Devitt v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC
ORDER granting 11 Motion to Remand to State Court. Ordered by Judge Allyne R. Ross on 5/9/2022. (Attachments: # 1 Opinion & Order in Cavazzini v. MRS Assocs., No. 21-CV-5087 (ARR)) (Willingham, Alexandra)
Case 2:21-cv-05657-ARR-ARL Document 24 Filed 05/09/22 Page 1 of 3 PageID #: 156
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
-againstPORTFOLIO RECOVERY ASSOCIATES, LLC,
21-CV-5657 (ARR) (ARL)
NOT FOR ELECTRONIC
OR PRINT PUBLICATION
ROSS, United States District Judge:
Plaintiff, Thomas Devitt, originally brought this action in the District Court, Nassau
County, alleging violations of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15
U.S.C. §§ 1692e, 1692e(2)(A), and 1692e(10), and New York General Business Law
(“NYGBL”) § 349. Defendant Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC (“PRA”) removed the action
to this Court. Not. Removal, ECF No. 1. Now before the Court is plaintiff’s motion to remand
the action to state court. See Not. Mot. Remand, ECF No. 11; Mem. Supp. Not. Mot. Remand,
ECF No. 12. For the reasons stated below, I grant plaintiff’s motion.
Plaintiff alleges defendant “utilize[d] a third-party vendor” to prepare and mail written
correspondence that “conveyed information” regarding, inter alia, “[p]laintiff’s status as a
debtor, the precise amount of the alleged Debt, [and] the entity to which [p]laintiff allegedly
owed the debt.” Compl. ¶¶ 64–67. Plaintiff alleges that he “never consented to [d]efendant’s
communication with the third-party vendor” concerning “the alleged debt” or “[p]laintiff’s
personal and/or confidential information.” Id. ¶¶ 94–95. Plaintiff further alleges that
“[d]efendant’s allegation that [p]laintiff owed the Claimed Amount is a false, deceptive, and/or
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misleading representation made in connection with the collection of the alleged Debt in violation
of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e.” Id. ¶ 126. For the reasons set forth in Cavazzini v. MRS Assocs., No. 21CV-5087 (ARR), 2021 WL 5770273 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 06, 2021) (attached), plaintiff’s allegations
do not allege any injury in fact meriting Article III standing. See also In re FDCPA Mailing
Vendor Cases, Nos. 21-CV-2312, 21-CV-2587, 21-CV-3002, 21-CV-3383, 21-CV-3434 & 21-CV3462 (GRB), 2021 WL 3160794, at *5–7 (E.D.N.Y. July 23, 2021) (same). Thus, this Court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction over this matter, and it must be remanded to state court. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c) (“In any case removed from a state court,” “[i]f at any time before final judgment[,] it
appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.”).
Defendant argues that if plaintiff lacks standing in federal court, plaintiff must lack
standing in New York state court as well. Opp. Mot. Remand 6–7. Although New York law also
requires a plaintiff to allege an injury in fact, the case or controversy requirement on which the
federal standing rule is grounded “has no analogue in the [New York] State Constitution.” Soc’y
of Plastics Indus., Inc. v. Cty. of Suffolk, 573 N.E.2d 1034, 1040 (N.Y. 1991); see also Manning v.
Pioneer Savs. Bank, 55 N.Y.S.3d 587, 589 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2016) (same); Cortlandt St. Recovery
Corp. v. Hellas Telecomms., S.à.r.l., 996 N.Y.S.3d 476, 485 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2014) (same), aff’d as
modified sub nom. Cortlandt St. Recovery Corp. v. Hellas Telecomms., S.D.r.l., 37 N.Y.S.3d 505,
507–08 (N.Y. App. Div. 2016). Indeed, one of the cases cited by defendant acknowledges that,
because New York courts are not bound by the federal case or controversy standard, New York’s
standing requirements are not as “strong” as the federal requirements. See Manning, 55 N.Y.S.3d
at 593. Moreover, no New York court has yet cited Transunion LLC v. Ramirez, 141 S. Ct. 2190,
much less adopted its rule that to establish a concrete injury supporting standing for a federal
statutory claim, plaintiffs must identify a common-law analogue for their asserted injury. In any
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event, it would be inappropriate for this Court to decide the scope of New York’s law on
standing. See Luisi v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, No. 21-CV-5725 (GRB), slip op.
(E.D.N.Y. Nov. 16, 2021) (““It is not the province of this Court to decide the scope of New York's
law on standing.”). Therefore—and in the absence of further guidance post-Transunion—there is
no compelling reason to doubt that New York state courts will have jurisdiction over both
plaintiff’s FDCPA and NYGBL claims. 1 See id. (rejecting similar arguments against remand).
For these reasons, the matter is hereby remanded to the District Court, Nassau County.
The clerk is directed to close the case.
Allyne R. Ross
United States District Judge
May 9, 2022
Brooklyn, New York
Indeed, the authorities cited by defendant are of little help because in both cases the court found
the plaintiff lacked standing for reasons unrelated to the issue here. See Manning, 55 N.Y.S.3d
593 (finding no standing where plaintiffs merely alleged “speculative future risks that [the]
[p]laintiffs [would] be victims of identity theft”); Cortlandt St. Recovery Corp., 996 N.Y.S.3d at
486 (finding no standing where the plaintiff’s claim was based on an assignment that was merely
for a right of collection, not of title to the claims, and therefore did not confer a right to sue).
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