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David Chavez v. Allied Interstate and Resurgent Capital Services L.P

July 9, 2012

DAVID CHAVEZ,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
ALLIED INTERSTATE AND RESURGENT CAPITAL SERVICES L.P.; DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND WITHIN THIRTY DAYS (Doc. 1)

SCREENING ORDER

Plaintiff David Chavez, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint against Defendants alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq.) (the "Act"). This matter has been referred to a magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rules 72-302 and 72-304.

I. Screening

A court has inherent power to control its docket and the disposition of its cases with economy of time and effort for both the court and the parties. Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936); Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 915 (1992). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court must dismiss any claim that (1) is frivolous or malicious, (2) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted. or (3) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. Accordingly, this Court screens all complaints filed by plaintiffs in propria persona.

II. Pleading Standards

"Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions," none of which applies here. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N. A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002). Pursuant to Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). "Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of the cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009), citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "Plaintiff must set forth sufficient factual matter accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.In this case, the allegations set forth in paragraphs 27 through 29 of the complaint are legal conclusions.

Although accepted as true, "[f]actual allegations must be [sufficient] to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id. at 555 (citations omitted). A plaintiff must set forth "the grounds of his entitlement to relief," which "requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Id. at 555-56 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). To adequately state a claim against a defendant, a plaintiff must set forth the legal and factual basis for his claim.

III. Procedural and Factual Background

A. Allied Interstate's Collection Efforts

Plaintiff alleges that he never applied for an account, had an account, or had any other agreement with Defendant Allied Interstate. Nonetheless, on February 14, 2012, he received a dunning letter dated February 7, 2012, from Allied, which had purchased Plaintiff's obligation from another individual or entity, claiming that Plaintiff owed $1166.47. On February 17, 2012, Plaintiff responded by mailing to Allied, by certified mail, a "debt validation letter." The return receipt revealed that the letter was delivered to Allied's office on February 21, 2012.

On May 24, 2012, Plaintiff sent a letter to Allied, by certified mail, stating his intent to sue. According to the return receipt, Allied received Plaintiff's intent-to-sue letter on May 29, 2012.

B. Resurgent Capital's Collection Efforts

Plaintiff also alleges that he has never applied for an account, had an account, or had any other agreement with Defendant Resurgent Capital Services, L.P. Plaintiff alleges that, on March 6, 2012, he received a dunning letter from Resurgent dated February 28, 2012, claiming that Plaintiff owed $1170.51. On March 12, 2012, he received a dunning letter from Resurgent dated March 5, 2012, claiming that Plaintiff owed $1171.02. On March 19, 2012, Plaintiff responded by mailing to Allied, by certified mail, two "debt validation letters." The return receipts revealed that both letters were delivered to Resurgent's office on March 22, 2012.

On May 22, 2012, Plaintiff received a dunning letter from Resurgent dated May 17, 2012, claiming that Plaintiff owed $1180.58.*fn1 On May 24, 2012, Plaintiff sent a letter to Resurgent, by certified mail, stating his intent to sue.

On May 26, 2012, Plaintiff received a dunning letter from Resurgent dated May 21, 2012, claiming that Plaintiff owed $1181.09.*fn2

According to the return receipts, Resurgent received Plaintiff's intent to sue letter on May 29, 2012.

On May 30, 2012, Plaintiff received a dunning letter from Resurgent dated May 23, 2012, claiming that Plaintiff owed $1181.35.*fn3

IV. Discussion

A. Joinder of Parties

Multiple defendants may be joined in a single action if (A) any right to relief is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and (B) any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.

F.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2).

Although the amounts to be collected are substantially the same, as the complaint is presently written, it expresses no basis for joining the two Defendants to this action. If both Defendants' collection efforts relate to a single obligation or if the causes of action somehow implicate both Defendants, the amended complaint must be amended to allege sufficient facts to support such a conclusion. If the actions of the two Defendants relate to separate collection efforts, as appears from the complaint as it is ...


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