United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT LANGSDALE'S MOTION FOR
JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS (ECF NOS. 24, 72)
P. GORDON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Linda Cox sues defendants Richland Holdings, Inc. d/b/a
Account Corp of Southern Nevada (Account Corp), Parker and
Edwards, Inc. (P&E), and Langsdale Law Firm, P.C. for
alleged actions arising from the attempted collection of a
debt. Cox claims that all defendants are liable for
violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA),
the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act (NDTPA), and for
abuse of process under Nevada law.
moves to dismiss the claims against it. Because Cox does not
allege any facts that give rise to violations of the FDCPA or
any state law, I grant Langsdale's motion to dismiss with
leave to amend.
2016, Account Corp retained P&E to file a state court
collection action against Cox for a debt owed from a contract
with Advanced Laparoscopic and General Surgery. ECF No. 1 at
2. Account Corp alleged that Cox became delinquent in
December 2015, with an account balance of $816.82.
Id. Account Corp further alleged that a
“contractual collection fee” of $408.41 was added
for a total of $1, 225.23. Id.
August 23, 2016, Langsdale filed a substitution of attorney
and replaced P&E as Account Corp's counsel.
Id. at 3. A few months later, Cox's attorney,
Vernon Nelson, emailed Langsdale to inform the firm that
Nelson was representing Cox, and requested a two-week
extension to file an answer to Account Corp's complaint.
Id. Nelson also requested a copy of any validation
letter Langsdale may have sent to Cox, and various other
documents. Id. at 4. On November 7, 2016, Langsdale
emailed Nelson to inform him that Account Corp “made an
economic/business decision to dismiss many of the cases that
were previously filed with former counsel” and that a
notice of dismissal had been filed in Cox's
case. Id. at 4.
filed this action in December 2016. As relevant here,
alleges that the contractual collection fee was unlawfully
added to her debt; Account Corp, P&E, and Langsdale
“failed to provide Cox with a validation of debt letter
in compliance with section 1692G (sic) of the FDCPA;”
and Langsdale did not serve Cox with a copy of the
substitution of attorney notice “in violation of the
FDCPA.” Id. at 3. She alleges that all
defendants abused process by commencing legal proceedings
against her for “the ulterior purpose of collecting
unlawful fees in violation of the FDCPA.” Id.
at 6. Cox further alleges that all defendants violated the
NDTPA by “engag[ing] in unfair or deceptive acts in the
conduct of [their] commerce or trade through [their] unfair
and deceptive debt collection and litigation activities . . .
.” Id. Langsdale moves for judgment on the
pleadings, arguing that Cox failed to plead sufficient facts
demonstrating that Langsdale's actions violated the FDCPA
or the NDTPA, or constituted abuse of process. ECF No. 24.
on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c)
is proper if, “taking all the allegations in the
pleadings as true, the moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law.” Milne ex rel. Coyne v. Stephen
Slesinger, Inc., 430 F.3d 1036, 1042 (9th Cir. 2005)
(quotation omitted). A Rule 12(c) motion is the functional
equivalent of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. See Harris v.
Orange Cty., 682 F.3d 1126, 1131 (9th Cir. 2012).
Consequently, I must determine whether the complaint contains
“sufficient factual matter . . . to state a claim for
relief that is plausible on its face.” Id.
(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009)). A complaint or individual claim should be dismissed
without leave to amend only when “it is clear . . .
that the complaint could not be saved by amendment.”
Steckman v. Hart Brewing, Inc., 143 F.3d 1293, 1296
(9th Cir. 1998).
state a claim against Langsdale under the FDCPA, Cox must
plead plausible facts alleging that (1) Cox is a
“consumer” under 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(3); (2)
the debt arises out of a transaction entered into for
personal purposes; (3) Langsdale is a “debt
collector” under 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6); and (4)
Langsdale engaged in an act or omission prohibited by the
FDCPA. Wheeler v. Premiere Credit of N. Am. 80
F.Supp.3d 1108, 1112 (S.D. Cal. 2015) (citing Turner v.
Cook, 362 F.3d 1219, 1226-27 (9th Cir. 2004)). Langsdale
argues that Cox has not sufficiently alleged that it engaged
in any acts or omissions that violated the FDCPA.
alleges that all of the defendants violated “15 U.S.C.
§ 1692, et. seq.” by (a) “mischaracterizing
the character, amount, and legal status of the Debt;”
(b) “employing various false representations and
deceptive means to collect the alleged Debt;” and (c)
“attempting to collect the Debt under false
pretenses.” ECF No. 1 at 5. Langsdale contends that
these allegations “are nothing more than legal
conclusions . . . which fail to provide Langsdale with fair
notice regarding what FDCPA sections were violated.”
ECF No. 24 at 7.
factual allegations portion of Cox's complaint, Cox
alleges that Langsdale filed a substitution of attorney
notice in August 2016 but failed to serve a copy on Cox, and
that in November 2016 Langsdale emailed Cox's attorney to
inform her that Account Corp had decided to dismiss the
action. ECF No. 1 at 3-4. Cox also alleges upon information
and belief that Langsdale failed to provide him with a
validation letter that complied with 15 U.S.C. § 1692g,
and “continued with its efforts to collect the Debt
despite the fact that it failed to comply with section
1692[g] of the FDCPA.” Id. at 3. As explained
below, none of these allegations provides a sufficient
factual basis to sustain a FDCPA claim.