Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Mario B. Quinones and Mario I. Quinones v. Chase Bank Usa

September 26, 2011

MARIO B. QUINONES AND MARIO I. QUINONES, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CHASE BANK USA, N.A.,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Anthony J. Battaglia U.S. District Judge

ORDER

1) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S AMENDED MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AS TO MARIO I.;

2) DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AS TO ITS COUNTERCLAIM AGAINST MARIO I. FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT;

3) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AS TO ITS COUNTERCLAIM AGAINST MARIO I. FOR MONEY HAD AND RECEIVED; AND

4) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO ENFORCE JUDGMENT ENTERED PURSUANT TO A RULE 68 OFFER OF JUDGMENT [Doc. Nos. 63, 71, 98.)

Plaintiffs Mario B. Quinones ("Mario Senior") and Mario I. Quinones ("Mario Junior") filed a first amended complaint alleging claims of improper debt collection on two credit card accounts by Defendant Chase Bank U.S.A., N.A. ("Chase"). Chase also filed an amended counterclaim alleging breach of contract and money had and received as to Mario Junior's use of the two credit card accounts. On November 19, 2010, Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, or in the alternative, to determine material facts not genuinely at issue as to the claims brought by Mario I. in the first amended complaint and as to the counterclaims brought by Chase against Mario I. (Dkt. No. 63.) On December 17, 2010, Defendant filed an amended motion for summary judgment making a change in the caption page. (Dkt. No. 71.) Plaintiffs filed an opposition on January 14, 2011 and Chase filed a reply on January 21, 2011. (Dkt. Nos. 84, 90.) On February 16, 2011, Defendant filed a motion to enforce judgment entered pursuant to a Rule 68 offer of judgment as to Mario Senior. (Dkt. No. 98.) On March 14, 2011, Mario Senior filed an opposition. (Dkt. No. 99.) Chase filed a reply on March 21, 2011. (Dkt. No. 100.)

The motion is submitted on the papers without oral argument, pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1). After a review of the briefs, supporting documentation, and applicable law, the Court GRANTS Defendant's amended motion for summary judgment as to Mario I.; DENIES Defendant's amended motion for summary judgment as to its counterclaims against Mario I. for breach of contract; GRANTS Defendant's amended motion for summary judgment as to its counterclaim against Mario I. for money had and received; and GRANTS Defendant's motion to enforce the Rule 68 offer of judgment as to Mario B.

Procedural Background

On December 9, 2009, this case was removed from state court. (Dkt. No. 1.) On December 11, 2009, Defendant filed an answer to the complaint and a counterclaim against Mario I. (Dkt. No. 4.) Pursuant to a joint motion to amend the complaint, a first amended complaint was filed on February 12, 2010. (Dkt. No. 14.) In the first amended complaint, Plaintiffs Mario Senior and Mario Junior allege seven causes of action against Defendant for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), violation of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("RFDCPA"), negligence, declaratory relief, injunctive relief, violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), and violation of the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act ("CCRAA"). (Dkt. No. 14.) On February 26, 2010, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the first cause of action in the first amended complaint. (Dkt. No. 15.) On June 28, 2010, the Court granted Defendant's motion to dismiss the first cause of action under the FDCPA. (Dkt. No. 27.)

On October 25, 2010, Defendant Chase filed a first amended counterclaim against Mario I. alleging breach of contract and money had and received as to two credit card accounts. (Dkt. No. 55.) On November 8, 2010, Mario I. filed an answer to the first amended counterclaim. (Dkt. No. 60.) On the same day, Mario Senior accepted a Rule 68 offer of judgment which was filed with the Court. (Dkt. No. 61.) On November 10, 2010, the Clerk of Court entered judgment "in favor of plaintiff Mario B. Quinones against defendant Chase Bank USA, N.A. in the amount of $1,001.00, plus reasonable attorney fees and costs." (Dkt. No. 62.)

On November 19, 2010, Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, or in the alternative, to determine material facts not genuinely at issue. (Dkt. No. 63.) Defendant also filed an ex parte application to file documents in support of its motion for summary judgment under seal which was granted by the Court after Plaintiffs filed their opposition on December 1, 2010. (Dkt. No. 69.)

On December 17, 2010, Defendant filed an amended motion for summary judgment adding the percentage of interest owed on the remaining debt for the damages its seeks in the counterclaim in the caption page.*fn1 (Dkt. No. 71.) On December 27, 2010, Plaintiff Mario B. signed and filed an Acknowledgment of Partial Satisfaction of Judgment stating that he had been paid $1,001.00 and "[t]he judgment otherwise remains unsatisfied and unpaid including, without limitation, the reasonable attorneys' fees and costs to Mario B. Quinones." (Dkt. No. 72.) Plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion for summary judgment on January 14, 2011 and Chase filed a reply on January 21, 2011. (Dkt. Nos. 84, 90.)

