United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
ORDER AND OPINION
E. Shadid Chief United States District Judge.
matter is now before the Court on Defendant, T-H Professional
& Medical Collections, Ltd.'s, Motion for Summary
Judgment. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's
Motion  is GRANTED.
22, 2016, Plaintiff Qualls filed a Complaint against T-H
Professional & Medical Collections, Ltd.
(“T-H”), seeking damages under the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 (“F D C
PA ”). Doc. 1. According to the Complaint and Response
to the Motion for Summary Judgment, Plaintiff is an
individual with numerous health problems. Id., Doc.
21. He is unable to work due to his health issues and was
awarded Social Security Disability benefits in September
2016. He has incurred a large amount of debt due to his
medical treatment and is regularly contacted by collection
T-H is a third-party collection agency specializing in the
recovery of defaulted medical debt. Plaintiff alleges that on
May 17, 2016, he checked his credit report and saw an
unfamiliar entry listing T-H's name and phone number.
Plaintiff called T-H to get information about why it was
listed on his credit report. After speaking to two
representatives, Mel and Faith, they informed him that he
owed a total of $13, 831.72 across sixteen accounts.
Plaintiff states he inquired into settlement options and was
advised that he could get the balance down to $7, 500, but
the settlement offer was a one-time invitation that had to be
accepted that day.
judgment is appropriate where the movant shows, through
“materials in the record, including depositions,
documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations … admissions, interrogatory
answers, or other materials” that “there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56. In resolving a motion for summary judgment, “[t]he
court has one task and one task only: to decide, based on the
evidence of record, whether there is any material dispute of
fact that requires a trial.” Waldridge v. Am.
Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 920 (7th Cir. 1994).
order to withstand a motion for summary judgment, the
nonmovant must “set forth specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986). When
presented with a motion for summary judgment, the Court must
construe the record “in the light most favorable to the
nonmovant and avoid the temptation to decide which
party's version of the facts is more likely true.”
Payne v. Pauley, 337 F.3d 767, 770 (7th Cir. 2003).
If the evidence, however, is “merely colorable, or is
not significantly probative or merely raises ‘some
metaphysical doubt as the material facts, ' summary
judgment may be granted.” Liberty Lobby, 477
U.S. at 249-50. Thus, in order to overcome the undisputed
facts set forth in a defendants' motion for summary
judgment, a plaintiff cannot rest on the allegations in his
complaint but must point to affidavits, depositions or other
evidence of an admissible sort that a genuine dispute of
material fact exists between parties. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2);
Behrens v. Pelletier, 516 U.S. 299, 309 (1996).
Local Rule 7.1(D)
Parties failed to comply with Local Rule 7.1(D). The
requirements imposed upon litigants by Rule 56 and Local Rule
7.1(D) are “intended to alert the court to precisely
what factual questions are in dispute and point the court to
the specific evidence in the record that supports a
party's position on each of these questions. They are, in
short, roadmaps, and without them the court should not have
to proceed further, regardless of how readily it might be
able to distill the relevant information from the record on
its own.” Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp.,
24 F.3d 918, 923 (7th Cir. 1994). Likewise, Defendant's
statement in his Reply brief-that his failure to adhere to
the Local Rules is immaterial “because the Defendant
[sic] was given sufficient notice of the facts and argument,
and argued what he felt was immaterial; and disputed what he
felt needed to be disputed”-is mistaken. See
Waldridge, 24 F.3d at 922 (“We have also
repeatedly upheld the strict enforcement of these [local]
shortcomings in Plaintiff's Response are even more
egregious. Therein, Plaintiff is quick to point out
Defendant's noncompliance with Local Rule 7.1(D).
However, of the 13 statements of fact (more accurately, mixed
statements of fact and law), Plaintiff's Response first
lists statements 1 through 3 as “undisputed material
facts, ” and then lists statements 1 through 4 as
“disputed material facts.” Plaintiff reasons that
he “lacks sufficient facts, knowledge and/or evidence
to concede or dispute Defendant's undisputed facts”
because of Defendant's failure to comply with the Local
Rules. Doc. 21, at 2. Thereafter, Plaintiff completely
neglects to respond to the remaining statements (5 through
13) and proceeds to rewrite the facts as “additional
material facts.” Plaintiff's violation of the Local
Rules is sufficient by itself to grant summary judgment in
favor of Defendant. See Ciomber v. Coop. Plus, Inc.,
527 F.3d 635, 643-44 (7th Cir. 2008) (argumentative responses
that simultaneously deny the veracity of a defendant's
proposed material fact and present separate, additional facts
risk the possibility that the Court will consider
defendant's proposed fact as undisputed); Bell, Boyd
& Lloyd v. Tapy, 896 F.2d 1101, 1103 (7th Cir. 1990)
(granting summary judgment based on inadequacy of
non-movant's factual statement, despite acknowledgement
that affidavit underlying that statement was otherwise
sufficient to establish dispute of material fact under Rule
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692
et seq., was enacted “to eliminate abusive
debt collection practices by debt collectors, to insure that
those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt
collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and
to promote consistent State action to protect consumers
against debt collection abuses.” Id., §
1692. Section 1692e provides that “[a] debt collector
may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading
representation or means in connection with the collection of
any debt.” The statute then goes on to provide a
non-exhaustive list of conduct which violates the above
prohibition. Here, ...