United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
MYERSCOUGH, U.S. District Judge.
the Court is Plaintiff Nicole Lee Nokes’ Motion in
Support of Default Judgment on Sum Certain (d/e 18).
Plaintiff’s Motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN
PART. Plaintiff is awarded $1, 000 in statutory damages, $0
in punitive damages, and $3, 803 in attorney’s fees and
December 21, 2015, Plaintiff Nicole Lee Nokes filed a
Complaint against Defendant The Cavalry Firm in this Court
(d/e 1). Plaintiff claimed that Defendant violated the Fair
Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) by: (1)
using false statements and threats in connection with the
collection of a debt (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e(2) and
1692f(1)); (2) failing to advise Plaintiff that Defendant is
a debt collector (§ 1692e(11)); and (3) failing to send
Plaintiff a “Dunning” letter (§
1692g-g(a)(5)). Plaintiff further claimed that Defendant
violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
Practices Act (“ICFA”) by: making false
statements and threats in an attempt to collect a debt.
was properly made on F. Gutierrez, of Defendant’s
Registered Agent, CSC Services of Nevada, Inc., on April 14,
2016 (d/e 10). Defendant failed to plead, answer, or
otherwise defend the action. Plaintiff requested entry of
default on (d/e 12), and United States Magistrate Judge
Schanzle-Haskins ordered the entry of default on May 17, 2016
31, 2016, Plaintiff moved for a Default Judgment with
responses due by June 17, 2016 (d/e 14). Upon receiving no
response from Defendant, this Court entered a Default
Judgment on June 27, 2016 in favor of the Plaintiff and
against Defendant, with damages to be determined after a
hearing (d/e 16).
is a “consumer, ” as defined by the FDCPA (15
U.S.C. § 1692a) and the ICFA (815 ILCS 505/1). Defendant
is a “debt collector, ” as defined by FDCPA.
Defendant’s actions in this case were “part of
the conduct of any trade or commerce, ” as defined in
the ICFA. Defendant is in the business of purchasing and
collecting delinquent consumer debts, including a debt
purportedly owed by Plaintiff. Defendant regularly uses the
mail and/or telephone to collect, or attempt to collect,
around November 13, 2015, Plaintiff began receiving
collection calls to her cellular phone. During one of the
initial calls, Plaintiff spoke with Jonathan Chambers, who
informed Plaintiff that Mr. Chambers worked for Defendant and
that he was collecting an overdraft fee from U.S. bank (the
purported debt). Mr. Chambers stated that a lawsuit had been
filed against Plaintiff and that Defendant could obtain a
judgment against her. However, neither Defendant nor any
other party had initiated legal proceedings against Plaintiff
with respect to the purported debt. During this phone call,
Plaintiff was subjected to various threats regarding what
would happen if she did not pay the debt and Mr. Chambers
offered, on behalf of Defendant, to settle the debt. Mr.
Chambers did not disclose that Defendant was a debt collector
and that any information gained in the conversation would be
used for the purposes of debt collection.
made several additional attempts to contact Plaintiff.
Plaintiff called Defendant on November 24, 2015. Plaintiff
first spoke with a representative of Defendant, Jay Martinez.
Mr. Martinez did not disclose that Defendant was a debt
collector and that any information it gained would be used
for the purpose of debt collection. Mr. Martinez provided
Plaintiff with information regarding the purported debt and
sought payment. Mr. Martinez also told Plaintiff that she had
the right to an attorney but that an attorney could not
represent her in small claims court.
this information conflicted with Mr. Chambers’
informing Plaintiff that a lawsuit had been filed, Plaintiff
asked to speak with Mr. Chambers. Mr. Chambers again used
various threats in an attempt to get Plaintiff to pay the
purported debt. Mr. Chambers also offered to email Plaintiff
documentation regarding the purported debt and a payment
agreement. Plaintiff received an email generated from
Defendant through DocuSign. The email contained an attachment
which outlined terms of a payment agreement. Nowhere in the
attachment does Defendant identify itself as a debt
collector. See Ex. A to Compl. (d/e 1-1).
7, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Motion in Support of Default
Judgment on Sum Certain (d/e 18) requesting $1, 000 in
statutory damages under the FDCPA, $3, 000 in punitive
damages under the ICFA, and $5, 828 in attorney’s fees
and costs. In support of Plaintiff’s claims for
damages, Plaintiff provided an itemization of
attorney’s fees and costs, receipts for costs incurred,
and an affidavit from counsel stating that the fees were
18, 2016, this Court held a prove-up hearing for Plaintiff to
present any additional evidence to support her claim for
damages. Defendant was not present at the hearing.
Plaintiff’s counsel was ...