Valenzuela v. Axiom Acquisition Ventures, LLC
ORDER: "Defendant's Motion to Dismiss" (Doc. 55) is hereby granted. This case is dismissed without prejudice for lack of standing. The Clerk is directed to terminate any pending motions and deadlines, and thereafter close this case. See Order for details. Signed by Judge Thomas P. Barber on 1/7/2021. Signed by Judge Thomas P. Barber on 1/7/2021. (ANL)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Case No. 8:19-cv-2181-T-60CPT
ORDER GRANTING “DEFENDANT AXIOM ACQUISITION
VENTURES, LLC’S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT
MATTER JURISDICTION PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P. 12(B)(1)”
This matter is before the Court on “Defendant Axiom Acquisition Ventures,
LLC’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction Pursuant to Fed. R.
Civ. P. 12(b)(1),” filed by counsel on December 1, 2020. (Doc. 55). On December 15,
2020, Plaintiff Robert Valenzuela filed a response in opposition to the motion. (Doc.
56). After reviewing the motion, response, court file, and the record, the Court finds
The facts are largely undisputed. Plaintiff purportedly took out a personal
loan with Cross River Bank to fund the purchase of personal and household goods
and services. After Plaintiff allegedly defaulted on his payments, Cross River Bank
sold the consumer debt to Defendant Axiom Acquisition Ventures, LLC. On July
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22, 2019, Defendant sent a letter to Plaintiff related to this consumer debt, which
serves as the basis for this lawsuit.
“Questions of subject matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time.”
Nicklaw v. Citimortgage, Inc., 839 F.3d 998, 1001 (11th Cir. 2016). Under Rule
12(b)(1), the party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden to establish the
district court’s subject matter jurisdiction. See, e.g., Thompson v. McHugh, 388 F.
App’x 870, 872 (11th Cir. 2010). A party may attack subject matter jurisdiction
through a facial attack or a factual attack. Scarfo v. Ginsberg, 175 F.3d 957, 960
(11th Cir. 1999) (citing Lawrence v. Dunbar, 919 F.2d 1525, 1529 (11th Cir. 1990)).
“Facial attacks . . . ‘require the court merely to look and see if the plaintiff has
sufficiently alleged a basis of subject matter jurisdiction, and the allegations in
[plaintiff’s] complaint are taken as true for the purposes of the motion.’” Id.
(quoting Lawrence, 919 F.2d at 1529). Alternatively, “[f]actual attacks challenge
‘the existence of subject matter jurisdiction in fact, irrespective of the pleadings,
and matters outside of the pleadings, such as testimony and affidavits, are
considered.’” Id. (quoting Lawrence, 919 F.2d at 1529). Because Defendant
presents a facial attack, the Court simply examines the complaint to determine
whether Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged a basis of subject matter jurisdiction,
accepting the allegations of the complaint as true. See, e.g., Mraz v. I.C. Systems,
Inc., No. 2:18-cv-254-FtM-38NPM, 2020 WL 5876947, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 2, 2020).
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In its motion, Defendant argues that Plaintiff is unable to establish the
requisite standing to maintain this action, citing to Trichell v. Midland Credit
Mgmt., Inc., 964 F.3d 990 (11th Cir. 2020). Article III grants the federal courts the
judicial power to resolve actual cases or controversies. U.S. Const. art. III §§ 1-2;
see also Trichell, 964 F.3d at 996 (“No principle is more fundamental to the
judiciary’s proper role in our system of government than the constitutional
limitation of federal-court jurisdiction to actual cases or controversies.”). A plaintiff
therefore possesses constitutional standing to maintain a suit only where he has
suffered some injury in fact caused by the defendant, and “it must be likely, as
opposed to merely speculative, that the injury will be redressed by a favorable
decision.” Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992) (internal quotation
omitted). To meet this requirement, a plaintiff must “present ‘specific, concrete
facts’ showing that the challenged conduct will result in a ‘demonstrable,
particularized injury’ to the plaintiff.” Miccosukee Tribe of Indians v. Florida State
Athletic Comm’n, 226 F.3d 1226, 1229 (11th Cir. 2000) (quoting Cone Corp. v. Fla.
Dep’t of Transp., 921 F.2d 1190, 1204 (11th Cir. 1991)).
Over time, the injury-in-fact requirement has been clarified and refined. See,
e.g., Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540, 1549-50 (2016); Nicklaw, 839 F.3d at
1002. A plaintiff cannot demonstrate injury-in-fact whenever Congress has granted
a statutory right and authorized suit; rather, a plaintiff must show “a concrete
injury even in the context of a statutory violation.” Spokeo, 136 S. Ct. at 1549; see
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also Trichell, 964 F.3d at 998; Nicklaw, 839 F.3d at 1002; Cooper v. Atl. Credit &
Fin., Inc., 822 F. App’x 951, 953 (11th Cir. 2020). Therefore, a plaintiff must plead
and ultimately prove concrete harm that is more than a “bare procedural violation.”
Id. at 953 (quoting Spokeo, 136 S. Ct. at 1549).
In this case, Plaintiff’s allegations concerning concrete harm are lacking. He
alleges that he was “unfairly misled” by Defendant’s actions. Although Plaintiff
alleges that he “suffered concrete harm as a result of Defendant’s actions,” he does
not allege that he relied on the letter by taking any actions, such as disputing the
debt with Defendant or making a payment. Nor does he allege he suffered any
emotional distress, anxiety, loss of sleep, loss of income, loss of employment, harm
to his reputation, or any other condition resulting from receipt of the July 22, 2019,
letter. Instead, Plaintiff merely alleges that because he was “frustrated” over
Defendant’s conduct, he spoke with a law firm regarding his rights, resulting in an
expenditure of resources.
Plaintiff’s arguments to support standing are not persuasive. It appears that
Plaintiff seeks to recover based on a representation that he believes was misleading
or unfair, but he cannot allege or prove that he relied on the representation, or that
the reliance caused him any damages. See Trichell, 964 F.3d at 998. As the
Eleventh Circuit explained, “while a recipient may take offense that a private party
has violated the [Fair Debt Collection Practices Act], that is akin to taking offense
that the government has violated other statues – an injury that is canonically
abstract as opposed to concrete.” Id. at 1000. Because Plaintiff has not sufficiently
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established a concrete and particularized injury, the motion to dismiss is due to be
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED:
1. “Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss” (Doc. 55) is hereby GRANTED.
2. This case is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for lack of standing.
3. The Clerk is directed to terminate any pending motions and deadlines,
and thereafter close this case.
DONE and ORDERED in Chambers, in Tampa, Florida, this 7th day of
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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