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Case 5:13-cv-00869-JGB-DTB Document 1 Filed 05/10/13 Page 1 of 10 Page ID #:1

1 Samuel Henderson (SBN: 279717)

[email protected]

2 2182 El Camino Real, Suite 202

Oceanside, CA, 92054

3 (760) 575-4594
(760) 688-3732

5 Attorney for Plaintiff,

Stephen Brown

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

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STEPHEN BROWN

Plaintiff,

vs.

15. CALIFORNIA BUSINESS BUREAU,

INC.

Defendant.

Civil Action No. fj)C.J/3-f(fi-'J6/5
{J)f10
COMPLAINT

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

(Unlawful Debt Collection Practices,
telephone Consumer Protection Act
violations)

COMPLAINT

I. INTRODUCTION

1.

This is an action for damages brought by an individual consumer for

Defendant's violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et

seq. (hereinafter "FDCP A") and the California Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection

Practices Act, Cal Civ. Code. § 1788, et seq. (hereinafter "RFDCPA") that prohibits

COMPLAINT

Case 5:13-cv-00869-JGB-DTB Document 1 Filed 05/10/13 Page 2 of 10 Page ID #:2

1 debt collectors from engaging in abusive, deceptive, and unfair practices. A claim is

2 also brought for Defendant's violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47

3 U.S.C. § 227, (hereinafter "TCPA").

4

5

II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

2.

Jurisdiction of this Court arises under 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(d), 28 U.S.C. §

6 13 31, and supplemental jurisdiction exists for the state law claims pursuant to 28

7 U.S.C. § 1367.

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3.

Venue in this judicial district is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b),

in that a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred

10

in this judicial district. Venue is also proper in this judicial district pursuant to 15

11 U.S.C. § 1692k(d) in that Defendants transact business in this judicial district and the

12 violations of the FDCP A complained of occurred in this judicial district.

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14

15

4.

5.

III. PARTIES

Plaintiff, Stephen Brown, is a natural person residing in this district.

Defendant, California Business Bureau, Inc. (hereinafter "Defendant") is

16 an active corporation engaged in the business of collecting debts in this state with its

17 principal place ofbusiness located at 1711 S. Mountain Ave., Monrovia California

18 91017. The principal purpose of Defendant is the collection of debts using the mails

19 and telephone, and Defendant regularly attempts to collect debts alleged to be due

20 another.

21

6.

Defendant is a "debt collector" as defined by the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. §

22 1692a(6) and the RFDCPA, CAL. Crv. CODE§ 1788.2.

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IV. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

7.

On or about September 25, 2012, Defendant called Plaintiff with regards

to an alleged medical debt. Plaintiff disputed the debt and requested that they verify

the debt as he did not recognize it. Upon being asked to confirm Plaintiffs address

27 Plaintiff informed them that the address they had was incorrect, even though he had

28

lived at his current residence for many years.

2

COMPLAINT

Case 5:13-cv-00869-JGB-DTB Document 1 Filed 05/10/13 Page 3 of 10 Page ID #:3

1

8.

On a letter dated September 26, 2012, Defendant sent Plaintiff

2 documents in an attempt to verifY the debt. Upon information and belief, Defendant

3 did not properly verify the alleged debt.

4

9.

The September 26, 2012letter did not inform Plaintiff of his rights in

5 accordance with 15 U.S.C. § 1692g or CAL CIV. CODE§ 1812.700.

6

10.

On or about October 5, 2012, Plaintiff sent Defendant a letter reiterating

7 that the debt was disputed and that all communications should take place via U.S.

8 mail.

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11.

During the week of October 9, 2012 Defendant made multiple calls on

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this alleged debt, including to Plaintiffs wife.

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12.

On or about October 15' 2012 Plaintiff sent Defendant another letter with

the same contents as the October 5, 2012 letter.

13.

On October 17, 2012 Defendant placed three calls, one to Plaintiffs

14 home, one to Plaintiffs cell phone, and one to Plaintiffs wife's work place.

15 Defendant also obtained a credit report of Plaintiffs wife, even though the alleged

16 debt happened before their marriage. Upon information and belief, Defendant used

17 an auto-dialer to make these calls.

18

. 14.

Plaintiff received voice messages from Defendant on or about October

19 18, October 19, October 25, and November 1 of2012 regarding this alleged debt.

20

15.

Plaintiff received two collection letters from Defendant after requesting

21 verification of the debt. The dates on the letters were October 8, 2012 and October

22 22, 2012.

