United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Lauren Jackson, Plaintiff: Travis Shackelford, Gary D.
Nitzkin, Nitzkin & Assoc., Southfield, MI.
Eltman, Eltman & Cooper, PC, Defendant: Charity A. Olson,
Olson Law Group, Ann Arbor, MI.
AND ORDER (1) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF #12), (2)
GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF #13), AND (3) ORDERING SUPPLEMENTAL
BRIEFING STATE-LAW CLAIMS
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
action, Plaintiff Lauren Jackson (" Jackson" )
alleges that Defendant Eltman, Eltman & Cooper, P.C. ("
Eltman" ) violated three sections of the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et.
seq. (the " FDCPA" ). First, Jackson claims
that Eltman violated Sections 1692b(5) and 1692c(b) of the
FDCPA when it communicated with her employer in connection
with the collection of a debt. Second, Jackson alleges that
Eltman violated Section 1692g(a) when it failed to provide
her with a required notice concerning the terms and nature of
her debt within five days of Eltman's " initial
communication" with her.
parties have now filed cross-motions for summary judgment.
For the reasons explained below, the Court grants summary
judgment in favor of Jackson on her claim under Sections
1692b(5) and 1692c(b) of the FDCPA and grants summary
judgment in favor of Eltman on Jackson's claim under
November 2007, Providian Bank (" Providian" )
obtained a civil judgment against Jackson. ( See
Jackson Deposition, ECF #13-2 at 19-20, Pg. ID 91.) Providian
then hired Eltman to verify Jackson's employment and
identify local counsel to assist in collecting the
outstanding debt from the judgment.
April 14, 2014, Eltman sent correspondence by fax to
Jackson's employer -- the retail establishment
Lover's Lane. The fax consisted of two pages: a cover
page and a form on which Eltman asked Lover's Lane to
verify Jackson's employment (the " Collection
Fax" ). ( See ECF #17-2.) The fax header on
both pages of the Collection Fax included the word "
COLLECTION" in all capital letters. ( See
id. at 2-3, Pg. ID 218-219.) Lover's Lane's
human resources manager gave the fax to Jackson and informed
her that Eltman was seeking to verify her employment. (
See Jackson Dep. at 26, Pg. ID 92.)
April 21, 2014, Jackson called Eltman to find out why the
company wanted to verify her employment. ( See
id. at 27-28, Pg. ID 92; ECF #13-3 at 2, Pg. ID 96.)
Jackson was connected to Eltman representative Theresa
Middleton. ( See Jackson Affidavit, ECF #21-2 at
¶ ¶ 7-8.) Middleton asked for Jackson's "
full name, [her] full address, and [her] full Social Security
number. [After Jackson] provided all of that information ...
[Middleton then] told [Jackson] that [Middleton] was not
permitted to speak with [Jackson] and [a] supervisor would
have to contact [Jackson] back." (Jackson Dep. at 30,
Pg. ID 93.)
to Jackson, nobody from Eltman called her back or provided
her with any information about the Collection Fax. (
See id. at 30-31, Pg. ID 93.) Jackson
called Eltman a second time on April 30, 2014, but she again
was unable to reach anyone who was willing to provide her any
details about why Eltman was attempting to verify her
employment. ( See id. at 31, Pg. ID 93.)
movant is entitled to summary judgment when it " shows
that there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact...." U.S. SEC v.
Sierra Brokerage Services, Inc., 712 F.3d 321, 326-27
(6th Cir. 2013) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d
202 (1986)) (quotations omitted). When reviewing the record,
" the court must view the evidence in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable
inferences in its favor." Id. " The mere
existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the
[non-moving party's] position will be insufficient; there
must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for
[that party]." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.
Summary judgment is not appropriate when " the evidence
presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a
jury." Id. at 251-252. Indeed, "
[c]redibility determinations, the weighing of the evidence,
and the drafting of legitimate inferences from the facts are
jury functions, not those of a judge..." Id. at
Eltman Violated Sections 1692b(5) and 1692c(b) of the FDCPA
When It Communicated With Jackson's Employer in