United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
JOSEPH DEGROOT, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
CLIENT SERVICES, INC., Defendant.
DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO
William C. Griesbach, District Judge United States District
Joseph Degroot, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, filed this action on July 1, 2019,
alleging that Defendant Client Services, Inc. (CSI) violated
the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C.
§§ 1692, et seq., when CSI sent a letter
to Degroot seeking to collect a debt he owed to Capital One
Bank (USA), N.A. Presently before the court is CSI's
motion to dismiss the amended complaint for lack of standing
and for failure to state a claim. For the reasons that
follow, CSI's motion will be granted.
moves to dismiss under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). A Rule 12(b)(1) motion challenges the
jurisdiction of this court of the subject matter related in
the complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). To survive a Rule
12(b)(1) motion, the plaintiff must establish that the
jurisdictional requirements have been met. Schaefer v.
Transp. Media, Inc., 859 F.2d 1251, 1253 (7th Cir.
1988). The proponent of federal jurisdiction must
“prove those jurisdictional facts by a preponderance of
the evidence.” Meridian Sec. Ins. Co. v.
Sadowski, 441 F.3d 536, 543 (7th Cir. 2006). When the
moving party “launches a factual attack against
jurisdiction, the district court may properly look beyond the
jurisdictional allegations of the complaint and view whatever
evidence has been submitted on the issue to determine whether
in fact subject matter jurisdiction exists.” Apex
Digital, Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 572 F.3d 440,
444 (7th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citations
12(b)(6) motion tests the sufficiency of the complaint to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Gibson v.
City of Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990);
see Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). When reviewing a
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court must accept
all well-pleaded factual allegations as true and draw all
reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Gutierrez v. Peters, 111 F.3d 1364,
1368-69 (7th Cir. 1997); Mosley v. Klincar, 947 F.2d
1338, 1339 (7th Cir. 1991). Rule 8 mandates that a complaint
need only include “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The plaintiff's short and plain
statement must “give the defendant fair notice of what
the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). While a plaintiff is not required to plead detailed
factual allegations, he must plead “more than labels
and conclusions.” Id. A simple,
“formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do.” Id. A claim is plausible
on its face when “the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663 (2009).
OF THE AMENDED COMPLAINT
a Wisconsin resident, originally incurred and defaulted on a
financial obligation owed to Capital One Bank (USA), N.A.
CSI, a corporation formed under the laws of Missouri,
regularly engages in the collection of defaulted consumer
debts owed to others.
August 6, 2018, AllianceOne Receivables Management, Inc., a
debt collector, mailed a letter to Plaintiff. The letter
advises that Capital One referred Degroot's account to
AllianceOne for collections. The letter states: “The
amount of your debt is $425.86. Please keep in mind, interest
and fees are no longer being added to your account. This
means every dollar you pay goes towards paying off your
balance.” Dkt. No. 8-1 at 2. Degroot alleges that he
understood the AllianceOne letter to inform him that Capital
One had recently charged-off his account, meaning that it
would no longer add accruing interest, late charges, or other
fees to the debt for any reason.
One later assigned, placed, or transferred the account to CSI
for collection. CSI mailed Degroot a letter dated March 11,
2019. This letter was CSI's first written communication
with Degroot to collect the debt. The top left-hand corner of
the letter contained CSI's logo and address, as well as
the following information related to Degroot's debt:
CURRENT CREDITOR: CAPITAL ONE BANK (USA), N.A.
ACCOUNT NUMBER: XXXXXXXXXXXX9018
BALANCE DUE: $425.86
Dkt. No. 8-2 at 2. The letter notes “Our client,
CAPITAL ONE BANK (USA), N.A., has placed the above account
with our organization for collections” and summarizes
Degroot's current balance:
Balance Due At Charge-Off: ...