United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION (GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS FOR
LACK OF JURISDICTION)
E. Hudson United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant CAB Collection
Agency, Inc.'s ("Defendant") Motion to Dismiss
for Lack of Jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1). (ECF No. 6.)
April 4, 2017, Plaintiff Keonte Gathers ("Plaintiff)
filed her Complaint alleging that Defendant violated 15
U.S.C. § 1692, etseq., commonly known as the
Fair Debt Collections Practices Act ("FDCPA"). (ECF
No. 1.) On April 27, 2017, Defendant filed the present Motion
contending that Plaintiff failed to allege any facts
sufficient to satisfy the injury-in-fact requirement to
establish Article III standing. All parties have filed
memoranda supporting their respective positions. (ECF Nos. 7,
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 will grant Defendant's
Motion and will dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint without
begins her 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 Charleston Radiologists, PA,
was the original creditor. (Id. ¶¶ 8, 9.)
Though it is unclear when, at some point Defendant reported
the debt on Plaintiffs credit report. (Id. ¶
sent a letter to Defendant on December 6, 2016, disputing the
debt. (Id. ¶ 12.) Approximately two months
later, on February 16, 2017, Plaintiff examined her credit
report and found that Defendant had re-reported the debt, but
had not listed it as being "disputed by consumer."
(Id. ¶ 13.) As a result, Plaintiff summarily
alleges that she "has been damaged" and that she
"is entitled to damages in accordance with the
FDCPA." (Id. ¶¶ 14, 17.)
at no point in her Complaint does Plaintiff specify
how she 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. III, § 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
Lexmark Int'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,
477 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, she 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 Worth, 422 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, not
conjectural or hypothetical.'" Id. at 1548
(citing Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560).
satisfy the particularization requirement, the plaintiff
"must allege a distinct and palpable injury to
himself." Worth, 422 U.S. at 501 (citations
omitted). The injury must "affect the plaintiff in a
personal and individual way." Lujan, 504 U.S.
at 560 n.l. Claims asserting '"generalized
grievance[s]' shared in substantially equal measure by
all or a large class of citizens ... normally do[ ] ...