United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION TO DISMISS
R. Underhill United States District Judge
case arises from an attempt to collect an unpaid bill that
Jenevieve Thoby (“Thoby”) purportedly owes
Bridgeport Hospital. On May 21, 2018, Century Financial
Services, Inc. (“CFS”), mailed a collection
letter to Thoby seeking to collect $150.00 on behalf of their
“Client” Bridgeport Hospital. Compl. (Doc. No. 1)
¶¶ 27-33; Ex. A (Collection Letter). The crux of
Thoby's Complaint is that CFS's collection letter
failed to comport with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”) (15 U.S.C. § 1692 et
seq.). Specifically, Thoby contends that the letter
“deceptively fails to identify who the current creditor
is to whom the alleged debt is owed.” Compl. ¶ 28.
Although the letter lists Bridgeport Hospital as “Our
Client, ” Thoby alleges that the letter fails to
expressly identify Bridgeport Hospital as the current
creditor in violation of FDCPA §§ 1692e-g. See
id. ¶¶ 34-48.
moved to dismiss the Complaint on October 26, 2018.
See Mot. to Dismiss (Doc. No. 12). CFS argues that
Thoby's claims are without merit because (1) any alleged
FDCPA violation lack materiality, (2) the letter sufficiently
identified Bridgeport Hospital as the creditor to whom the
debt is owed, and (3) her allegations do not amount to unfair
or unconscionable conduct. In her Opposition (doc. no. 13),
Thoby argues that CFS's letter violated the FDCPA because
the least-sophisticated-consumer would be unable to identify
Bridgeport Hospital as the current creditor.
February 28, 2019, I held a hearing on the Motion to Dismiss,
at which I took the motion under advisement. See
Doc. No. 18. After reviewing the parties' arguments, I
conclude that Thoby fails to allege a material violation of
the FDCPA. In addition, CFS's collection letter clearly
and accurately discloses the identity of Thoby's
creditor. Finally, Thoby fails to allege how CFS's
conduct is “unfair” or
“unconscionable” under the FDCPA. Therefore, I
grant CFS's Motion to Dismiss.
Standard of Review
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) is designed “merely to assess the legal
feasibility of a complaint, not to assay the weight of
evidence which might be offered in support thereof.”
Ryder Energy Distribution Corp. v. Merrill Lynch
Commodities, Inc., 748 F.2d 774, 779 (2d Cir. 1984)
(quoting Geisler v. Petrocelli, 616 F.2d 636, 639
(2d Cir. 1980)).
deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the
court must accept the material facts alleged in the complaint
as true, draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiffs, and decide whether it is plausible that
plaintiffs have a valid claim for relief. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007); Leeds v.
Meltz, 85 F.3d 51, 53 (2d Cir. 1996).
Twombly, “[f]actual allegations must be enough
to raise a right to relief above the speculative level,
” and assert a cause of action with enough heft to show
entitlement to relief and “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” 550
U.S. at 555, 570; see also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679
(“While legal conclusions can provide the framework of
a complaint, they must be supported by factual
allegations.”). The plausibility standard set forth in
Twombly and Iqbal obligates the plaintiff
to “provide the grounds of his entitlement to
relief” through more than “labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
(quotation marks omitted). Plausibility at the pleading stage
is nonetheless distinct from probability, and “a
well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it strikes a savvy
judge that actual proof of [the claims] is improbable, and .
. . recovery is very remote and unlikely.” Id.
at 556 (quotation marks omitted).
21, 2018, CFS mailed a letter to Thoby that included the
following language in the upper right-hand corner:
Our Client: Bridgeport Hospital For: JENNY THOBY Account #:
XX5723 Account Balance: $150.00
Compl.; Ex. A (Collection Letter). Directly below the opening
caption, the letter stated:
This communication is from a debt collector.
The above account is seriously past due. The balance due has
been placed with Century Financial Services, Inc. for
UNLESS YOU INTEND TO EXERCISE THE RIGHTS STATED BELOW, YOU
ARE INSTRUCTED TO PAY THE AMOUNT DUE TO THIS OFFICE TO