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Schneider v. JTM Capital Management, LLC

United States District Court, D. Oregon

March 22, 2018

LEANDRA SCHNEIDER, Plaintiff,
v.
JTM CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, LLC, Defendant.

          FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATION

          JOLIE A. RUSSO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Leandra Schneider brings this action alleging defendant JTM Capital Management (JTM) violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692, in its attempts to collect a debt from plaintiff. Defendant moves for summary judgment. The court held oral argument on March 7, 2018. Defendant's motion should be granted and this case dismissed.

         BACKGROUND

         Defendant is a passive debt buyer and does not engage in any direct collection activities concerning the accounts it owns. Defendant invested in a debt portfolio which included plaintiff's account. Plaintiff alleges defendant is a debt collector who violated the FDCPA by:

[1]. Threatening to take an action or actions that cannot be legally taken or that Defendant did not intend to take, including falsely threatening legal action by and through Defendant's agent, Northeastern Asset Recovery Group, Inc....; [and]
[2]. [C]ommunicating with Plaintiff directly after learning that Plaintiff is being represented by counsel.[1]

Complaint (doc. 1) ¶¶ 9-10.

         On August 16, 2017, the court set a discovery deadline of December 29, 2017, and a dispositive motion deadline of January 31, 2018. On December 22, 2017, defendant filed a motion for summary judgement. Defendant asserts it is not liable under the FDCPA because it does not meet the statutory definition of a debt collector. Specifically, defendant argues its principal business purpose is not the collection of debts and it does not regularly attempt to collect debts asserted to be owed or due another. See 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6).

         On December 14, 2017, plaintiff sought an extension of the discovery deadline and on December 26, 2017, the court extended the discovery deadline to January 31, 2018. On January 11, 2018, plaintiff responded substantively to the motion for summary judgment, but also requested additional time to supplement her response after completing discovery on the issue of defendant's principal business purpose. After defendant filed its motion for summary judgement, plaintiff issued a second set of written discovery requests.[2] Plaintiff requested defendant describe, among other things, the “principal purpose” of its business, and the process utilized to hire Northeastern Asset Recovery Group. The court, after a status conference, stayed briefing pending completion of discovery and allowed plaintiff to file an amended response by February 7, 2018.

         On February 7, 2018, plaintiff filed a "supplemental brief" asserting defendant's answers were "evasive" with respect to any investigation by JTM whether "to hire the undercapitalized and extremely aggressive collector it eventually chose to collect the debt allegedly owed by Plaintiff." Supplemental Brief (doc. 19) at p. 1. Accordingly, plaintiff requests additional time to conduct a deposition.

         For the reasons stated below, plaintiff's requested discovery would be futile and the motion for summary judgment should be granted.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Discovery

         Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(d), plaintiff may seek additional discovery to obtain facts essential to justify an opposition to summary judgment. A party requesting a continuance pursuant to this rule must identify the specific facts that further discovery would reveal and explain why those facts would ...


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