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Antonio Robles v. Ally Bank

January 2, 2013

ANTONIO ROBLES,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
ALLY BANK,
DEFENDANT.



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

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A COUNTERCLAIM AND THIRD-PARTY CLAIM (Doc. No. 11)

Presently before the Court is Defendant Ally Bank's ("Defendant") motion for leave to file a counterclaim and third-party against Plaintiff Antonio Robles ("Plaintiff") and Letitia Robles.*fn1 (Doc. No. 11.) Plaintiff filed an opposition on December 10, 2012, (Doc. No. 18), and Defendant filed a response on December 27, 2012, (Doc. No. 20). Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1.d.1, the Court finds the motion suitable for determination on the papers and without oral argument. Accordingly, the motion hearing scheduled for January 17, 2013 is hereby vacated. For the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES Defendant's motion.

BACKGROUND

This case arises out of the alleged unfair debt collection practices of Defendant. On or about February 15, 2007, Plaintiff purchased a used 2007 GMAC Yukon (the "Vehicle") from Moreno Valley Pontiac GMC (the "Dealer"). (Doc. No. 11.) To finalize the purchase of the Vehicle, Plaintiff signed a written retail installment contract ("Installment Contract"), whereby Plaintiff agreed to make one payment in the amount of $1,500.00 on or before March 8, 2007, and sixty (60) monthly payments of $798.00 beginning on April 1, 2007, continuing every month thereafter. (Id.) The Dealer subsequently assigned its rights under the Installment Contract to Defendant. (Id.)

Subsequently, but sometime before July 2008, Plaintiff allegedly fell behind in making payments on the Installment Contract. (Doc. Nos. 1, 11.) Thereafter, in 2010 and 2011, Defendant contacted the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, California-Plaintiff's place of employment at that time-in an attempt to collect the alleged debt. (Doc. No. 1 ¶ 22.) Although Plaintiff made several requests not to be called at work, Defendant allegedly continued to call his place of employment, and divulged Plaintiff's personal information to third parties. (Id. at ¶ 25.)

On or about March 29, 2012, Defendant called Plaintiff's current Marine Corps base and place of employment. (Id. at ¶ 33.) During that telephone conversation, Defendant spoke to a third party, requested Plaintiff's commanding officer's information, and informed the third party that Plaintiff would be served with a lawsuit at the Marine base where Plaintiff worked. (Id.) That same day, during a subsequent telephone conversation between Plaintiff and Defendant, Defendant informed Plaintiff how his current work telephone number had been obtained, and admitted to disclosing Plaintiff's personal private financial information to a third party. (Id. at ¶ 41.) Two days later, on March 30, 2012, Defendant twice called Plaintiff's place of employment, each time divulging Plaintiff's personal information to his co-workers and threatening to contact Plaintiff's Commanding Officer. (Id. at ¶ 46.) Plaintiff's co-workers asked Defendant to stop calling Plaintiff's place of employment during each call.

. at ¶ 55.) On or about April 4, 2012, Plaintiff alleges Defendant's agent, Camping Companies ("Camping Co."), faxed a document to the Yuma Marine Corp Air Station Law Center, thereby again divulging Plaintiff's private information. (Id. at ¶ 65.)

Plaintiff filed the instant action on April 24, 2012. (Doc. No. 1.) The Complaint alleges that Defendant engaged in unfair debt collection practices in connection with Plaintiff's obligations under the Installment Contract by calling Plaintiff's place of employment in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Specifically the Complaint alleges: (1) violation of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("RFDCPA"), Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1788-1788.32; (2) invasion of privacy and intrusion into private affairs; (3) public disclosure of private facts; (4) negligence; (5) tort in se; and (6) negligent training and supervision. The Complaint seeks actual damages, statutory damages, and attorneys' fees and costs.

.) On October 26, 2012, Defendant filed the instant motion seeking leave to file a counterclaim and third-party claim against Plaintiff and Letitia Robles. The counter-claim seeks to include the following causes of action: (1) breach of contract (Installment Contract); (2) claim and delivery of personal property; (3) injunctive relief; and (4) indebtedness for money. (Lodgment No. 12-1.)

DISCUSSION

Defendant's argument in support of the instant motion is two-fold. First, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 14 and 15, Defendant contends leave to file a counterclaim and third-party claim should be "freely given when justice so requires," and is in the "sound discretion of the court." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2); Southwest Admin., Inc. v Rozay's Transfer, 791 F.2d 769, 777 (9th Cir. 1986). Second, and more applicable to the instant motion, Defendant argues (1) the counterclaim and third-party claim is compulsory and must be allowed to proceed under principles of res judicata; (2) adjudication of the claims in one forum will avoid a multiplicity of suits; and (3) the motion should be granted for lack of bad faith or delay.

Alternatively, Plaintiff moves to dismiss Defendant's state law counterclaims and third-party claims on the basis that (1) the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1); (2) the claims are permissive rather than compulsory; (3) the court lacks supplemental jurisdiction to adjudicate the permissive claims; and (4) even if the court has supplemental jurisdiction over the claims, the court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction because allowing the claims would have a chilling effect on the very consumers the FDCPA was designed to protect.

The Court will conduct three successive inquiries to properly consider the instant motion: first, whether Defendant's claims are compulsory or permissive; second, whether the Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the claims; and third, whether the court should, in its discretion, exercise ...


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