Hageman v. Barton, No. 14-3665 (8th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against Defendants Barton, Weiss, and CACi, raising claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692d-f, alleging misrepresentations along with certain claims for interest and costs. The court concluded that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not apply in this case where plaintiff seeks relief from neither a Missouri judgment nor an Illinois garnishment order. Rather, plaintiff alleges statutory violations seeking statutory penalties based on Barton’s actions in the process of obtaining the judgment and order. The court further concluded that, because equitable tolling does not apply, all of plaintiff’s FDCPA claims directed towards conduct that preceded the Illinois proceedings are time barred. Because Barton's use of the Illinois courts did not amount to an action "against the consumer," those actions were not subject to the FDCPA's venue restriction. The court affirmed as to these claims. The court reversed the district court's dismissal of claims that allege independent FDCPA violations in the Illinois proceedings related to the identity of Barton’s client and the amounts of interests and costs asserted; the court declined at the pleading stage of this case to apply state-law preclusion principles to these remaining claims due to the absence of briefing and the parties’ failure to clearly identify the state law applied by the Illinois court; and because federal claims remain, the court reversed the discretionary dismissal of the state law claims and remanded for further proceedings.
Court Description: Melloy, Author, with Murphy and Smith, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In his complaint plaintiff does not seek relief from either the underlying Missouri judgment or the Illinois garnishment order but, rather, alleges statutory violations seeking statutory penalties based on defendant's actions in the process of obtaining the judgment and the garnishment order,and the Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not apply; because equitable tolling does not apply, all of plaintiff's Fair Debt Collection Practces Act claims directed towards conduct that preceded the Illinois garnishment proceedings are time barred; 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1692i's venue restriction does not apply to the simple act of registering a foreign judgment in Illinois or to proceedings pursuant to Illinois law to obtain a garnishment order against a debtor's employer; however, the district court erred in dismissing claims that allege independent violations in the Illinois action related to the identity of defendant's client and the amounts of interest and costs asserted; remanded for further proceedings, including proceedings on the discretionary dismissal of plaintiff's state law claims.