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Gibbs v. Blitt & Gaines, P.C.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division

February 11, 2014

ELIZABETH (LIBBY) GIBBS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
BLITT AND GAINES, P.C., Defendant-Appellee

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 12 CH 3381. The Honorable Neil Cohen, Judge Presiding.

Affirmed.

SYLLABUS

Plaintiff's individual and class action complaint against defendant law firm for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act based on the filing of a collection action against plaintiff on behalf of a debt collection firm not licensed in Illinois was properly dismissed, since licensed attorneys at law are expressly exempt from the requirements of the Act.

Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC, Chicago, IL, (Daniel A. Edelman, Cathleen M. Combs, James O. Latturner and Thomas E. Soule, of counsel), for APPELLANT.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Chicago, IL, (Stephen R. Swofford, David M. Schultz and Justin M. Penn, of counsel), for APPELLEE.

PRESIDING JUSTICE HARRIS delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Simon and Pierce concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

HARRIS, PRESIDING JUSTICE.

Page 756

[¶1] Plaintiff Elizabeth (Libby) Gibbs appeals from the order of the circuit court dismissing her amended complaint for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq . (2006)) against defendant Blitt & Gaines, P.C. (Blitt & Gaines). On appeal, Gibbs contends that the trial court erred in dismissing her claim because law firms may be held liable for violations under the FDCPA even if the Illinois Collection Agency Act (Illinois Act) (225 ILCS 425/1 et seq., (West 2012)) expressly excludes attorneys from its requirements. For the following reasons, we affirm.

[¶2] JURISDICTION

[¶3] The circuit court entered its order granting Blitt & Gaines' motion to dismiss on December 4, 2012. Petitioner filed a notice of appeal on December 11, 2012. Accordingly, this court has jurisdiction pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rules 301 and 303, governing appeals from final judgments entered below. Ill. S.Ct. R. 301

Page 757

(eff. Feb. 1, 1994); R. 303 (eff. May ...


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