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16.

Upon information and belief, Defendant's actions were willful and that

24 Defendant did not maintain procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such

25 violation.

26 V. FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF- FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES

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ACT

3

COMPLAINT

Case 5:13-cv-00869-JGB-DTB Document 1 Filed 05/10/13 Page 4 of 10 Page ID #:4

1

17.

Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs

2 one through sixteen above.

3

18.

Plaintiff is a "consumer" as that term is defined by the FDCP A, 15

4 U.S.C. § 1692a(3).

5

19.

Defendant, CBB, is a "debt collector" as that term is defined by the

6 FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6).

7

20.

The financial obligation alleged to be owed by Plaintiff is a "debt" as

8 that term is defined by the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(5).

9

21.

Defendant violated the FDCP A. Defendant's violations include, but are

10 not limited to, the following:

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a. Defendant violated 15 U.S.C. § 1692g by failing to provide Plaintiff

with the mandatory notification of consumer rights under the FDCPA .

b. Defendant violated 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(b) by failing to provide

verification of the debt and continuing its collection efforts after

Plaintiff had disputed the debt.

c. Defendant violated 16 U.S.C. § 1692c(a) and 1692d by repeatedly

calling after Plaintiff informed Defendant not to call.

d. Defendant violated 15 U.S.C. § 1692fby violating 47 U.S.C. § 227 as

alleged in the third claim for relief.

22.

As a result, Plaintiff suffered damages.

VI. SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF- ROSENTHAL FAIR DEBT

COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT

23.

Plaintiff brings the second claim for relief against Defendants under the

24 Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("RFDCPA"), California Civil Code §

25 1788 et seq.

26

24.

Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs

27 one through twenty-two above.

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4

COMPLAINT

Case 5:13-cv-00869-JGB-DTB Document 1 Filed 05/10/13 Page 5 of 10 Page ID #:5

1

25.

Plaintiff is a "debtor" as that term is defined by the RFDCP A, Cal Civil

2 Code § 1788.2(h).

3

26.

Defendant, CBB, is a "debt collector" as that term is defined by the

4 RFDCP A, Cal. Civil Code § 1788.2( c).

5

27.

The financial obligation alleged to be owed by Plaintiff is a "consumer

6 debt" as that term is defined by the RFDCPA, Cal. Civil Code§ 1788.2(f).

7

28.

Defendants violated the RFDCP A. Defendant's violations include, but

8 are not limit to, the following:

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a. Defendant violated CAL. CIV. CODE§ 1812.700 by not informing

Plaintiff of his rights. In accordance with CAL. CIV. CoDE§ 1812.702

this violation is a violation of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection

Practices Act.

b. Defendant violated CAL. CIV. CODE § 1788.17 by violating the FDCP A

as outlined in the first claim for relief.

29.

As a result, Plaintiff suffered damages.

16 VII. THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF - TELEPHONE CONSUMER

17 PROTECTION ACT

18

30.

Plaintiff repeats andre-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs

19 one through twenty-nine above.

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31.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (hereinafter "TCP A"), 4 7

21 U.S.C. § 227 restricts the making of telephone calls to cellular phones for commercial

22 purpose that are made using "any telephone dialing system or an artificial or

23 prerecorded voice." 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A)(iii).

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32.

Defendant called Plaintiffs cellular phone without Plaintiffs express

25 consent.

33.

Defendant's actions were willful, or in the alternative, negligent.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

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COMPLAINT

Case 5:13-cv-00869-JGB-DTB Document 1 Filed 05/10/13 Page 6 of 10 Page ID #:6

UNITED .STATES DISTRICT COURT, CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

CIVIL COVER SHEET

I (a) PLAINTIFFS (Check box if you are repres~nting yourself D)

Stephen Brown

·

DEFENDANTS

California Business Bureau, Inc.

(b) Attorneys (Firm Name, Address and Telephone Number. If you are representing

Attorneys (If Known)

yourself, provide same.)

Samuel Henderson
Henderson Consumer Law
2182 El Camino Real Suite 202, Oceanside, CA 92054

II. BASIS OF JURISDICTION (Place an X in one box only.)

III. CITIZENSHIP OF PRINCIPAL PARTIES - For Diversity Cases Only

(Place an X in one box for plaintiff and one for defendant.)

