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.