On February 16, 2011, Defendant filed a motion to enforce judgment entered pursuant to a Rule 68 offer of judgment. (Dkt. No. 98.) On March 14, 2011, Mario Senior filed an opposition. (Dkt. No. 99.) Chase filed a reply on March 21, 2011. (Dkt. No. 100.) On March 22, 2011, the case was transferred to the undersigned judge.

Factual Background

A. Mario Junior's Facts

Mario B. Quinones ("Mario Senior") is the father of Mario I. Quinones ("Mario Junior") and they live at the same address. Mario Junior opened a credit card with Chase in mid-2007 with an account number ending in 6183 ("6183 account") and takes sole responsibility for that account.*fn2 (First Am. Compl. ¶ 8; Krog Decl., Ex. C.) In July 2007,*fn3 Mario Junior stated that he received through the mail an invitation to apply for a Chase credit card. (Mario Junior Decl. filed on 1/14/11 ¶ 2; Krog. Decl., Ex. A, Mario Junior Depo. at 20:13-24.) He testified that the invitation was addressed to "Mario Quinones" and he did not question whether it was addressed to him or his father. (Krog. Decl., Ex. A, Mario Junior Depo. at 21:9-15.) When Mario Junior applied for the credit card, he stated that he provided his name, address, social security number and work information and mailed it in. (Id. at 21:21-22; 22:1-4.) He does not recall whether he put in his middle initial. (Id. at 10-13.) He testified that his mother's maiden name is Nieva and his father's mother's maiden name is Bon. (Id. at 28:5-6; 16-22.) He testified that he did not provide Chase with his father's social security number, maiden name or father's date of birth. (Id. at 32:1-9.) He stated that he did not apply for any other credit cards from September 2007 to December 2007 or in 2008. (Id. at 53:23-55:12.)

Mario Junior received a Chase credit card with a credit limit of about $3,500. (Mario Junior Decl. filed 1/14/11 ¶ 3; Krog Decl., Ex. A, Mario Junior Depo. at 87:17-19.) He stated that he used the credit card to make purchases of less than $4,000 and made payments on the purchases. (Mario Junior Decl. filed 1/14/11 ¶ 3; Krog Decl., Ex. A, Mario Junior Depo. at 88:1-8.) Mario Junior stated that he used the credit card around two times a week from September 2007 to January 2008. (Krog. Decl., Ex. A, Mario Junior Depo. at 151:2-19.) He used the Chase credit card to make payments to his children's school, to make purchases at coffee shops, at gas stations, and to make repairs to his vehicles (Id. at 59:16-18; 154:7-11; 157:16-18.) He also used the account to write a check for cash to himself. (Id. at 179:13-24.)

Mario Junior initially made timely monthly payments online on the Chase credit card account when he started using it. (Id. at 65:4-9; 73:10-13.) He stopped making payments when Chase no longer allowed him to make payments online because the accounts were changed and access was denied. (Id. at 77:8-24.)

Mario Junior testified that he did not check his credit score or credit report in 2007 or 2008. (Id. at 53:8-10.) He further stated that he never saw credit reports and never asked about it. (Id. at 204:10-11.) He has not been denied credit because of Chase because he has not applied for anything else since the incident. (Id. at 204:20-205:1.)

1. Debt Collection Efforts

In his declaration, Mario Junior states that around July 2008, Chase engaged in improper debt collection against his father and himself which included many collection telephone calls and letters from Chase and Chase's representatives. (Mario Junior Decl. filed 1/14/11 ¶ 5.) He also states that his father and he informed Chase that they were represented by counsel; however, Chase ignored that information and engaged in improper debt collection which included letters from Chase to his father and him, letters from Chase's attorneys, and subsequently collection efforts from Palisades Collection on behalf of Chase. (Mario Junior Decl. filed 1/14/11 ¶ 7.)

At his deposition, Mario Junior testified that he was involved in a three-way call with a collection company but stated that the call was for his father. (Krog Decl, Ex. A, Mario Junior Depo. at 224:15-22; Krog Decl., Ex B, Mario Senior Depo. at 36:17-37:1.) A day or two after the three-way telephone conversation, Mario Junior called Chase's customer service and advised them of the debt collector call. (Krog Decl., Ex. A, Mario Junior Depo. at 238:8-12; 239:23-241:1.) He stated that Chase acknowledged that it was their collection agency and he did not recall if he provided any personal information. (Id. at 243:4-24.) The only other thing he recalls from the call was that Chase provided him with a contact telephone number for Chase's collection agency. (Id. at 241:10-22.) He testified that after that conversation, he had nothing else to do with Chase. (Id. at 245:2-8.)

