United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
Adam T. Hill, Krohn & Moss Ltd., Chicago, IL, Adam J. Krohn, Krohn & Moss Ltd., Los Angeles, CA, for Plaintiff.
Nicole M. Strickler, Joseph S. Messer, Messer & Stilp Ltd., Chicago, IL, for Defendant.
SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, District Judge.
This Court conducted a bench trial on October 30, 2012 on the issue of statutory damages. For the reasons that follow, statutory damages in the amount of $1,000 are awarded in favor of Plaintiff, Stephanie Kaylor-Trent and against Defendant John C. Bonewicz, P.C.
In August 2011, Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq.). Plaintiff alleged that Defendant violated various sections of the FDCPA, including 15 U.S.C. § 1692d(6) (providing that " the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller's identity" is a violation of § 1692d) and
15 U.S.C. § 1692e(11) (providing that it is a violation for a debt collector to fail " to disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is fro a debt collector" ). Plaintiff sought statutory damages of $1,000, as well as costs and attorney fees.
Defendant admitted violating the FDCPA by leaving a message on Plaintiff's cell phone that failed to properly identify the caller's identity and failed to disclose that the communication was from a debt collector. See Answer, ¶¶ 14, 15 (d/e 7). However, Defendant filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (d/e 8) asking that the Court enter judgment in favor of Plaintiff on liability but deny Plaintiff any statutory damages.
This Court granted Defendant's request that the Court enter judgment against Defendant and in favor of Plaintiff on liability but denied the request that the Court find Plaintiff was not entitled to any damages. See Opinion (d/e 10). Instead, the Court found that Plaintiff stated a plausible claim for statutory damages. See Opinion (d/e 10).
Thereafter, Plaintiff waived her jury demand and, on October 30, 2012, the matter proceeded to a bench trial on statutory damages.
The parties stipulated that Defendant's collector left one voice mail message for Plaintiff which violated the FDCPA. See Pre-Trial Order (d/e 21). The message in question provided as follows:
Ms. Trent, you need to contact this office by the end of business day, today, in regards to this matter, the number is 224-534-8030, extension number is 123. I will be here till 07:00 PM.
See Trial Exhibit 1. Plaintiff received other voice messages from Defendant. In all the other voice messages Plaintiff received from Defendant, Defendant identified itself and stated it was ...