United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
DISMISS , FINDING MOOT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO CERTIFY
CLASS , AND DISMISSING
STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
years ago, Plaintiff Carolyn Sebestyen received a letter that
she claims violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Defendants moved to dismiss and Sebestyen moved to certify a
class. The Court, Judge Patrick Duggan, resolved the motions
and after a trip to and from the Sixth Circuit, Sebestyen and
the Defendants are back with the same motions-but different
arguments. For the reasons below, the Court will dismiss the
case for lack of jurisdiction.
simultaneously move to dismiss the case under Rule 12(b)(1)
and for summary judgment under Rule 56. See ECF 43, PgID 346.
The sole basis of Defendants' Rule 12 motion is factual:
they contend that Plaintiff has not pled an injury in fact
and thus has not carried her burden to establish standing.
Accordingly, when the Court reviews the argument it is
empowered to consider "evidence outside of the
pleadings, and has the power to weigh the evidence and
determine the effect of that evidence on the court's
authority to hear the case." Cartwright v.
Garner, 751 F.3d 752, 759-60 (6th Cir. 2014).
racked up some medical bills from Beaumont Hospital and, in
January 2013, she received a letter about them. The
letterhead identified the law firm of Leikin, Ingber &
Winters, P.C. ("Leikin") and it bore Paul
Ingber's signature. The letter began with the following
Re: WILLIAM BEAUMONT, a Michigan Non-Profit Corp.
Past Due Amount: $6, 839.35
Our File No. 3-328969
ECF 1, PgID 3-4; ECF 42-2. The letter explained that Beaumont
retained Leikin to obtain payment from Sebestyen and it
directed Sebestyen to mail her payment to Ingber's
attention. The letter stated that if Sebestyen felt her
insurance company was responsible for the payment being
sought, it was her obligation to contact her insurance
company. The letter recited the language that forms the
matter in dispute:
This debt will be assumed to be valid unless you dispute the
validity of the debt or any portion thereof, within 30 days
after you receive this letter. If you notify this office, in
writing, within said 30 day period that you dispute all or
any portion of the debt, I will then obtain verification of
the indebtedness and forward a copy of such verification to
you. Any information which you may provide to this office
will be used to recover this indebtedness or resolve the
matter as the case may be.
If I do not hear from you, it will be assumed that you do not
intend to settle this account voluntarily and appropriate
action will be taken.
This communication is an attempt to collect a debt and any
information obtained will be ...