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In re Ramian

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

January 6, 2017

IN RE ROBERT RAMIAN Plaintiff,
v.
ALLTRAN 5800 North Course Drive Houston, Texas 77072 Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER [1]

          Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

         To characterize this action, instituted by a Complaint drafted by attorney John Carlin, as puzzling has to be viewed as the understatement of the month -- or given its timing, perhaps as the understatement of 2016. Some minor evidence of counsel's confusion is manifested at the very outset, for here is the Complaint's opening assertion (with emphasis added), placed even before the centered heading “INTRODUCTION”

         Now comes Plaintiff by and through her attorneys, and, for his Complaint alleges as follows:

         That small glitch, however, pales in comparison with the really bizarre inconsistencies encountered elsewhere in the Complaint. Thus:

1. Both the Complaint's case caption and Complaint ¶ 1 identify “Robert Ramian” as plaintiff, and the same is true of the contemporaneously filed Civil Cover Sheet and Attorney Appearance Form. Thereafter the allegations through Complaint ¶ 10 speak only of the “Plaintiff” and “Defendant.”
2. But mysteriously, like Aphrodite riding “quite naked in an oyster shell on top of the sea, ”[2] Renee Nabril suddenly appears as the action's Plaintiff in Complaint ¶ 11. Then all of the Complaint's allegations thereafter speak only of her and of defendant Alltran, which is asserted to have been formerly known as United Recovery Systems LP, identified as a “debt collector” under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (the “Act, ” U.S.C. § 1692 et seq.)[3]

         Under most circumstances that quite extraordinary hiccup might perhaps be overlooked, with attorney Carlin given the opportunity to return to the drawing board to present an acceptable Amended Complaint. But there is something far more troubling about the existing Complaint in substantive terms. Here are Complaint ¶¶ 23 through 27, which begin by referring to Complaint Ex. A, the January 3, 2016 collection letter mailed by Alltran to Ramian (!), who may thus turn out to be the plaintiff after all:

23. Said letter stated “[A]s of the date of this letter you owe the amount stated above. Because your account continues to accrue interest and may accrue late and other charges on all owe balances pursuant to your agreement with Citibank, N.A., the amount due on the date you pay may be greater.” See Exhibit A.
24. This debt has been charged off prior[4] Plaintiff receiving said letter.
25. There is absolutely nothing in the agreement between Citibank and Plaintiff that would give Citibank (or Defendant) the right to charge “late” or “other charges.”
26. There is absolutely no legal possibility that the statement in paragraph 23 can come to pass.
27. It is a violation of 15 U.S.C. Section 1692e to imply an outcome that cannot legally come to pass.

         In relevant part Complaint Ex. A, after identifying the underlying indebtedness sought to be collected as “$3, 871.43 as of January 3, 2016, ” then continues with the two sentences quoted in Complaint ¶ 23

         By definition the allegations in Complaint ¶¶ 25 and 26 must depend on what is said in “the agreement between the Citibank and Plaintiff to which both the January 3 debt collection letter and the Complaint refer. Attorney Carlin necessarily had to have that document to refer to, for his mere ...


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