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Gemma Ramsour v. Jp Morgan Chase Bank and Chase Bank Home Finance

November 30, 2012

GEMMA RAMSOUR,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
JP MORGAN CHASE BANK AND CHASE BANK HOME FINANCE, LLC, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge

ORDER

The matters before the Court are the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff Gemma Ramsour (ECF No. 42) and the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Actual Damages and Invasion of Privacy filed by Defendant JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., individually and as successor by merger to Chase Home Finance, LLC (ECF No. 43).

BACKGROUND

I. Procedural Background

On January 20, 2011, Plaintiff initiated this action by filing a complaint. On May 5, 2011, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint ("Complaint") against Defendant JP Morgan Chase Bank and Chase Home Finance, LLC. (ECF No. 9). In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges causes of action for: (1) violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"); (2) violation of the California Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("Rosenthal Act"); and (3) invasion of privacy and intrusion into private affairs.

On August 27, 2012, Plaintiff filed a motion for partial summary judgment. (ECF No. 42). Plaintiff contends that she is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on her claims for statutory violations of the FDCPA and Rosenthal Act because the undisputed facts establish that Defendant violated both. On September 17, 2012, Defendant filed an opposition. (ECF No. 49). On September 24, 2012, Plaintiff filed a reply. (ECF No. 50).

On August 27, 2012, Defendant filed a motion for partial summary judgment on actual damages and for summary adjudication on invasion of privacy. (ECF No. 43). Defendant contends that Plaintiff has failed to produce any evidence that she suffered emotional distress or any actual damages as a result of Defendant's conduct and that actual damages are required to prove her claims under the FDCPA and Rosenthal Act. Defendant contends that Plaintiff fails to state a claim for invasion of privacy because she fails to provide any evidence that Defendant's alleged actions were offensive. On September 17, 2012, Plaintiff filed an opposition. (ECF No. 48). On September 24, 2012, Defendant filed a reply. (ECF No. 51).

II. Undisputed Material Facts

Defendant is a debt collector. On September 25, 2008, Defendant acquired certain Washington Mutual Bank assets and liabilities from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that included Plaintiff's alleged debt. At that time, Defendant knew that Plaintiff was a senior citizen over the age of sixty-five.

In early 2010, Defendant began contacting Plaintiff with regard to the alleged debt. On November 10, 2010, Plaintiff's counsel left a voice-mail message for an employee of Defendant, requesting that all further calls concerning Plaintiff be referred to counsel. The voice-mail message was received and reviewed by the employee. On November 18, 2010, Plaintiff's counsel mailed a letter to Defendant requesting that Defendant contact Plaintiff's counsel in regard to the alleged debt. Defendant received the letter.

Plaintiff submits documents produced by Defendant titled "consolidated notes log." (ECF No. 42-11). The log reflects two phone calls on November 10, 2010, with the following notation: "UNABLE TO VERIFY INFO SINCE CUST KEEPS SAYING THAT SHE DOESN'T HAVE A LOAN AND THAT WE SHOULD STOP HARASSING HER WITH COLLECTION CALLS." (ECF No. 42-11 at 9). The log reflects two phone calls on November 16, 2010, with the following notation: "TO DISCUSS SOMETHING ON HER LOAN, ATTY ANDREA SMITH P#951-7847770." Id. The log reflects two phone calls on November 18, 2010, with the following notation: "BW DOESNT WANT TO DO VERIFICATION.. DOESNT WANT TO DISCUSS HER ACCOUNT.. WANTS US TO CONTACT HER ATTY REGARDING HER ACCNT." Id. at 8. The log reflects two phone calls on November 19, 2010, with the following notation: "BORR DOESNT WANT TO BE CALLED ON HER NUMBER/DOESNT WANT TO PROVIDE ANYMORE INFO/SAID TO CALL HER ATTY ANDREA SMITH 951 784 7770." Id. at 7. The log reflects a phone call on November 30, 2010, with the following notation: "GEMMA RAMSOUR, DON'T WANT TO BE CONTCTED, WANTED US TO CONTCT HER ATTY, BOR HUNG-UP." Id. The log reflects the notation "CALLD HOME" on April 19, 2011. Id. at 3. The log reflects two phone calls on April 26, 2011, with the following notation: "B1 WAS VERY UPSET DOES NOT WANT TO BE CALLED." Id. The log reflects the notation "CALLD POB LEFT MSG TO CALL" on May 6, 2011.

Defendant mailed letters to Plaintiff at her home address regarding her account on December 20, 2010, January 7, 2011, September 22, 2011, and October 19, 2011.

Plaintiff submits her own declaration in which she states: "Defendant called me from different telephone numbers, however the most frequent collection calls we[re] placed from (800) 848-9380 and (877) 805-8046.... During the months of October 2010 through January 2011, when I answered Defendant's collection calls I would inform Defendant of my attorney, Andrea Darrow Smith, and give Defendant her name and telephone number." (ECF No. 48-3). Plaintiff submits her home telephone records from January 2010 to January 2011. (ECF No. 42-23). Plaintiff's phone records reflect that she received calls from the numbers (800) 848-9380 and (877) 805-8046 more than seventy times after November 18, 2010, as often as three times a day. Plaintiff states: "I often received two or three collection calls from Defendant in a given day. Defendant's collection calls did not stop until after I filed my lawsuit. Even after I filed my lawsuit, Defendant still tried to collect the alleged debt from me." (ECF No. 48-3 at 2).

Plaintiff submits her deposition testimony, in which she states:

Q ... what is your understanding of what this lawsuit is about?

A Of Chase pestering me forever and ever.

Q Okay. Could you give me a little bit more detail about that?

A Yes. They called every day for a long, long time, and they called me twice a day for a long, long time, and then they called me three times a day for a long, long time. That's when I had enough of it...

Q Have you been distressed in any way from the calls that you've received from Chase?

A Of course, because after so many calls and I could talk into the wall, it's beginning to wear on you...

Q Can you please describe all the ways in which the calls from Chase affected you... A Yes. I couldn't answer my phones anymore. They just kept harping at me and harping at me. It's terrible. I don't wish that on anybody.

Q And have you had any stress or anxiety as a result of the calls?

A Yes, stress and anxiety for sure, because I just couldn't tell when is ...


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