United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION (DISMISSING CASE FOR LACK OF
E. Hudson United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on its own initiative. On February
20, 2017, Plaintiff Oliver Holmes ("Plaintiff) filed his
Complaint alleging that Defendant Contract Callers, Inc.
("Defendant") violated 15 U.S.C. § 1692,
etseg., commonly known as the Fair Debt Collections
Practices Act ("FDCPA"). (ECF No. 1.)
March 17, 2017, Defendant filed an Answer to the Complaint.
(ECF No. 3.) As an affirmative defense, Defendant asserted
that Plaintiff lacks standing to bring this action.
(Id. at 3.) Because this called into question
subject-matter jurisdiction, the Court ordered the parties to
submit memoranda addressing Plaintiffs standing. (ECF No. 6.)
to the Court's Order, Defendant filed a memorandum on May
15, 2017, arguing that this Court lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction because Plaintiff has suffered no injury and
thus has no standing. (ECF No. 13.) In Plaintiffs response,
filed on May 28, 2017, he argues that there are
"sufficient facts to prove particularized and concrete
injuries to satisfy Article III standing." (ECF No. 14,
Court will dispense with oral argument because the facts and
legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials
before it, and oral argument would not materially aid in the
decisional process. E.D. Va. Local Civ. R. 7(J).
reasons stated herein, the Court finds that it lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction and therefore will dismiss
Plaintiffs Complaint without prejudice.
begins his one-count Complaint by asserting that "[o]n
information and belief, on a date better known to Defendant,
Defendant began collection activities on an alleged consumer
debt from the Plaintiff." (Compl. ¶ 7.) The
Complaint notes that this alleged debt was incurred as a
financial obligation that was primarily for personal, family
or household purposes, and that "10 Dominion Resources,
Inc." was the original creditor. (Id. ¶
8.) Though it is unclear when, at some point Defendant
reported the debt on Plaintiffs credit report. (Id.
sent a letter to Defendant on September 15, 2016, disputing
the debt. (Id. ¶ 11.) Approximately two and a
half months later, on November 28, 2016, Plaintiff examined
his credit report and found that Defendant had re-reported
the debt, but had not listed it as being "disputed by
consumer." (Id. ¶ 12.) As a result,
Plaintiff summarily alleges that he "has been
damaged" and that he "is entitled to damages in
accordance with the FDCPA." (Id. ¶¶
at no point in his Complaint does Plaintiff specify
how he has allegedly been damaged.
our Constitution divides the Federal Government into three
discrete branches, each with specifically defined powers. As
such, it is well settled that judicial power is limited to
the extent that federal courts may exercise jurisdiction only
over "cases" and "controversies." U.S.
Const, art. Ill. § 2; Lujan v. Defenders of
Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 559 (1992). Thus, subject-matter
jurisdiction requires a justiciable case or controversy
within the meaning of Article III of the United States
Constitution. See Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737,
750-51 (1984), abrogated on other grounds by
LexmarkInt'l, Inc. v. Static Control Components,
Inc., 134 S.Ct. 1377 (2014). Standing constitutes one
component of justiciability. Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560.
Whether a plaintiff has standing presents a "threshold
question in every federal case, determining the power of the
court to entertain the suit." Warth v. Seldin,
422 U.S. 490, 498 (1975). "The objection that a
federal court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction may be raised
by a party, or by a court on its own initiative, at any stage
in the litigation." Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp.,
546 U.S. 500, 506 (2006) (internal citation omitted).
Supreme Court has established that the "irreducible
constitutional minimum" of standing includes three
elements: (1) an injury-in-fact; (2) a causal connection
between the injury and the alleged misconduct; and (3) a
likelihood that the injury will be redressed by a favorable
decision. Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560-61 (citations and quotation
marks omitted). Because Plaintiff seeks to invoke this
Court's jurisdiction, he bears the burden of establishing
all three elements. Id. at 561. "Where, as
here, a case is at the pleading stage, the plaintiff must
'clearly ... allege facts demonstrating' each
element." Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct.
1540, 1547 (2016), as revised (May 24, 2016) (quoting Warth,
Ml U.S. at 518).
Spokeo, the Supreme Court reiterated the basic tenets of the
standing doctrine. Id. at 1547. It noted that to
satisfy the injury-in-fact requirement, a plaintiff must show
"'an invasion of a legally protected interest'
that is 'concrete and particularized' and 'actual
and imminent, ...