Robert Horowitz v. Federal Insurance Company


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 8:15-cv-01959-DKC Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [1000039781].. [16-1769]

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Appeal: 16-1769 Doc: 30 Filed: 03/10/2017 Pg: 1 of 3 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 16-1769 ROBERT HOROWITZ; CATHY HOROWITZ, Plaintiffs - Appellants, v. FEDERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, d/b/a Chubb & Son, a division of Federal Insurance Company, Defendant - Appellee. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Greenbelt. Deborah K. Chasanow, Senior District Judge. (8:15-cv-01959-DKC) Submitted: February 28, 2017 Decided: March 10, 2017 Before AGEE, KEENAN, and WYNN, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. John S. Lopatto III, Washington, D.C., for Appellant. Eric Hemmendinger, SHAWE & ROSENTHAL LLP, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Appeal: 16-1769 Doc: 30 Filed: 03/10/2017 Pg: 2 of 3 PER CURIAM: Plaintiffs this action alleging Robert against that Collection Horowitz Federal Federal Act, Md. and Insurance violated Code Cathy the Ann., Horowitz Company Maryland Com. Law commenced (“Federal”), Consumer §§ 14-201 Debt to -204 (LexisNexis 2013) (MCDCA), and the Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Act, Md. Code Ann., Bus. Reg. §§ 7-101 to -502 (LexisNexis 2015) (MCALA), by funding a state court action for unpaid legal Horowitzes’ fees brought former against counsel. The the Horowitzes district court by the granted Federal’s motion to dismiss the complaint, and we affirm. We review de novo a district court’s ruling on a Fed. R. Civ. P. factual 12(b)(6) motion allegations inferences in the to as dismiss, true plaintiffs’ the complaint’s drawing and taking all reasonable favor. Harbout v. Resorts Md., LLC, 820 F.3d 655, 658 (4th Cir. 2016). PPE Casino To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient facts to state a claim that is plausible on its face. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Bell Atl. Corp. “The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, (internal quotation marks omitted). 2 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) Appeal: 16-1769 Doc: 30 Filed: 03/10/2017 Pg: 3 of 3 To state a cause of action under the MCDCA, the Horowitzes were required to assert that Federal was a collector—that is, “a person collecting or attempting to collect arising out of a consumer transaction.” § 14-201(b). an alleged debt Md. Code Ann., Com. Law To state a claim under the MCALA, the Horowitzes had to allege that Federal was a collection agency—that is, “a person who engages directly or indirectly in the business of collecting for, or soliciting from another, a consumer claim.” Md. Code Ann., Bus. Reg. § 7-101(c)(1)(i) (LexisNexis 2015). The Horowitzes failed on both fronts. insinuated that someone other than Although the complaint Selzer paid for Selzer’s legal representation, it fell short of plausibly asserting that Federal here acted as a collector or a collection agency as defined by the state statutes in Maryland. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s dismissal of the complaint. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 3

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