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Sargolini v. Century Financial Services, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

August 20, 2019

LEONARD SARGOLINI Plaintiff,
v.
CENTURY FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. Defendant.

          RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          MICHAEL P. SHEA, U.S.D.J.

         Plaintiff Leonard Sargolini (“Sargolini”) filed suit against Century Financial Services, Inc. (“Century Financial”), alleging that Century Financial sent him a validation notice concerning a medical debt that did not comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”). Sargolini seeks statutory damages as well as costs and reasonable attorney's fees. Presently before the Court is Sargolini's motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 23. For the reasons discussed below, this motion is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Sargolini argues that Century Financial sent him a collection letter that was unduly contradictory as to his rights, but he failed to file a Local Rule 56(a) statement to support his motion for summary judgment on this ground. Nonetheless, the Court has reviewed the operative complaint, the operative answer, and supporting exhibits to determine whether there are any undisputed facts. In the operative answer, Century Financial admits only that it sent a validation notice to Sargolini concerning a debt to Northeast Medical Group on or about July 24, 2018. ECF No. 21 at ¶ 5; ECF No. 22 at ¶ 5. The front of this notice included the following text:

         THIS IS A COMMUNICATION FROM A DEBT COLLECTOR.

         ANOTHER ACCOUNT PLACED FOR COLLECTION.

Our records indicate that you already have an account(s) in the amount of $25.78 placed with us for collection by Northeast Medical Group. In some cases we had no choice but to advise Northeast Medical Group that our past efforts have been unsuccessful and that further contact will be necessary in order to recover the balance(s) in full. In other cases we have worked out a mutually agreeable payment plan. This notice is to advise you that you have a right to dispute the new account placed for collection in the amount of $33.81.

ECF No. 21 at 3. The front of the notice also explained that the recipient should “SEE REVERSE SIDE FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION.” Id. The back of the notice included the following text:

Unless you notify this office within 30 days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this new account placed for collection or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid. If you notify this office in writing within 30 days after receiving this notice that the debt or any portion thereof is disputed, this office will obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgement and mail you a copy of such judgment verification. If you request this office in writing within 30 days after receiving this notice, this office will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.

Id. at 4. Because Century Financial admitted no other allegations, and because Sargolini failed to file a Rule 56(a) statement, the Court is unable to determine whether any other facts are undisputed.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         “The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “A genuine issue of fact means that the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Wright v. Goord, 554 F.3d 255, 266 (2d Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). “[A] party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (internal quotation marks omitted). “Once the moving party has offered some evidence that no genuine issue of material fact remains to be tried, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to provide similar evidence indicating that a genuine, triable issue remains.” Serby v. Town of Hempstead, 2006 WL 2853869, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2006). In reviewing the record, the Court must “construe the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and must resolve all ambiguities and draw all reasonable inferences against the movant.” Beyer v. County of Nassau, 524 F.3d 160, 163 (2d Cir. 2008) (quoting Dallas Aerospace, Inc. v. CIS Air Corp., 352 F.3d 775, 780 (2d Cir. 2003).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. ...


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