United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MATTHEW L. CHIPEGO, DOUGLAS BEACHEL, CONSTANCE C. CHURCHILL and JOSEPH W. EWING, Plaintiffs
FIVE STAR BANK, Defendant
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. MUNLEY JUDGE United States District Court.
the court is the instant case which plaintiffs style as a
class action. For the reasons that follow, we will sua
sponte dismiss the class action allegations.
Matthew L. Chipego instituted the instant lawsuit on December
14, 2016 with the filing of a complaint. The two-page
complaint contains the words “CLASS ACTION” in
the caption, but the complaint itself contains no class
action allegations. (Doc. 1, Compl.).
facts alleged in the complaint are as follows:
bought an automobile on June 14, 2013 and financed the
purchase through Defendant Five Star Bank. (Id.
¶¶ 3-4). The Bank eventually repossessed the
vehicle, claiming default by plaintiff. (Id. ¶
5). The complaint alleges that the defendant bank's
repossession and collection tactics violated a federal
statute, to wit, 15 U.S.C. § 1692f(6). Specifically,
plaintiff alleged that the bank utilized a commercially
unreasonable repossession and the bank failed to follow
contractual requirements for duties of a lender in
repossession of a vehicle. (Id. ¶¶ 7-8).
The original complaint sought damages, counsel fees and
costs. (Id. ¶ 9).
noted, this original complaint contains no class action
allegations. Although not explicitly mentioned in the
original complaint, jurisdiction in the federal system is
evidently premised on the existence of a federal question as
plaintiff bases his suit on 15 U.S.C. § 1692f(6).
filed an amended complaint on January 4, 2017. This complaint
does not assert a cause of action under 15 U.S.C. §
1692f(6). Rather, it bases its claims on New York law and
Pennsylvania law. Jurisdiction in the federal system is based
upon the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 as codified in
pertinent part in 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d). (Doc. 4, Am.
Compl. ¶ 4).
amended complaint adds three plaintiffs. All of whom have
claims against the defendant bank regarding the financing of
automobiles, repossession of the vehicles and the notice
provided post-repossession. (See generally Doc. 4,
action proceedings are governed by certain rules, including
rules found in the Local Rules of Civil Procedure of the
United States District Court for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania (hereinafter “L.R.”). See
L.R. 23.1-23.3. These rules require placing the legend
“Complaint -Class Action” next to the caption of
the complaint. L.R. 23.1
the rules govern the contents of the complaint. The rules
require a separate section in the complaint with the heading
“Class Action Allegations”. L.R. 23.2. This
section of the complaint must indicate under which subsection
of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure the
plaintiff asserts a class action is appropriate. L.R.
23.2(a). This section must also include appropriate
allegations to justify that the case is maintainable as a
class action including: the size of the alleged class; the
basis upon which the plaintiff or his claims are adequate to
represent the class; the alleged questions of fact and law
claimed to be common to the class; and allegations thought to
support the finding required by Rule 23(b) if that is the
rule under which the plaintiff seeks to proceed. L.R.
original complaint completely failed to meet the requirements
of L.R. 23.2. The Amended Complaint makes averments that
seemingly attempt to meet the requirements of rule 23.2.
Local Rules, however, contain one more requirement for class
actions. “Within ninety (90) days after filing of a
complaint in a class action, unless this period is extended
on motion for good cause appearing, the plaintiff shall move
for a determination under subdivision (c)(1) of Fed.R.Civ.P.