Bunce v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 20 Motion to Consolidate Cases. Signed by Chief Judge J. Thomas Marten on 7/23/2014. (smg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
Case No. 14-2149-JTM
Portfolio Recovery Associates,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the court on the Motion to Consolidate or Transfer (Dkt. 20)
filed by defendant Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA). The defendant seeks to consolidate
this action with six other Truth in Lending Act lawsuits (Case Nos. 14-02174-JAR;
14-02180-RDR; 14-02192-EFM; 14-02214-CM; 14-02216-RDR; 14-02266-JWL) filed against
PRA by various debtors.
The plaintiffs agree to the consolidation of six of the cases. However, they do not
agree to consolidating Bunce. That case, they stress, is not “identical to the other six,”
because it includes a claim that PRA charged interest at the statutory rate. At one point in
their response to the motion, the plaintiffs state that they “do not necessarily object to the
consolidation” so long as the court does not render “a single opinion [which] does not
address the difference in the pleadings.” (Dkt. 21 at 1). Later in the same pleading, the
plaintiffs directly object to such consolidation. (Id. at 3).
The court grants the motion to consolidate all seven cases. Plaintiffs concede that the
other six cases have “have common questions of law and fact with Bunce.” (Id. at 2).
Fed.R.Civ.Pr. 42(a) permits consolidate in the event of such common questions of law or
fact. However, the Rule “does not require identical factual scenarios, only common issues
of fact.” Munjak v. Signator Investors, No. 02-2108-CM, 2003 WL 232506939, *2 (D. Kan.
2003). “Differences in causes of action, defendants, or the class period do not render
consolidation inappropriate if the cases present sufficiently common questions of fact and
law, and the differences do not outweigh the interests of judicial economy served by
consolidation.” Kaplan v. Gelfond, 240 F.R.D. 88, 91 (S.D.N.Y. 2007).
The court has broad discretion to deciding whether to consolidate actions. Johnson
v. Celotex Corp., 899 F.2d 1281, 1284–85 (2d Cir.1990). Here, consolidation for all purposes
is appropriate to serve the interests of judicial economy, avoiding unnecessary costs or
delay. The relatively minor distinction relating to the statutory interest claim in Bunce is
insufficient to outweigh this interest.
IT IS ACCORDINGLY ORDERED this 23rd day of July, 2014, that PRA’s motion to
consolidate (Dkt. 20) is hereby granted.
s/ J. Thomas Marten
J. THOMAS MARTEN, JUDGE
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