D 1 U.S. Government Plaintiff

r£ 3 Federal Question (U.S.
Government Not a Party)

Citizen of This State

D 2 U.S. Government Defendant D 4 Diversity (Indicate Citizenship Citizen of Another State

of Parties in Item III)

r~r DEF

01

Incorporated or Principal Place 04
of Business in this State

PTF r;;:

02 02

Incorporated and Principal Place 05 05
of Business in Another State

Citizen or Subject of a Foreign Country D 3 D 3

Foreign Nation

06 06

IV. ORIGIN (Place an X in one box only.)
~l Original

Proceeding

D 2 Removed from D 3 Remanded from
Appellate Court

State Court

D 4 Reinstated or

D 5 Transferred from another district (specify): D 6 Multi-

D 7 Appeal to District

Reopened

District
Litigation

Judge from
Magistrate Judge

V. REQUESTED IN COMPLAINT:

JURY DEMAND: JYes D No (Check 'Yes' only if demanded in complaint.)

CLASS ACTION under F.R.C.P. 23: DYes

f'!!No

MMONEY DEMANDED IN COMPLAINT:$ 3500

VI. CAUSE OF ACTION (Cite the U.S. Civil Statute under which you are filing and write a brief statement of cause. Do not cite jurisdictional statutes unless diversity.)

15 U.S.C. 1692 and Cal. Civ. Code 1788 (Debt collection violations) 47 U.S.C. § 227 (non-consensual calling of a cellular phone)

VII. NATURE OF SUIT (Place an X in one box only.)

OTHERsT~TUTES

co:r<n'RAd""' . ', '~-

0400 State Reapportionment D 110 Insurance
0410 Antitrust
0430 Banks and Banking
0450 Commerce/ICC

0120 Marine
0130 Miller Act
0140 Negotiable Instrument
0150 Recovery of

Rates/etc.

0460 Deportation
0470 Racketeer Influenced

and Corrupt
Organizations

Overpayment &
Enforcement of
Judgment

0151 Medicare Act
D 152 Recovery of Defaulted

0480 Consumer Credit
0490 Cable/Sat TV
0810 Selective Service
D 850 Securities/Commodities/ D 153 Recovery of

Student Loan (Excl.
Veterans)

D 875 Customer Challenge 12

Exchange
usc 3410
Other Statutory Actions 0190 Other Contract

·Overpayment of
Veteran's Benefits
0160 Stockholders' Suits

~890
0891 Agricultural Act
0 892 Economic Stabilization

0195 Contract Product

Liability
0196 Franchise

Act

Airplane
Airplane Product
Liability

0320 Assault, Libel &

Slander

0330 Fed. Employers'

Liability

0340 Marine
0345 Marine Product

Liability

0350 Motor Vehicle
0355 Motor Vehicle

Product Liability

0360 Other Personal

Injury

0362 Personallnjury-

Mcd Malpractice

0365 Pcrsonallnjury-

Product Liability

. J~EAl>PRoPERTY.
0 893 Environmental Matters
0 894 Energy Allocation Act 0210 Land Condemnation
0 895 Freedom of Info. Act
0900 Appeal of Fee Deterrrii- 0230 Rent Lease & Ejectment 0462 Naturalization

Injury Product
Liability

0220 Foreclosure

:; IMMio~TroN ..

nation Under Equal
Access to Justice

D 950 Constitutionality of

State Statutes

0240 Torts to Land
0245 Tort Product Liability
0290 All Other Real Property

Application

0463 Habeas Corpus-
Alien Detainee

0465 Other Immigration

Actions

0423 Withdrawal28

158
usc 157

dJV:IL:,nGl{T&

0441 Voting
0442 Employment
0443 Housing/ Acco-

mmodations

0444 Welfare

Disabilities -
Employment

0446 American with

Disabilities -
Other

0440 OtherCivi1

Rights

Agrieulture
Other Food&
Drug

0625 Drug Related

0630 Liquor Laws
0640 R.R. & Truck
0 650 Airline Regs
0660 Occupational
Safety /Health

0690 Other

0 730 Labor/Mgmt.
Reporting&
Disclosure Act

0740 Railway Labor Act
0790 Other Labor

Litigation

0791 Empl. Ret. Inc.

,, .. Secu~ty A~~ Ht
UA ..
'f~)'~~ .. 'S
0 820 Copyrights
D 830 Patent
0840 Trademark
······• .. <~fADSE~

(405(g))

