendant's alleged wrongdoing; and
(3) that the injury can likely be redressed. Lujan v.
Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992). At
dispute here is only whether Lyshe suffered an injury in
fact. The existence of an abstract injury is insufficient for
a plaintiff to carry his burden on this element. City of
Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 101 (1983). Rather, a
plaintiff must establish that he has a "personal stake
in the outcome of the controversy." Susan B. Anthony
List v. Driehaus, 134 S.Ct. 2334, 2341 (2014) (quoting
Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 498 (1975)).
a party has standing is an issue of the court's subject
matter jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1). Allstate Ins. Co. v. Global Med. Billing,
Inc., 520 F.App'x 409, 410-11 (6th Cir. 2013)
(citing Murray v. U.S. Dep't of Treasury, 681
F.3d 744, 748 (6th Cir. 2012)). We review such matters de
novo. McGlone v. Bell, 681 F.3d 718, 728 (6th
maintains that Appellees violated the Ohio Rules of Civil
Procedure by (1) failing to provide electronic discovery
without a request from Lyshe; and (2) stating that the
requests for admissions must be sworn and notarized or else
be deemed admitted, and that these errors violate the
FDCPA. Lyshe contends that prior to
Spokeo, circuit case law established that a debt
collector's failure to follow state law procedural rules
violated the FDCPA. He reasons that although Spokeo
seemed to reexamine Article III standing in the context of
intangible damages, it did not change the rule of law for
standing and did not eliminate standing for cases like the
one here ...