Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cathy Sasscer v. James D. Donnelly and Does 1-10

December 27, 2011

CATHY SASSCER, PLAINTIFF
v.
JAMES D. DONNELLY AND DOES 1-10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Munley

MEMORANDUM

Before the court is Plaintiff Cathy Sasscer's motion for entry of judgment (Doc. 25). Having been fully briefed, the matter is ripe for disposition.

Background

We will recite the relevant facts as they relate to plaintiff's instant motion. This case arises out of dealings over a debt owed by plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that defendants violated her rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692, and related state laws. Plaintiff, a resident of Hawley, Pennsylvania, incurred a financial obligation to Skylands Community Bank in August 2007. (Plaintiff's Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (Doc. 19) (hereinafter "Plaintiff's Statement") ¶¶ 1, 4-5). Plaintiff contends she incurred this debt when she purchased an automobile from Trade Zone Auto Sales in Hackettstown, New Jersey. (Id. ¶ 5). She financed her purchase through a promissory note executed with the bank. (Id. ¶ 6). Plaintiff subsequently went into arrears on her payments to the bank and the creditor repossessed the automobile and sold it at auction. (Id. ¶¶ 7-8). Defendant James D. Donnelly, a debt collector as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6), thereafter contracted with the creditor to collect the debt. (Id. ¶ 9; Defendant's Counterstatement of Material Facts (Doc. 21) (hereinafter "Defendant's Statement") ¶ 9).

Plaintiff and Defendant Donnelly exchanged a number of letters related to plaintiff's debt. The parties dispute a majority of the contents of the letters and the information contained there in. On December 11, 2009, defendant filed a lawsuit on behalf of Skylands Bank in the Gloucester County, New Jersey Superior Court. (Id. ¶ 19). Plaintiff lived in Hawley, Pennsylvania at the time. (Id. ¶ 20). Plaintiff signed the promissory note that formed the basis of the lawsuit in Warren County, New Jersey. (Id. ¶ 21). The promissory note contained a clause allowing the bank to institute suit in Warren County, New Jersey. (Id. ¶ 22). On January 14, 2010, plaintiff moved the Gloucester County court to transfer the case to Warren County, New Jersey. (Id. ¶ 23). Upon the parties' agreement, the Gloucester County court transferred the case to Warren County, New Jersey. (Id. ¶ 25). The Gloucester County courthouse is one hundred fifty miles from plaintiff's home. (Id. ¶ 24). The Warren County courthouse is approximately fifty miles from plaintiff's home. (Id.)

Plaintiff's complaint, filed March 2, 2010, raises four causes of action. Count I alleges violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C.§ 1692. Count II alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act, 73 PA. CONN. STAT. ANN. § 2270.4(a), through the defendants' violations of the federal statute. Count III raises a state-law claim for invasion of privacy by intrusion upon seclusion. Count IV claims violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, 73 PA. CONN. STAT. ANN. § 201-1, et seq.

Plaintiff then served the complaint on Defendant Donnelly. Donnelly filed a motion to dismiss (Doc. 3), which the court denied. (Doc. 6). The parties then agreed to plaintiff's filing an amended complaint, which stated the same causes of action. The parties engaged in discovery. At the close of discovery, plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment.

On April 20, 2011, the court granted in part and denied in part plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 23). We found that defendant violated the 15 U.S.C. § 1692i, ("Section 1692i"), of FDCPA and granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiff regarding that claim and related state-law claims. We denied summary judgment as to the violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692g of the FDCPA and the state-law claims that related to that section.

In a motion filed August 16, 2011, plaintiff seeks entry of judgment based upon Section 1692i and the state-law claims. (Doc. 25). Plaintiff withdraws all of the other counts in the amended complaint. Defendant Donnelly filed a brief in opposition to the motion. (Doc. 28). The parties briefed the issues, bringing the case to its present posture. Jurisdiction Plaintiff brings this claim pursuant to the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq. This court therefore has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 ("The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States."). The court has jurisdiction over plaintiff's state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a) ("In any civil action of which the district courts have original jurisdiction, the district courts shall have supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article III of the United States Constitution.").

Discussion

Plaintiff requests that the court enter final judgment in her favor. She seeks statutory damages and indicates that she will move pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(2) for attorney's fees and costs following the entry of judgment. The court will address each of these matters in turn.

A. Plaintiff's Motion for Entry of Judgment

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 58 states in pertinent part, "A party may request that judgment be set out in a separate document as required by Rule 58(a)." FED. R. CIV. P. 58(d). Plaintiff argues that because this court granted summary judgment in her favor and she withdrew her remaining claims, final judgment should be entered in her favor. Plaintiff requests judgment with regard to three statutes.

First, plaintiff seeks entry of judgment under the FDCPA. Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment with respect to Section 1692i under the FDCPA. The court granted the motion and found that defendant violated Section 1692i. Therefore, having already granted summary judgment on the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.