United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
B. Leighton United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on the parties' competing
Motions in Limine [Dkt. #s 92 & 93], in advance of a jury
trial. The Court dismissed the case on summary judgment and
the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded. The Ninth
Circuit's opinion is the road map for the trial of this
case, and it addressed many of the issues raised in the
not a complicated or particularly compelling case, factually
or legally, and the Court has previously expressed its
frustration that it has been litigated as it has, as long as
it has been. The Motions in Limine, and the parties'
inability to agree on almost anything (except that they
cannot agree on anything), are only the most recent examples
of their intransigence.
Ninth Circuit reversed this Court's dismissal of Fangsrud
Von Esch's claims on summary judgment. Its opinion was
cryptic but it necessarily implied that the FDCPA and CPA
claims were viable. Its ruling that a jury should decide the
core factual issues was relatively clear. The primary issues
are: (1) did Asset violate the FDCPA (or the CPA); (2) can
Asset establish the bona fide error affirmative defense, and
(3) if Asset cannot, what are Fangsrud Von Esch's
what the trial will be about, and the evidence and argument
should inform these issues. The parties will tell their
respective stories, the Court will instruct the jury, and the
jury will decide. The parties' contempt for each
other-and the Court's distaste for this irrational
litigation-will not influence the jury's decision.
Plaintiff's Motions to Exclude:
Results of plaintiff's claim against Legacy.
in part. The fact that Legacy was involved, and sued, is part
of the factual story. The Court will not whitewash this petty
story to help either side not look as bad in the jury's
eyes as the whole truth might make them look. But the
detailed procedural history (including the manner in which
Legacy was dismissed, and the appeal) is not helpful and
neither party will waste the jury's or the Court's
time on this (or any other) side issue.
Defendants' state of mind.
Plaintiff concedes that “unintentional” is an
element of the affirmative defense that will be the focus of
the trial. Evidence related to that intent is relevant, and
Clark County Case 15C683-5.
Plaintiff cannot claim that Asset's efforts to collect
this debt caused her emotional distress, while
simultaneously precluding the defense from pointing out that
she had other emotional stressors, including other
debts. Nor can she claim damage to her
“creditworthiness” without letting the defense
tell the jury the rest of her creditworthiness story.
Witnesses lacking personal knowledge.
Witnesses not ...