Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rice v. Palisades Acquisition XVI

February 25, 2008

JAMES RICE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PALISADES ACQUISITION XVI, LLC, BLATT HASENMILLER LEIBSKER & MOORE. LLC, AND JOHN & JANE DOES 1-10. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Kocoras United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

CHARLES P. KOCORAS, District Judge

This matter is before the court on Defendant Blatt, Hasenmiller, Leibsker & Moore, LLC ("Blatt")'sRule 59(e) motion to reconsider our December 18, 2007, decision denying its motion to dismiss in favor of Plaintiff James Rice ("Rice"). For the following reasons, Blatt's motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

On or before September 2005, Rice allegedly incurred a $16,282.42 debt on his Chase Manhattan credit card. After unsuccessfully attempting to collect Rice's alleged debt, Chase sold the account to New Century, who subsequently sold it to Defendant Centurion Capital Corporation ("Centurion"). Centurion hired Blatt to file a lawsuit against Rice in the Circuit Court of Cook County to collect the alleged debt. While the suit was pending, Centurion sold Rice's account to Defendant Palisades Acquisition XVI, LLC ("Palisades"). Palisades also retained Blatt to collect Rice's alleged debt.

On August 23, 2007, Palisades dismissed its lawsuit against Rice without prejudice and Rice filed the instant suit. Rice contends that Palisades, Blatt, and up to ten John and Jane Does ("Defendants") violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Business Practices Act, 815 ILCS 510 et seq., and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, 815 ILCS 505 et seq., by filing the state court lawsuit against him to collect on the alleged unpaid credit card account despite knowing that neither Palisades nor Centurion was registered, incorporated, or licensed as a collection agency in Illinois.

On November 11, 2007, Blatt filed a motion to dismiss Rice's complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Blatt argued that it did not violate the FDCPA by filing suit on behalf of Centurion and Palisades against Rice because: 1) Centurion and Palisades were not required to incorporate or register in Illinois before bringing their respective collection actions against Rice in the Circuit Court of Cook County because bringing a civil action does not constitute "transacting business;" 2) even if they were found to be "transacting business," in Illinois, Illinois law does not require foreign corporations, like Centurion and Palisades, to register with the state of Illinois before filing suit because both entities were conducting interstate commerce; 3) Centurion and Palisades were not required to register under the Illinois Collection Agency Act, 225 ILCS 425/4, ("ICAA") as collection agencies because they are not collection agencies; 4) even if Centurion and Palisades were collection agencies under the ICAA, the FDCPA cannot be used to enforce other rules of state or federal law; 5) Rice did not allege that Centurion and Palisades made false statements in their state collection actions against Rice; 6) even if Rice had alleged that Centurion and Palisades made false statements in their respective Illinois state actions, it is inappropriate to sue them under the FDCPA; and 7) the FDCPA does not prevent a debt collector from bringing a lawsuit to collect a debt. Blatt then suggested that because Rice's FDCPA claim against Blatt was meritless, we should not exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Rice's state law claims.

We denied Blatt's motion to dismiss on December 18. Our denial was in part due to a lack of information concerning whether Palisades was registered in Delaware as a collection agency when it filed suit against Rice. Without this information, we concluded that it was still possible that Palisades may have violated the FDCPA by not obtaining licensure under the ICAA as a "collection agency" before it filed suit against Rice. We also denied Blatt's motion because we found that after drawing all reasonable inferences in Rice's favor, it may have been improper under the FDCPA for Blatt to bring Centurion and Palisades' collection suits against Rice. We also denied Blatt's motion concerning Rice's state law claims because Blatt's argument for their dismissal was predicated on an alternative finding concerning Rice's FDCPA claim.

On January 3, 2008, Blatt filed the instant motion for reconsideration pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. Pro 59(e). Blatt contends that there are two instances of error that should persuade us to alter or amend our previous judgment. First, Blatt argues that neither Centurion nor Palisades was required to be licensed under the ICAA when Rice filed the instant suit because both Centurion and Palisades were debt buyers and not collection agencies, and thus fell outside the provisions of the ICAA during the applicable time period. Second, Blatt argues that we did not fully address its argument that it did not violate the FDCPA by filing suit against Rice on Centurion and Palisades' behalf because both Centurion and Palisades were entitled to file suit against Rice in Illinois without being registered or licensed in Illinois as collection agencies.

LEGAL STANDARD

Rule 59(e) was designed to allow courts to correct manifest errors of fact or law clearly established by the moving party. FDIC v. Meyer, 781 F.2d 1260, 1286 (7th Cir. 1986). A court should grant a Rule 59(e) motion if it determines that it previously misapplied the facts or law. Oto v. Metro Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000). However, litigants may not use a Rule 59(e) motion as a vehicle "to introduce new evidence or advance arguments that could or should have been presented to the district court prior to the judgment." Popovits v. Circuit City Stores, 185 F.3d 726, 730 (7th Cir. 1999).

With these principles in mind, we will consider the instant motion.

DISCUSSION

As a preliminary matter, it is appropriate to first address Rice's contention that Blatt's Rule 59(e) motion should be denied as untimely. It is true that Rule 59(e) states "that a motion to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 10 days after entry of judgment." However, Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a) states that Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and the actual day of entry "should not be included in the 10 day total when a limitations period is less than 11 days." Bell v. Marseilles Elementary School, 160 F. Supp. 2d 883, 885 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.