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Molkandow v. Maury Cobb Attorney at Law LLC

United States District Court, D. Colorado

February 12, 2019

BORIS MOLKANDOW, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
MAURY COBB ATTORNEY AT LAW, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

          William J. Martínez, United States District Judge.

         This dispute concerns whether a debt collection letter sent to Plaintiff Boris Molkandow (“Plaintiff”) by Defendant Maury Cobb Attorney at Law LLC (“Defendant”) complied with § 1692g(a)(2) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. Before the Court are Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (“Motion”; ECF No. 18) and Defendant's Unopposed Motion to Continue Pretrial Deadlines (“Motion to Continue”; ECF No. 23). For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants Defendant's Motion, denies Defendant's Motion to Continue as moot, and dismisses Plaintiff's Complaint with prejudice.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff allegedly owed an outstanding balance to T-Mobile. (ECF No. 1 ¶ 12.) T-Mobile hired Defendant to collect that debt. (Id. ¶ 16.) In its efforts to collect, Defendant sent Plaintiff a debt collection letter (the “Letter”) dated May 4, 2017. (ECF No. 1-2 at 1.) The Letter contained the following table in its top right corner:

Original Creditor

T-MOBILE

Creditor's Acct #

XXXX5800

Our Account #

XXXX8631

Total Due

$4, 639.75

          The Letter also stated, in pertinent part, as follows:

Dear Boris Molkandow:
The account shown here is unpaid and has been placed with this office for collection. . . .
MAURY COBB ATTORNEY AT LAW LLC is pleased to inform you that we can offer you an opportunity to resolve your account with T-MOBILE for the amount of $3, 479.81. . . .
This communication is from a debt collector. This is an attempt to collect debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

(Id. (emphasis removed).)[1]

         On April 16, 2018, Plaintiff filed a class-action complaint against Defendant, alleging that Defendant's Letter violated the FDCPA because it failed to identify Plaintiff's current creditor. (ECF No. 1.) See also 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(2). The parties agree that T-Mobile is the current creditor of the debt and that the Letter was Defendant's first communication to Plaintiff regarding the debt, but dispute whether the Letter adequately identified T-Mobile as the current creditor. (ECF No. 15 at 2-3.) Plaintiff contends that the FDCPA applies in this context because he is a “consumer” who received a “communication” from a “debt collector” regarding a “debt, ” per the definitions set out in the statute. (ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 7, 10, 14, 19.) See also 15 U.S.C. § 1692a.

         On June 22, 2018, Defendant moved for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that “Plaintiff's claim should be dismissed because the name of the creditor was unequivocally contained within the collection [L]etter, and when the [L]etter is read in its entirety, [P]laintiff could not have been confused as to whom the debt was owed.” (ECF No. 18 at 2.) Plaintiff filed a Response to Defendant's Motion (ECF No. 21) and Defendant filed a Reply (ECF No. 22).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         “A motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) is treated as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).” Cummings v. Dean, 2019 WL 303021, at *6 (10th Cir. Jan. 24, 2019). Therefore, in ruling on a motion for judgment on the pleadings, courts look to the specific allegations of the complaint to determine whether they plausibly support a legal claim for relief-that is, a complaint must include “enough facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.” TON Servs., Inc. v. Qwest Corp., 493 F.3d 1225, 1236 (10th Cir. 2007); Alvarado v. KOB-TV, LLC, 493 F.3d 1210, 1215 (10th Cir. 2007). The Court accepts as true the well-pleaded ...


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