Home   Federal Cases   State Cases   News   Search   Cart   Log In 
 
Search 591,341 Cases and Articles on TJV!
 
Federal Case Categories







Payne v Progressive Financial Services, Incorporated

Case No. 13-10381 (C.A. 5, Apr. 7, 2014)

Nicole Payne appeals the district court’s dismissal of her suit against Progressive Financial Services, Inc. (“Progressive”). The court dismissed the suit for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction on the ground that Progressive’s unaccepted offer of judgment rendered Payne’s claims moot. For the reasons below, we reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I.



Payne filed this suit against Progressive for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), the Texas Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Payne alleged that Progressive made numerous harassing phone calls, called her at inconvenient times, and did not properly identify itself as a debt collector. On her FDCPA claims, Payne requested statutory damages of $1,000, actual damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.

After filing an answer, Progressive served Payne with a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 offer of judgment. Progressive offered entry of judgment against itself in the amount of $1,001 for damages of any kind, plus attorneys’ fees and costs incurred as of the date of the offer and to be determined by agreement or court order. The offer also stated that it would expire fourteen days after service. Payne did not respond to the offer.

Progressive moved for dismissal under Rules 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(1). The district court denied Progressive’s 12(b)(6) challenge on the ground that Progressive waived the defense of failure to state a claim by failing to raise the defense before filing or in its answer. The district court, however, granted Progressive’s 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The court found that Progressive’s unaccepted offer rendered Payne’s FDCPA claims moot because Progressive’s offer equaled or exceeded the amount that Payne was entitled to recover on her FDCPA claims. The court reasoned that Payne was not entitled to actual damages because she failed to plead sufficient facts to support a claim for actual damages in her complaint. After dismissing Payne’s federal claims as moot, the court then declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over her state-law claims and dismissed the case without prejudice. Payne timely appealed.
 

 

Judge(s): Stephen Higginson
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
Related Categories: Civil Procedure , Finance / Banking
 
Circuit Court Judge(s)
Harold DeMoss
Stephen Higginson
Jerry Smith

 

CUSTOM EMAIL ALERTS!

With your FREE registration, you can select an unlimited number of Alert categories for daily, weekly or monthly deliveries of the Federal and State Cases most relevant
to you!

Click Here to sign up.

 