0864 SSID Title XVI
0 865 RSI (405(g))

~:l.t8:$UtrS•t
0870 Taxes (U.S. Plaintiff

D 871 IRS-Third Party 26

or Defendant)
usc 7609

·.t.G>Rts
PERSONAL
PROPERTY
0370 Other Fraud
0371 Truth in Lending
0 380 Other Personal

\~*~~::::f' ,.~~.;::~~~:._:~~:;~~-: ~t~~ .. -~<

0710 Fair Labor Standards

0510 Motions to

Act

Vacate Sentence 0720 Labor/Mgmt.
Habeas Corpus

Relations

0530 General

Property Damage 0535 Death Penalty

D 385 Property Damage 0540 Mandamus/

Product Liability

Other

I•· . ~~tl'P'it;Y·\rt. 0550 Civil Rights
0422 Appeal 28 USC 0555 Prison Condition

0 368 Asbestos Personal 0445 American with

Seizure of
Property 21 USC 0861 H!A (!395ft)
881

0862 Black Lung (923)
0 863 DIWC/DIWW

FOR OFFICE USE ONLY:

Case Number: _..._/:::;"""'-"D........_(=-.L.Y-'/L...::3;;;..__--~&_./_...o_3+--------

AFTER COMPLETING THE FRONT SIDE OF FORM CV-71, COMPLETE THE INFORMATION REQUESTED BELOW.

CV-71 (05/08)

CIVIL COVER SHEET

Page 1 of2

Case 5:13-cv-00869-JGB-DTB Document 1 Filed 05/10/13 Page 7 of 10 Page ID #:7

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

CIVIL COVER SHEET

VIII( a). IDENTICAL CASES: Has this action been previously filed in this court and dismissed, remanded or closed? fiNo D Yes

Ifyes, listcasenumber(s): - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
VIII(b ). RELATED CASES: Have any cases been previously filed in this court that are related to the present case? FJ! No D Yes
Ifyes, list case num b e r ( s ) : - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Civil cases are deemed related if a previously filed case and the present case:
(Check all boxes that apply) D A. Arise from the same or closely related transactions, happenings, or events; or

D B. Call for determination of the same or substantially related or similar questions of law and fact; or
DC. For other reasons would entail substantial duplication oflabor if heard by different judges; or
D D. Involve the same patent, trademark or copyright, and one of the factors identified above in a, b or c also is present.

IX. VENUE: (When completing the following information, use an additional sheet if necessary.)

(a) List the County in this District; California County outside of this District; State if other than California; or Foreign Country, in which EACH named plaintiff resides.
D Check here if the government, its agencies or employees is a named plaintiff. If this box is checked, go to item (b).

County in this District:*
San Bernardino County

California County outside of this District; State, if other than California; or Foreign Country

(b) List the County in this District; California County outside of this District; State if other than California; or Foreign Country, in which EACH named defendant resides.
D Check here if the government, its agencies or emQle>yees is a named defendant. Ifthis box is checked, go to item Jc ).

County in this District:*
Los Angeles County

California County outside of this District; State, if other than California; or Foreign Country

(c) List the County in this District; California County outside of this District; State if other than California; or Foreign Country, in which EACH claim arose.

Note· In land condemnation cases use the location of the tract ofland involved

,

County in this District:*
San Bernardino

California County outside of this District; State, if other than California; or Foreign Country

* Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Santa Barbara, or San Luis Obispo Counties
Note: In land condemnation cases use the location of the trac

and involved

Notice to CounseJ/Parties: The CV -71 (JS-44) Civil Cover Sheet and the information contained herein neither replace nor supplement the filing and service of pleadings
or other papers as required by law. This form, approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 1974, is required pursuant to Local Rule 3-1 is not fiied
but is used by the Clerk of the Court for the purpose of statistics, venue and initiating the civil docket sheet. (For more detailed instructions, see separate instructions sheet.)

Key to Statistical codes relating to Social Security Cases:

Nature of Suit Code Abbreviation

Substantive Statement of Cause of Action

861

862

863

863

864

865

HIA

BL

DIWC

DIWW

SSID

RSI

All claims for health insurance benefits (Medicare) under Title 18, Part A, of the Social Security Act, as amended.
Also, include claims by hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, etc., for certification as providers of services under the
program. (42 U.S.C. 1935FF(b))

·

All claims for "Black Lung" benefits under Title 4, Part B, of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969.
(30 U.S.C. 923)

All claims filed by insured workers for disability insurance benefits under Title 2 of the Social Security Act, as
amended; plus all claims filed for child's insurance benefits based on disability. (42 U.S.C. 405(g))

All claims filed for widows or widowers insurance benefits based on disability under Title 2 of the Social Security
Act, as amended. (42 U.S.C. 405(g))

All claims for supplemental security income payments based upon disability filed under Title 16 of the Social Security
Act, as amended.

