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ROBLES v. WEBB FORD ON 95TH

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois


February 9, 2004.

THOMAS ROBLES, Plaintiff,
v.
WEBB FORD ON 95th, et al., Defendants

The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON SHADUR, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Ford Motor Credit Company ("Ford Credit") has filed an Amended Response to the Complaint brought by Thomas Robles ("Robles") against Ford Credit, Webb Ford on 95th LLC and three of the latter's employees (collectively "Webb Ford," treated as a singular noun for purposes of this memorandum order). Ford Credit is targeted in just one of the Complaint's four counts: Count II, which seeks to invoke the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act ("Act") against Ford Credit as well as Webb Ford. Because the Complaint as framed is puzzling as to the validity of any predicate for a suit against Ford Credit, this memorandum order is issued sua sponte to require a further explanation from Robles' counsel in that respect.

Complaint ¶¶ 7 through 73 set out in detail a reprehensible course of conduct*fn1 on the part of Webb Ford in connection with Page 2 Robles proposed trade-in of his 1999 Yukon for a new Ford truck.

  But not a word is said (either expressly or impliedly) about anything done (or even omitted to be done) by Ford Credit until Count II, when Complaint ¶¶ 81-86 inappropriately lump "defendants" in an impermissible manner (thus nothing in the Complaint justifies ascribing a "spot delivery" to Ford Credit, nor was Ford Credit allegedly involved in Webb Ford's further claimed violations of TILA set out in Complaint ¶¶ 84 and 85). Indeed, the only thing that is specifically said about Ford Credit anywhere in the Complaint is this allegation in Complaint ¶ 88:

Defendant Ford Motor Credit Company is liable for the above described violations of the Consumer Fraud Act under the FTC Holder Rule.
  As to that assertion, none of Robles' allegations that precede Complaint ¶ 88 suggests any basis whatever for application of the FTC Holder Rule, or consequently the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, against Ford Credit. Indeed, both our Court of Appeals (Taylor v. Quality Hyundai. Inc. 150 F.3d 689, 693 (7th Cir. 1998)) and the Illinois Supreme Court (Jackson v. South Holland Dodge. Inc., 197 Ill.2d 39, 55, 755 N.E.2d 462, 471-72 (2001)) have expressly held to the contrary — and that has to be known by Robles' counsel, who maintain a high volume of litigation in this area of the law.

  That being so, if Robles' counsel expect to present a claim Page 3 of the type that is advanced here against Ford Credit, they must do so in a manner that apprises both Ford Credit and this Court as to the basis for suit. And because the next status hearing date is not until late March, no good reason seems to appear why this matter should not be cleared up at the outset of this litigation.

  Accordingly Robles' counsel are ordered to file an appropriate memorandum (including citations to any authorities they deem relevant) in this Court's chambers (with a copy of course being contemporaneously transmitted to Ford Credit's counsel) on or before February 16, 2004.*fn2 Unless persuasive authority is thus adduced by Robles' counsel, it is expected that Ford Credit will be dismissed out as a defendant forthwith.


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