Mario Junior testified that Chase never called the house specifically to get in touch with him. (Id. at 264:7-9.) The couple of time when Mario Junior answered the phone, Chase refused to talk with him. (Id. at 10-22.) Mario Junior also received a letter from Chase dated July 23, 2008 which was specifically addressed to him regarding the account ending in 5520 requesting his assistance because Chase had information that the account may belong to him. (Id. at 260:25-261:9; Storage Decl., Ex. A.)

B. Mario Senior's Facts

Mario Senior testified that he has never had or applied for a Chase credit card account. (Krog Decl., Ex. B, Mario Senior Depo. at 29:9-13.) Mario Senior first received a nasty call from a collection agency for Chase in July 2008. (Krog Decl., Ex. B, Mario Senior Depo. at 31:25; 32:1-11; 34:16-19.) He told the person on the telephone that he was not involved with the bills and gave her his wife's work phone number. (Id. 33:12-14.) When the collection company called his wife, his wife told the woman on the phone that they did not have a Chase account. (Id. 35:1-5.) The woman on the phone stated that Mario Senior had a Chase account and was cheating on her with another woman and that's where he spent the money. (Id.) Mario Senior's wife mentioned that their son is the only one with a Chase account. (Id. at 36:11-14.) Mario Senior's wife informed Mario Senior that the only person who had a Chase account was their son. (Id. at 35:24-36:1.) Later that day, Mario Junior contacted the collection agency and then placed Mario Senior in a three-way call. (Id. at 36:17-23.) According to Mario Senior, the collection person made "all sorts of accusations" and insisted that they start paying off the debt. (Id. at 37:2-19.)

Mario Senior also talked with an investigator from Chase. (Id. at 46:23-47:1-2.) Mario Senior received about four to five calls before he contacted his attorney. (Id. at 46:4-19.) After telling the Chase investigator that he had not opened the account, the investigator said she would look into it. (Id. at 47:4-9.) The next day, the investigator told Mario Senior that her investigation had determined that he opened the account. (Id.) The investigator told him that Chase had enough information to put his son in jail if he did not pay for the account. (Id. 47:14-17.) Subsequent to receiving three phone calls from the collection agency and from the Chase investigator, he informed Chase that he had hired an attorney. (Id. at 66:5-8.)

Mario Senior was informed by Chase that since it was his information on the account, he would be responsible for the account. (Id. at 66:14-15.) Chase also informed him that he needed to file a police report regarding the fraudulent applications for the account but he did not file a report because he believed Chase had created the problem. (Id. at 87:13-18.)

On July 29, 2008, Douglas Jaffee, attorney for the Plaintiffs sent a letter to Chase advising that he represented both Mario Senior and Mario Junior. (Krog Decl., Ex. C, P63-P65.) Mr. Jaffee confirmed that account 6183 "is the sole responsibility of Mario I. Quinones, the adult son of Mario B. Quinones," and denied that either of them had responsibility for the 5520 account. (Id.)

C. Chase's Facts

Chase maintains records for credit card accounts it issues that include the application, cardmember agreements, TSYS notes (a computerized diary of communications with customers and third persons), billing statements, correspondence, records of application processing, and records of credit reporting. (Trimmer Decl. ¶ 2; see also Trimmer Decl., Ex. A filed under seal.) According to Chase's records, it received an internet application on September 3, 2007 from "Mario Quinones" who gave his date of birth as XXXX, 1951; social security number as "XXX-XX-5827;" his address as "3984 T Street, San Diego, CA 92113;" and his mother's maiden name as "Bon." (Trimmer Decl. ¶ 3; Trimmer Decl., Ex. A, p. CH0001.) No middle initial was given on the application. (Id.) Based on this information, the account was opened up under Mario Senior's birthday, social security number and mother's maiden name, "Bon." (Trimmer Decl., Ex. A CH0001.) Chase's verification process confirmed that all information matched Mario Senior. (Trimmer Decl. ¶ 3.) Chase also pulled a credit report on the applicant, identifying him with the credit reporting agencies by the name and social security number on the application. (Trimmer Decl. ¶ 4.) The credit report showed an excellent credit history. (Trimmer Decl. ¶ 5; Trimmer Decl., Ex. A, pp. CH0149-CH0161.) According to Chase's records, the account was opened on September 3, 2007 with a credit card account number ending in 6183 with an initial line of credit of $3,000. (Trimmer Decl. ¶ 5-6; Trimmer Decl., Ex. A, p. CH0297.) The card and cardmember agreement were sent to Mario Quinones on September 5, 2007. (Trimmer Decl. ¶ 5-6; Trimmer Decl., Ex. A, p. CH0297.)

Payment on the account was made through December 31, 2007. (Trimmer Decl., Ex. A, p. CH0063.) As of January 9, 2008, the account had a balance of $3,646.76. (Id.) On July 3, 2008, a payment was received for $100.00. (Id. at CH0075.) As of August 9, 2008, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.