United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS AND VACATING HEARING; ORDER CONTINUING CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
WILLIAM ALSUP, District Judge.
In this action for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, defendant Moore Law Group, a Professional Corporation, moves to dismiss the complaint under Rule 12(b)(6), on the grounds that the statute of limitations has run. For the following reasons, the motion is DENIED and the February 26 hearing is VACATED.
Plaintiff Juliet Kniley appears to have incurred debt at some point before July 2013 on a credit card account issued by defendant Citibank, N.A. When plaintiff allegedly fell behind in the payments, the debt was "assigned, placed, or otherwise transferred" by Citibank to defendant Moore Law Group for debt collection and litigation (First Amd. Compl. ¶¶ 20, 26, 27).
Plaintiff's complaint alleges that "on or about July 2, 2013, pursuant to the instructions of Citibank, Moore filed a state collections lawsuit against Plaintiff." The complaint refers to this lawsuit as "State Action [No.] 1." State Action No. 1 was filed in the California Superior Court in San Francisco, but, according to the complaint, when that action commenced plaintiff "did not reside in San Francisco, California, and... had not signed the contract sued upon in San Francisco, California" (First Amd. Compl. ¶¶ 28, 29). State Action No. 1 was later dismissed, without prejudice (First Amd. Compl. ¶ 39).
After the dismissal of State Action No. 1, "the alleged debt was assigned, placed, or otherwise transferred by Citibank to... [defendant] Hunt & Henriques, for debt collection and litigation." It appears that on October 2, 2014, Hunt & Henriques filed another state action against the plaintiff, in Superior Court in San Francisco. The complaint refers to this second lawsuit as "State Action [No.] 2" (First Amd. Compl. ¶¶ 41, 42). The complaint alleges that it was only subsequent to the filing of State Action No. 2 that plaintiff "became aware of" State Action No. 1. The complaint alleges that plaintiff was unaware of State Action No. 1 until "on or about October 10, 2014" (First Amd. Compl. ¶¶ 40, 43).
Plaintiff filed this action on December 2, 2014, and the first amended complaint on December 31, 2014. The first amended complaint alleges several violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Defendant Moore Law Group now moves to dismiss.
1. JUDICIAL NOTICE.
Defendant Moore Law Group requests judicial notice of several documents attached as exhibits, including the complaint and dismissal of State Action No. 1, and the complaint and answer for State Action No. 2. While plaintiffs do not oppose, this order does not rely on those documents and the request is therefore DENIED AS MOOT.
2. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.
To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663 (2009). The complaint alleges that Moore Law Group violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in several ways related to the filing of "State Action [No.] 1, " a lawsuit, "on or about July 2, 2013" (First Amd. Compl. ¶¶ 28, 30, 38). Section 1692k(d) of the FDCPA states, "[a]n action to enforce any liability created by this title may be brought... within one year from the date on which the violation occurs."
Defendant Moore Law Group's sole basis for dismissal is that the statute of limitations has run. Plaintiff's complaint was filed on December 2, 2014, more than a year from the date of the alleged violation (the filing of State Action No. 1 on July 2, 2013). The complaint alleges, however, that plaintiff "only first became aware" of State Action No. 1 "on or about ...