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Erez v. Steur

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

November 13, 2014

ASAF EREZ, Plaintiff,
v.
CHAD STEUR d/b/a CHAD STEUR LAW, LLC; CHAD STEUR LAW, LLC, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART THE PARTIES CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY' JUDGMENT

RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the Court on the parties' Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. Dkts. #29 and #30. The parties seek judgments as a matter of law with respect to alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"). Having reviewed the record before it, and neither party having requested oral argument on its motion, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART the parties' motions as discussed herein.

II. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate where "the movant shows 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(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986). In ruling on summary judgment, a court does not weigh evidence to determine the truth of the matter, but "only determine[s] whether there is a genuine issue for trial." Crane v. Conoco, Inc., 41 F.3d 547, 549 (9th Cir. 1994) ( citing Federal Deposit Ins. Corp. v. O'Melveny & Meyers, 969 F.2d 744, 747 (9th Cir. 1992)). Material facts are those which might affect the outcome of the suit under governing law. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

The Court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. See O'Melveny & Meyers, 969 F.2d at 747, rev'd on other grounds, 512 U.S. 79 (1994). However, the nonmoving party must make a "sufficient showing on an essential element of her case with respect to which she has the burden of proof" to survive summary judgment. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Further, "[t]he mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the plaintiff." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251.

III. BACKGROUND

The sequence of events leading up to the matters at issue in this case is undisputed. On December 11, 2012, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, alleging several violations of FDCPA. Dkt. #3. The parties do not dispute that Plaintiff is a consumer as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(3), Plaintiff's alleged debt is a consumer debt as defined by 15. U.S.C. § 1692a(5), and Defendants are debt collectors as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6). On May 25, 2012, Defendants sent a letter to Plaintiff in an attempt to collect a debt. Dkt. #29-2 at ¶ 3 and Ex. A. More than 30 days later, Defendants left two voice mail messages for Plaintiff. The first message was as follows:

Asaf, my name is Courtney calling with Chad Steur Law. I do need a return call from you today, toll free is 1-877-209-4155 and extension 225.

Dkts. #3 at ¶ 15 and Ex. A and #5 at ¶ 15. The second message was as follows:

Hi, this message is for Asaf Erez, this is Ruben with Chad Steur Law office. If you could please give us a call at 877-209-4155, my extension number is 252. Thank you.

Dkts. #3 at ¶ 15 and Ex. B and #5 at ¶ 15.

On September 11, 2012, Adam Hill, an attorney, sent an email to Chad Steur alerting him that he represented Mr. Erez, alleging that the two voice mails violated FDCPA and seeking resolution of the matter. Dkt. #29-2, Ex. C. Defendants responded to counsel on September 26, 2012, acknowledging the communication from Mr. Hill. Dkts. #3 at ¶ 21 and #5 at ¶ 21. Despite Plaintiff's representation by counsel, Defendants subsequently sent a letter directly to Plaintiff on October 3, 2012, in an attempt to collect the alleged debt. Dkts. #3 at ¶ 22, ...


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