United States District Court, E.D. Washington
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
ROSANNA MALOUF PETERSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT is Defendants' Joint Motion for Summary
Judgment, ECF No. 17. Robert Coleman and George Pitcher
represent the Defendants. Joshua Trigsted represents
Plaintiff. The Court has reviewed the motion and record, has
heard arguments from counsel, and is fully informed.
Paul Laak alleges that Defendant Quick Collect, Inc., and
Defendant Jesse Conway violated the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692g, by failing to
“effectively convey the disclosure requirement required
by 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a).” ECF No. 1, ¶ 10.
Defendants move for summary judgment as a matter of law
contending that they complied with 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a).
ECF No. 17. Defendants argue in the alternative that, even if
Defendants had violated the FDCPA, Mr. Laak's claims
against both Quick Collect and Conway are barred by the
FDCPA's statute of limitations provision. Id. at
Laak's claims arise out of a debt that Quick Collect
began attempting to collect from Mr. Laak in 2001. ECF No. 17
at 2. On October 12, 2001, Quick Collect sent a formal FDCPA
validation notice to Mr. Laak as part of Quick Collect's
initial communication with Mr. Laak regarding the debt at
issue. Id. The October 12, 2001, FDCPA validation
notice contained all of the information required by §
1692g(a) of the FDCPA, including the total amount of the debt
and the name of the original creditor. Id.
Collect obtained a default judgment against Mr. Laak in
Lincoln County, Oregon, in 2002. Id. at 3. In 2011,
the judgment was renewed for an additional ten years.
Id. In 2016, Quick Collect continued their
collection attempt on the judgment via garnishment.
Id. Jesse Conway, acting as Quick Collect's
attorney, sent garnishment papers to Mr. Laak and to Mr.
Laak's employer. Id. The garnishment papers did
not include a formal FDCPA validation notice. Id.
Laak claims that Conway violated the FDCPA by failing to send
a FDCPA validation notice within five days of Conway's
serving Mr. Laak with the garnishment papers in 2016. ECF No.
1 at 2-4. Mr. Laak also alleges that Quick Collect should be
held vicariously liable for Conway's alleged violation.
ECF No. 21 at 1. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction
over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 as a civil
action arising under the laws of the United States, because
Mr. Laak alleges violations of the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692g.
Standard for Summary Judgment
may grant summary judgment where “there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact” of a party's prima
facie case, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322-33 (1986); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).
parties agree, and the record reflects, that there is no
genuine dispute regarding the material facts of this case.
Mr. Laak's claims are based solely on the garnishment
papers that he received from Conway in 2016. Conway
acknowledges that he did not send a FDCPA validation notice
to Mr. Laak with the garnishment papers in 2016. ECF No. 17
Court needs to determine as a matter of law whether the FDCPA
requires a validation notice to be sent by an attorney acting
as an agent for a debt collection agency that previously sent
a compliant FDCPA validation notice regarding the same debt.
FDCPA provision at issue, 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a), requires
debt collectors to send a notice about challenging the
validity of the debt to the consumer within five days of the
debt collector's initial communication. Section 1692g(a)
Within five days after the initial communication with a
consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a
debt collector shall, unless the following information is
contained in the initial communication or the consumer has
paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing-
(a) the amount of the debt;
(b) the name of the creditor to whom the debt ...