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Kimble v. Jamieson

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

February 9, 2018

ALEXANDRIA KIMBLE, Plaintiff,
v.
W. RAY JAMIESON, P.C., Defendant.

          ORDER

          SAMUEL H. MAYS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Plaintiff brings this action against Defendant for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692, et seq. (ECF No. 1.)

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Alexandria Kimble's May 22, 2017 motion for partial judgment on the pleadings. (ECF No. 13.) Defendant Ray Jamieson, P.C. filed a response on June 23, 2017. (ECF No. 16.) Plaintiff replied on July 7, 2017. (ECF No. 19.)

         Also before the Court is Defendant's October 11, 2017 motion to dismiss, or, in the alternative, motion to compel arbitration. (ECF No. 23.) Plaintiff responded on November 8, 2017. (ECF No. 24.)

         For the following reasons, Plaintiff's motion for partial judgment on the pleadings is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Defendant's motion to dismiss, or, in the alternative, motion to compel arbitration is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

         I. Background

         On February 2, 2017, Defendant sent Plaintiff a letter addressing a debt Plaintiff owed J.R.'s Auto Sales, Inc. (Id. ¶ 22; Answer, ECF No. 11 ¶ 22 (admitted).) The letter stated, in relevant part, that:

The debt will be assumed to be valid unless you notify this office or the creditor in writing of any dispute concerning this debt or any portion thereof within thirty (30) days after you receive this letter.
This office will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor, if you request this in writing within 30 days.
If you do dispute this debt, then this office will provide verification of the debt to you.
This is a communication from a debt collector. This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

(ECF No. 1-1.)

         On February 14, 2017, Defendant filed suit in state court against Plaintiff on behalf of J.R.'s Auto Sales, Inc. (ECF No. 1 ¶ 29; ECF No. 11 ¶ 29; ECF No. 1-2.)

         On March 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed her complaint in this court against Defendant for violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692g(a)(3)-(4) and 1692e. (ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 35-47.) Defendant filed its Answer on May 8, 2017. (ECF No. 11.)

         On May 22, 2017, Plaintiff filed her motion for partial judgment on the pleadings. (ECF No. 13.) Defendant filed its response on June 23, 2017. (ECF No. 16.) Plaintiff replied on July 7, 2017. (ECF No. 19.)

         On October 11, 2017, Defendant filed its motion to dismiss, or, in the alternative, motion to compel arbitration. (ECF No. 23.) Plaintiff responded on November 8, 2017. (ECF No. 24.)

         II. Jurisdiction & Choice of Law

         The Court has jurisdiction over Plaintiff's federal-law claims. Under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, United States district courts have original jurisdiction “of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.” The complaint alleges that Defendant discriminated and retaliated against Plaintiff in violation of the FDCPA. (ECF No. 1 ¶ 2.) That claim arises under the laws of the United States.

         III. Standard of Review

         A. Judgment on the Pleadings & Motion to Dismiss

         “After the pleadings are closed -- but early enough not to delay trial -- a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). The standard governing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) applies to a motion for judgment on the pleadings. Warrior Sports, Inc. v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 623 F.3d 281, 284 (6th Cir. 2010) (citing EEOC v. J.H. Routh Packing Co., 246 F.3d 850, 851 (6th Cir. 1973)). “For purposes of a motion for judgment on the pleadings, all well-pleaded material allegations of the pleadings of the opposing party must be taken as true, and the motion may be granted only if the moving party is nevertheless clearly entitled to judgment.” JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Winget, 510 F.3d 577, 581 (6th Cir. 2007).

         To survive a plaintiff's Rule 12(c) motion, a defendant's pleadings must contain sufficient facts “to ‘state a [defense] that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). Bare allegations without a factual context do not create defenses that are plausible. Ctr. for Bio- Ethical Reform, Inc. v. Napolitano, 648 F.3d 365, 374 (6th Cir. 2011). “The plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability ...


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