All claims for retirement (old age) and survivors benefits under Title 2 of the Social Security Act, as amended. ( 42
u.s.c. (g))

CV-71 (05/08)

CIVIL COVER SHEET

Page 2 of2

Case 5:13-cv-00869-JGB-DTB Document 1 Filed 05/10/13 Page 8 of 10 Page ID #:8

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

NOTICE OF ASSIGNMENT TO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE FOR DISCOVERY

This case has been assigned to District Judge Jesus Bernal and the assigned discovery

Magistrate Judge is David T. Bristow.

The case number on all documents filed with the Court should read as follows:

EDCV13- 869 JGB (DTBx)

Pursuant to General Order 05-07 of the United States District Court for the Central
District of California, the Magistrate Judge has been designated to hear discovery related
motions.

All discovery related motions should be noticed on the calendar of the Magistrate Judge

A copy of this notice must be served with the summons and complaint on all defendants (if a removal action is
filed, a copy of this notice must be served on all plaintiffs).

NOTICE TO COUNSEL

Subsequent documents must be filed at the following location:
U Western Division

U Southern Division

312 N. Spring St., Rm. G-8
Los Angeles, CA 90012

411 West Fourth St., Rm. 1-053
Santa Ana, CA 92701-4516

Eastern Division
3470 Twelfth St., Rm. 134
Riverside, CA 92501

Failure to file at the proper location will result in your documents being returned to you.

CV-18 (03/06)

NOTICE OF ASSIGNMENT TO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE FOR DISCOVERY

Case 5:13-cv-00869-JGB-DTB Document 1 Filed 05/10/13 Page 9 of 10 Page ID #:9

Name & Address:
Samuel Henderson
Henderson Consumer Law
2182 El Camino Real Suite 202
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 575-4594

Stephen Brown

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

CASE NUMBER

v.

PLAINTIFF(S)

California Business Bureau, Inc. ·

DEFENDANT(S).

SUMMONS

TO: DEFENDANT(S):

A lawsuit has been filed against you.

Within

21

days after service of this summons on you (not counting the day you received it), you

must serve on the plaintiff an answer to the attached M complaint 0
0 counterclaim 0 cross-claim or a motion under Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The answer
, whose address is
or motion must be served on the plaintiffs attorney, Samuel Henderson
2182 El Camino Real Suite 202, Oceanside, CA 92054
. Ifyou fail to do so,
judgment by default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. You also must file
your answer or motion with the court.

amended complaint

Dated: ___________ _

MAY 1 0 2013

Clerk, U.S. District Court

By /f!4~t~k ~

(Seal of the Court)

[Use 60 days if the defendant is the United States or a United States agency, or is an officer or employee of the United States. Allowed
60 days by Rule 12(a)(3)}.

CV-01A (10/11

SUMMONS

Case 5:13-cv-00869-JGB-DTB Document 1 Filed 05/10/13 Page 10 of 10 Page ID #:10
Name & Address:
Samuel Henderson
Henderson Consumer Law
2182 El Camino Real Suite 202
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 575-4594

Stephen Brown

CASE NUMBER

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

PLAINTIFF(S)

v.

California Business Bureau, Inc.

DEFENDANT(S).

SUMMONS

TO: DEFENDANT(S):

A lawsuit has been filed against you.

Within

21

days after service of this summons on you (not counting the day you received it), you

must serve on the plaintiff an answer to the attached [!(complaint 0
0 counterclaim 0 cross-claim or a motion under Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The answer
or motion must be served on the plaintiffs attorney, Samuel Henderson
, whose address is
2182 El Camino Real Suite 202, Oceanside, CA 92054
. Jfyou fail to do so,
judgment by default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. You also must file
your answer or motion with the court.

amended complaint

MA.Y 1 0 2013

Dated:------------

Clerk, U.S. District Court

[Use 60 days if the defendant is the United States or a United States agency, or is an officer or employee of the United States. Allowed
60 days by Rule 12 ( a)(3) }.

CV-01A (10/11

SUMMONS