United States District Court, D. Oregon
R. Trigsted Trigsted Law Group, P.C. Attorney for Plaintiff.
C. Isbell Ray Klein, Inc. dba Professional Credit Service
Attorneys for Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
Jelderks U.S. Magistrate Judge.
Dortha and Gilbert Warner bring this action against Defendant
Ray Klein, Inc., alleging violations of the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) 15 U.S.C.
§§ 1692 et seq. Plaintiffs claim
Defendant violated 15 U.S.C. §1692g(a) by failing to
effectively disclose the identity of the current creditor in
a letter it sent to Plaintiffs. Currently before the Court
are Defendant's motion for summary judgment and
Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment. For the
reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion is granted,
Plaintiffs' motion is denied and this case is dismissed.
parties agree that the following facts are undisputed. The
debt being collected is a “debt” under 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692a(5). Plaintiffs are “consumers” under
15 U.S.C. § 1692a(3) and Defendant is a “debt
collector” under 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6). Defendant
sent Plaintiff a letter dated January 23, 2017, that
qualified as either an “initial communication” or
as correspondence that was sent within five days of the
“initial communication.” The letter, printed on
Defendant's letterhead, states that “The account(s)
listed in this letter has been referred for
collection.” (Dkt. #13, Ex. 1). This statement is
followed by the language:
Unless you notify this office within 30 days after receiving
this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any
portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid.
If you notify this office in writing within 30 days from
receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this
debt or any portion thereof, this office will obtain
verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgment and
mail you a copy of such judgment or verification. If you
request this office in writing within 30 days after receiving
this notice this office will provide you with the name and
address of the original creditor(s), if different from the
center of the page, set off from the above language in table
format with headings, the letter identifies the original
creditor as Portland Water Bureau, the original account
number, the “Professional” account number, and
the total amount due. Appearing lower on the page is the
language “This communication is from a debt collector.
This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information
obtained will be used for that purpose.” Id.
to the Declaration of Mark Hasson in support of
Defendant's motion, Plaintiffs did not respond to the
letter and Defendant filed a small claims lawsuit in
Clackamas County Circuit Court. (Dkt. #12, ¶ 5).
Hasson's Declaration also asserts that the parties
reached a mediated agreement in the small claims action and
on or around September 1, 2017, Plaintiffs paid $4, 461.05 to
Defendant to resolve the Portland Water Bureau account.
Plaintiffs do not dispute these assertions. Plaintiffs filed
the current action with this Court on August 22, 2017. (Dkt.
Motions for Summary Judgment
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) authorizes summary judgment if
no genuine issue exists regarding any material fact and the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The
moving party must show the absence of an issue of material
fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325,
106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). The moving party may
discharge this burden by showing that there is an absence of
evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.
Id. When the moving party shows the absence of an
issue of material fact, the nonmoving party must go beyond
the pleadings and show that there is a genuine issue for
trial. Id. at 324, 106 S.Ct. 2548.
substantive law governing a claim or defense determines
whether a fact is material. T. W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v.
Pacific Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630
(9th Cir. 1987). Reasonable doubts concerning the existence
of a factual issue should be resolved against the moving
party. Id. at 630-31. The evidence of the nonmoving
party is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are
to be drawn in the nonmoving party's favor. Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 106 S.Ct.
2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). No. genuine issue for trial
exists, however, where the record as a whole could not lead
the trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986).
parties file cross-motions for summary judgment, the court
“evaluate[s] each motion separately, giving the
non-moving party in each instance the benefit of all
reasonable inferences.” A.C.L.U. of Nev. v. City of
Las Vegas (ACLU II), 466 F.3d 784, 790-91 (9th Cir.
2006) (quoting A ...