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Thompson v. Chase Bank N.A.

March 30, 2010

PATRICIA THOMPSON, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CHASE BANK N.A., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Dana M. Sabraw United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT CHASE BANK'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STRIKE [Doc. 8]

Pending before the Court is Defendant Chase Bank's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint ("FAC"). For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs Patricia Thompson and Gene Robert Thompson allege that Defendants Chase Bank and IC Systems, Inc. violated the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("RFDCPA"), Cal. Civ. Code § 1788, et seq., and committed other torts when attempting to collect a credit card debt. Plaintiffs allege Defendants called Plaintiffs 259 times over a period of three months, including holidays, in order to collect the debt. (FAC, ¶¶ 50-56.)

Plaintiffs further allege they sent a cease and desist letter, and that any attempts to collect the debt after the cease and desist letter violated the RFDCPA. (Id. ¶¶ 23-24.) The letter was addressed to Washington Mutual/Providian. (Id. at Ex. A.) Defendant Chase Bank purchased certain assets of Washington Mutual, including Plaintiffs' credit card account, after Washington Mutual went into bankruptcy. (Id. at ¶ 24.)

Plaintiffs filed suit in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego on August 5, 2009. (Doc. 1.) On September 30, 2009, Chase removed the matter to this Court. (Id.) On November 4, 2009, Chase filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' complaint. (Doc. 5.) Rather than oppose, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint. (Doc. 6.) The Court therefore denied Chase's motion as moot.*fn1 (Doc. 7.) Chase filed the instant motion on January 14, 2010. (Doc. 8.) Plaintiffs filed an opposition, (Doc. 9), and Defendant filed a reply. (Doc. 13.)

II. DISCUSSION

Chase moves to dismiss claims 1 through 3 and 6 through 13 of the FAC for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Chase also moves to strike certain allegations and damages requests.

A. Legal Standard

In two recent opinions, the Supreme Court established a more stringent standard of review for 12(b)(6) motions. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, ___ U.S. ___, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). To survive a motion to dismiss under this new standard, "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will ... be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 1950 (citing Iqbal v. Hasty, 490 F.3d 143, 157-58 (2d Cir. 2007)). In Iqbal, the Court began this task "by identifying the allegations in the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Id. at 1951. It then considered "the factual allegations in respondent's complaint to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief." Id. at 1951.

B. RFDCPA

Claims 1 through 8 of the FAC allege violations of the RFDCPA, under several provisions of both the RFDCPA and the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Defendant moves to dismiss claims 1 through 3 and 6 through 8.

1. Claims 1 through 3

Claims 1 through 3 of the FAC allege that Chase violated the RFDCPA by attempting to contact Plaintiffs after Plaintiffs notified Chase that they were represented by an attorney and that they disputed the amount of the debt. Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1788.14, 1788.17; 15 U.S.C. §§1692c(a)(2), 1692c(c). It is undisputed that the cease and desist letter sent by Plaintiffs was addressed to Washington ...


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