United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
TODD A. LEVY, Plaintiff,
AMERICAN MEDICAL COLLECTIONS BUREAU, INC., et al., Defendants.
C. CACHERIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss [Dkt. 4]
filed by Defendants American Medical Collections Bureau, Inc.
and Inova Health System Foundation. For the reasons that
follow, the Court will grant the Motion and permit Plaintiff
seven days to file an Amended Complaint against Inova Health
is a resident of Prince William County, Virginia. On July 31,
2015, Plaintiff received a debt collection letter from an
entity identifying itself as American Medical Collection
Bureau, Inc., or AMCB. The letter advised Plaintiff of his
right to contest the debt within 30 days, and requested that
Plaintiff “remit payment in fully [sic] today” to
“avoid further action.”
contested the amount of the debt, and the balance was
adjusted accordingly. Plaintiff then received a second letter
dated August 31, 2015, reflecting the new balance and stating
that the amount due “must be remitted promptly to our
office or our client will find it necessary to take further
action.” On October 1, 2015, Plaintiff received a third
letter demanding payment of the outstanding debt. In a fourth
and “final” notice sent November 2, 2015, AMCB
advised Plaintiff that “any further delay in
paying” the amount owed “may result in our
collection agency referring this account to an
28, 2016, Plaintiff filed suit against AMCB and Inova Health
Systems Foundation, alleging that the letters described above
violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692 et seq.
filed the instant Motion to Dismiss on August 31, 2016,
contending that Plaintiff failed to name the proper party.
Defendants allege that AMCB is a trade name employed by Inova
Health Care Services, not a freestanding corporate entity.
Moreover, Inova Health System Foundation is a charitable
foundation maintained by Inova Health Care Services that is
not engaged in debt collection. Accordingly, Defendants argue
that Plaintiff's claims against these two entities should
be dismissed without prejudice to Plaintiff's ability to
bring suit against Inova Health Care Services - presumably
the intended Defendant.
brings this Motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). In reviewing a motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court generally may
not look beyond the four corners of the complaint. See
Goldfarb v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore, 791
F.3d 500, 508 (4th Cir. 2015). As such, it is not clear that
the Court may reach the arguments advanced by Defendant under
Rule 12(b)(6), as they rely on extrinsic evidence.
Court therefore finds it appropriate to consider
Defendant's Motion under Rule 12(b)(1). Defendant's
arguments are directed to “jurisdictional facts”
of the kind properly considered under that Rule. See 24th
Senatorial Dist. Republican Comm. v. Alcorn, 820 F.3d
624, 629 (4th Cir. 2016). Moreover, “[a] federal court
has an independent obligation to assess its subject-matter
jurisdiction, ” and must reach the issue sua
sponte if necessary. Constantine v. Rectors &
Visitors of George Mason Univ., 411 F.3d 474, 479-80
(4th Cir. 2005). The Court finds it necessary to do so here.
As such, the Court may look beyond the Complaint to evaluate
the jurisdictional facts brought to light in Defendants'
Motion and conceded by Plaintiff. See 24th Senatorial
Dist. Republican Comm., 820 F.3d at 629.
argue that Plaintiff's Complaint must be dismissed
because it names the wrong parties.
does not dispute that he made such a mistake. Rather, he
admits that he intended to sue Inova Health Care Services,
not its charitable foundation, and requests leave to file an
amended complaint making that substitution.
argues, however, that the Court should deny Defendant's
Motion as to his claims against AMCB, contending that AMCB
“can be sued in its own name.” Opp. [Dkt. 7] at
3. It is unclear what, if ...