Click the maroon box above for a formatted PDF of the decision.
regal collections, 385 f.3d 337, 340 (3d cir. 2004) (“an offer of complete relief will generally fifth circuit fees and costs incurred as of the date of the offer and to be determined by same standard as the district court. anr pipeline co. v. la. tax comm’n, 646 case: 13-10381 document: 00512586885 page: 3 date filed: 04/07/2014 personal stake in the outcome of the action or makes it “impossible for the court against itself in the amount of $1,001 for damages of any kind, plus attorneys’ motion for summary judgment. progressive could have, and still can, pursue merits-based no. 13-10381 this analysis confuses two separate inquiries: (1) the merits, whether i. no. 13-10381 payne was not entitled to actual damages because she failed to plead sufficient 802 f.2d 790, 793 (5th cir. 1986) (“if federal jurisdiction turned on the success cir. 2013) (“[a]n unaccepted rule 68 offer that would fully satisfy a plaintiff’s claim is of subject-matter jurisdiction under rule 12(b)(1). we review a grant of a no. 13-10381 appeal from the united states district court proper mechanism to challenge the merits of payne’s claims.2 higginson, circuit judge: damages pursuant to 15 u.s.c. § 1692k(a)(1). payne requested actual attorneys’ fees, and costs. her claim for actual damages in her complaint. progressive moved for dismissal under rules 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(1). the federal courts to actual cases and controversies. u.s. const. art. iii, § 2, cl. 1. payne was entitled to recover on her fdcpa claims. the court reasoned that the merits.”). case: 13-10381 document: 00512586885 page: 4 date filed: 04/07/2014 failure to state a proper cause of action calls for a judgment on the claims, payne requested statutory damages of $1,000, actual damages, no. 13-10381 agreement or court order. the offer also stated that it would expire fourteen merits and not for dismissal for want of jurisdiction. this clause requires that parties seeking to invoke federal-court jurisdiction address payne’s alternative argument that her fdcpa claims are not moot because md., inc. v. pub. serv. comm’n of md., 535 u.s. 635, 642-43 (2008) (“it is firmly nicole payne, nicole payne appeals the district court’s dismissal of her suit against co. v. citizens for better env’t, 523 u.s. 83, 89 (1998))); eubanks v. mccotter, the litigation. id. if an intervening circumstance deprives a plaintiff of a the court found that progressive’s unaccepted offer rendered payne’s fdcpa the plaintiff’s full demand for relief—does not render the plaintiff’s claims v. be dismissed as moot. chafin v. chafin, — u.s. —, 133 s. ct. 1017, 1023 (2013) of a plaintiff’s federal cause of action, no such case could ever be dismissed on claims moot because progressive’s offer equaled or exceeded the amount that in the outcome of the case. genesis healthcare corp. v. symczyk, — u.s. —, 2 the federal rules offer defendants a number of alternatives to challenge the supplemental jurisdiction over her state-law claims and dismissed the case challenges. progressive can also move for costs under rule 68(d) if payne ultimately obtains outcome of the action, the court is capable of granting effectual relief outside is sufficient to render the claim moot, we do not reach this question.”). we also need not without prejudice. payne timely appealed. progressive contends, and the district court agreed, that the offer of prospects of success are [] not pertinent to the mootness inquiry.”); verizon insufficient to render the claim moot.”). see also genesis, 133 s. ct. at 1528-29 (“while the sufficiency of a plaintiff’s case prior to trial, including a rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for the power to reach the merits of payne’s claim. as the supreme court has defendant – appellee unaccepted offer of judgment rendered payne’s claims moot. for the reasons april 7, 2014 debt collection practices act (“fdcpa”), the texas debt collection practices civil procedure 68 offer of judgment. progressive offered entry of judgment 3 judgment mooted payne’s fdcpa claims because it offered all relief to which below, we reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion. progressive made numerous harassing phone calls, called her at inconvenient defendant’s] argument confuses mootness with the merits. . . . [a plaintiff’s] payne sufficiently stated a claim; and (2) jurisdiction, whether the court has progressive waived the defense of failure to state a claim by failing to raise the district court denied progressive’s 12(b)(6) challenge on the ground that plaintiff – appellant dismissal and remand the case for proceedings consistent with this opinion. outcome of the litigation.”), and warren v. sessoms & rogers, p.a., 676 f.3d 365, 371 (4th legitimate or plausible. the terms of the offer, and a live controversy remains. see hrivnak, 719 f.3d after filing an answer, progressive served payne with a federal rule of plaintiff] could actually recover. for it is well settled that the case: 13-10381 document: 00512586885 page: 5 date filed: 04/07/2014 moot the plaintiff’s claim, as at that point the plaintiff retains no personal interest in the bell v. hood, 327 u.s. 678, 682 (1946); see also chafin, 133 s. ct. at 1024 (“[the 133 s. ct. 1523, 1528 (2013). a live controversy must exist at every stage of case. to render a decision on whether payne is entitled to a particular type of to grant any effectual relief whatever to the prevailing party,” the case must filed offer the full relief requested, the plaintiff maintains a personal stake in the in the united states court of appeals cause of action does not implicate subject-matter jurisdiction.” (quoting steel progressive financial services, incorporated, an incomplete offer of judgment—that is, one that does not offer to meet demonstrate that they have a “legally cognizable interest” or “personal stake” progressive financial services, inc. (“progressive”). the court dismissed the damages in five separate paragraphs of her complaint. progressive’s rule 68 lyle w. cayce moot.1 cir. 2012) (same), with diaz v. first am. home buyers prot. corp., 732 f.3d 948, 950 (9th a judgment for less than progressive’s offer. what progressive cannot do is what it attempts iii. offer of judgment did not offer to meet payne’s full demand for relief because it no. 13-10381 under the fdcpa, an individual claimant is eligible to recover actual progressive’s 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. judgment rendered payne’s fdcpa claims moot, requiring dismissal for lack article iii of the united states constitution limits the jurisdiction of moot. see hrivnak v. nco portfolio mgmt., inc., 719 f.3d 564, 567-70 (6th cir. at 567-68; zinni, 692 f.3d at 1167-68. facts to support a claim for actual damages in her complaint. after dismissing whether payne’s allegations state a plausible claim for actual damages progressive did not offer attorneys’ fees and costs incurred after the date of the offer. jurisdiction . . . is not defeated . . . by the possibility that the relief—in this case actual damages—is to decide the merits of the case. a rule did not include actual damages. as a result, progressive’s offer left a live 2 for the northern district of texas to do here: dispose of all of payne’s claims by offering to settle only those claims it deems because progressive’s incomplete offer of judgment did not render entitled to actual damages because she did not plead sufficient facts to support united states court of appeals case: 13-10381 document: 00512586885 page: 2 date filed: 04/07/2014 4 established in our cases that the absence of a valid (as opposed to arguable) the issue on appeal is whether progressive’s unaccepted rule 68 offer of times, and did not properly identify itself as a debt collector. on her fdcpa 1 because we find progressive’s offer incomplete, we need not decide whether a payne’s federal claims as moot, the court then declined to exercise case: 13-10381 document: 00512586885 page: 1 date filed: 04/07/2014 payne filed this suit against progressive for alleged violations of the fair gates v. towery, 430 f.3d 429, 431 (7th cir. 2005). when a defendant does not courts of appeals disagree whether an unaccepted offer that fully satisfies a plaintiff’s claim motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction de novo, applying the averments might fail to state a cause of action on which [the clerk payne was entitled on her claims. progressive reasons that payne is not made clear, these are distinct analyses. act, and the texas deceptive trade practices act. payne alleged that payne’s fdcpa claims moot, we reverse the district court’s order of 2013); zinni v. er solutions, inc., 692 f.3d 1162, 1167-68 (11th cir. 2012); (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 5 failure to state a claim, a rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings, and a rule 56 f.3d 940, 946 (5th cir. 2011). suit for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction on the ground that progressive’s 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction is not the ii. days after service. payne did not respond to the offer. outcome of the action, and the offer did not render payne’s fdcpa claims controversy for the court to resolve, payne maintained a personal stake in the is an inquiry different from whether a federal court has jurisdiction to hear the defense before filing or in its answer. the district court, however, granted before smith, demoss, and higginson, circuit judges. complete offer of judgment would have rendered payne’s claims moot. compare weiss v. for the fifth circuit


All Content © 2007-2012 The Judicial View, L.L.C. All Right Reserved.
About The Judicial View ®  | Privacy Policy   |  Terms of Use   |  Contact Us  |  Advertise