Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Thompson v. General Revenue Corp.

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

February 27, 2018

RACHEL M. THOMPSON, Plaintiff,
v.
GENERAL REVENUE CORPORATION, Defendant.

          Jolson, Magistrate Judge

          OPINION AND ORDER

          GEORGE C. SMITH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court upon Defendant General Revenue Corporation's Motion to Certify Decision for Interlocutory Appeal (“GRC's Motion”) (Doc. 31). GRC's Motion asks the Court to certify for interlocutory appeal, under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b), its previous Order denying GRC's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. (Doc. 27). GRC's Motion is fully briefed and ripe for disposition. For the following reasons, GRC's Motion is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case arises from a July 31, 2015 dunning letter sent by GRC to Plaintiff Rachel Thompson for a $959.00 debt that was allegedly owed by Thompson to Columbus State Community College. (Doc. 2, Am. Compl. at ¶¶ 15, 17). The letter also sought interest of $18.37 and a “Collection Cost Balance” of $429.07. (Id.).

         Thompson commenced an action in this Court under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., asserting GRC's dunning letter contained false representations regarding the amount of the principal balance and GRC's ability to recover the collection costs. GRC alleges that it sent the letter because the Ohio Attorney General certified Plaintiff's account for collection, specifying the amounts for both the underlying debt and the collection fee. (Doc. 3, Ver. Answer at ¶¶ 17, 18, 20). The Ohio Attorney General was collecting the debt on behalf of Columbus State (where Thompson was a student) pursuant to Ohio Revised Code § 131.02(A). (Id. at ¶ 17). GRC further alleges that it is a Third Party Collection Vendor for the Ohio Attorney General and that it assists in collecting debts for the Ohio Attorney General. (Id.).

         In its Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 5), GRC argued that it was permitted to rely on the Attorney General's representations as to the amount of the principal balance and was not required by the FDCPA to conduct an independent investigation into the amount and validity of the debt. GRC also argued that the collections fee is statutorily allowed by Ohio Revised Code § 131.02(A), which concerns “Collecting amounts due to state.” The statute sets forth the procedure by which a state institution like Columbus State certifies debts to the Attorney General for collections, noting:

if the amount is not paid within forty-five days after payment is due, the officer, employee, or agent shall certify the amount due to the attorney general, in the form and manner prescribed by the attorney general, and notify the director of budget and management thereof.

Id. If the amount is due to a college like Columbus State, the timing of certification is moderately different but ultimately not germane to this matter. Id. However, the statute also provides that, “[t]he attorney general may assess the collection cost to the amount certified in such manner and amount as prescribed by the attorney general.” Id.

         This Court denied GRC's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on August 2, 2017. (Doc. 27). In that Order, the undersigned held that (1) the FDCPA does not permit a debt collector to rely on the creditor's information regarding an alleged debt without meeting the other requirements for use of the bona fide error defense provided by 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(c); and (2) Ohio Revised Code § 131.02 does not permit the Ohio Attorney General to charge an unlimited and unreviewable amount of collection costs and to seek remittance for those costs from the debtor.

         On September 7, 2017, GRC filed the present Motion asking the Court to certify for interlocutory appeal, under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b), the August 2, 2017 Order denying GRC's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.

         II. STANDARD FOR CERTIFICATION FOR INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL

         28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) provides:

When a district judge, in making in a civil action an order not otherwise appealable under this section, shall be of the opinion that such order involves a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate appeal from the order may materially advance the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.