Love v. Village of Addison et al
MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order Signed by the Honorable Sharon Johnson Coleman on 3/17/2017:Mailed notice(rth, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
VILLAGE OF ADDISON, an Illinois Municipal
Corporation, ROBBINS SCHWARTZ, and DAVID )
Case No. 16 cv 6584
Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff, Zachary Love, filed a nine count Complaint pro se, alleging that defendants Village
of Addison (“Addison”) and law firm Robbins Schwartz and attorney David Freeman violated the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) when
Addison, through its attorney Freeman, sought to collect from Love fine on 19 parking tickets.
Defendants move to dismiss [13, 28] the complaint in its entirety for failure to state a claim pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated below, this Court grants the
motions and dismisses the complaint.
Plaintiff, Zachary Love, alleged that on December 8, 2015, he sent a letter to Addison
requesting that Addison “cease and desist all contact.” A copy of the letter is attached to the
complaint. Love received a Notice of Liability letter from the Office of the Traffic Compliance
Administrator for Addison on March 27, 2015, attempting to collect on $85.00 in outstanding
parking tickets. (Dkt. 9, Ex. C). Four days later, on March 31, 2015, Love received a Notice of
Liability letter from the Office of the Traffic Compliance Administrator for Addison attempting to
collect on $85.00 in outstanding parking tickets. (Dkt. 9, Ex. B).
On April 11, 2016, Love alleges that attorney Freeman contacted him by telephone to collect
on the fines for the parking violations on behalf of Addison. (Dkt. 9 at ¶ 19). On April 6, 2016,
Freeman sent a letter to Love attempting to collect the parking fines. (Dkt. 9 at ¶ 22, Ex. E). On
April 26, 2016, Freeman sent Love an email discussing payment arrangements for the parking fines.
(Dkt. 9 at ¶ 26, Ex. F).
Love further alleges that Addison falsely reported ten unpaid parking citations, which Love
contends are duplicative, to the three Credit Bureaus. (Dkt. 9 at ¶ 29). Love alleges that Addison
reported ticket number MCSI#MCSIADPT02146 in the amount of $250.00 four separate times on
Love’s credit report; MCSI#MCSIADPT02145 in the amount of $250.00 four separate times; and
MCSI#MCSIADPT02149 in the amount of $75.00 three separate times. Love attached his credit
report to the Complaint. (Dkt. 9, Ex. G). On May 12, 2016, Love sent Freeman a letter requesting
that defendants correct the information provided to the credit bureaus that Love alleges was
inaccurate. (Dkt. 9, ¶ 38; Ex. H). Ultimately, Love corrected the information with the credit bureaus.
To survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint
must contain sufficient factual allegations to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 62, 678 (2009), and raises the right to relief above a speculative level, Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). When reviewing a motion to dismiss, the court must
accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s
favor. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Pisciota v. Old Nat. Bancorp, 499 F.3d 629, 633 (7th
Cir. 2007). A plaintiff can plead himself out of court by alleging facts that defeat the claim. Atkins v.
City of Chicago, 631 F.3d 823, 832 (7th Cir. 2011).
The Village of Addison and the defendant village attorney, Freeman, and his firm filed
separate motions to dismiss. Both motions provide the same two bases for dismissal and thus this
Court will consider the motions together. 1 Defendants first argue that Love’s claims under the
FDCPA are not cognizable because municipal fines are not debts covered by the statute.
Defendants’ second argument is that the FCRA does not provide for a private right of action. This
Court first will address the FCRA argument.
In Counts VI-IX, Love alleges violations of Section 623(a)(2) of the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. §
1681s-2(a)(2). Section 1681s-2(a)(2) sets for the duty of furnishers of information to provide
accurate information. However, section 1681s-2(c) expressly states that the private rights of action
available under section 1681n and 1681o do not apply to section 1681s-2(a)(2) and section 1681s2(d) limits enforcement to state and federal agencies. Therefore, Love cannot state a cognizable
claim against defendants for violations of this provision; enforcement of section 1681s-2(a)(2) is the
exclusive realm of state and federal agencies. Indeed, Love does not provide any response to this
argument. Accordingly, this Court dismisses Counts VI-IX of the complaint.
In Counts I-V, Love alleges violations of the FDCPA for attempts by Addison and Freeman
on behalf of the Village to collect the alleged unpaid parking tickets. These Counts also fail to
present cognizable claims. In Gulley v. Markoff & Krasny, 664 F.3d 1073, 1075 (7th Cir. 2011), the
court held that municipal fines are not “debts” within the meaning FDCPA. The Seventh Circuit has
explained the distinction between consumer debt and municipal fines and reiterates that “efforts to
collect on obligations that are created by other kinds of legal authorities, like tort law or traffic
regulations, are not covered by the FDCPA.” Franklin v. Parking Revenue Recovery Servs., Inc., 832 F.3d
741, 744 (7th Cir. 2016).
Plaintiff did not file a response to the motion filed by Freeman and his firm, Robbins Schwarz.
There is no dispute here that both the Village of Addison and its attorney sought to collect
on municipal fines stemming from parking infractions. Love attached the various Notices and letters
stating that the fines were for unpaid parking citations. The Complaint contains specific allegations
referencing the tickets by number. Therefore, neither Addison nor its attorney was seeking to collect
“debts” within the meaning of the FDCPA. This Court finds that Counts I-V fail to state a
cognizable claim under the FDCPA and must be dismissed with prejudice.
Based on the foregoing discussion, this Court grants defendants’ motions to dismiss the
complaint in its entirety with prejudice [13, 28].
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: March 17, 2017
SHARON JOHNSON COLEMAN
United States District Judge
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