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Lait v. Medical Data Systems, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division

April 26, 2018

MICHAEL LAIT, Plaintiff,
v.
MEDICAL DATA SYSTEMS, INC., d/b/a MEDICAL REVENUE SERVICES, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER [1]

          W. KEITH WATKINS CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Michael Lait brings this action to recover statutory damages for an alleged violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692a et seq., by Defendant Medical Data Systems, Inc. (“MDS”). MDS moves to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. (Doc. # 6.) Before the court is the Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge. (Doc. # 15.) Upon an independent review of the record and a de novo determination of the issues upon which MDS has timely objected (Doc. # 16), the court finds that the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation is due to be rejected.

         I. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

         The court has subject-matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(d) and 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The parties do not contest personal jurisdiction or venue.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A district court judge “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge, ” and makes a de novo determination of those portions of the report to which objection is made. 18 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3).

         A motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure tests the sufficiency of the complaint against the legal standard set forth in Rule 8: “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). In ruling on a motion to dismiss, courts “must accept the well pleaded facts as true and resolve them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Paradise Divers, Inc. v. Upmal, 402 F.3d 1087, 1089 (11th Cir. 2005) (citation omitted). To survive Rule 12(b)(6) scrutiny, however, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). If there are “enough fact[s] to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence” to support the claim, there are “plausible” grounds for recovery, and a motion to dismiss should be denied. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.

         “[A] document attached to a motion to dismiss may be considered by the court without converting the motion into one for summary judgment only if the attached document is: (1) central to the plaintiffs claim; and (2) undisputed. ‘Undisputed' in this context means that the authenticity of the document is not challenged.” Horsley v. Feldt, 304 F.3d 1125, 1134 (11th Cir. 2002) (citations omitted).

         III. BACKGROUND

         The facts of this case are undisputed. On September 27, 2016, MDS sent Mr. Lait the following letter:

         MEDICAL REVENUE SERVICE

         P.O. BOX 938

         VERO BEACH, FL 32691

         09/27/2016

Medical Revenue Service is a collection agency. The account(s) indicated below has been placed with our office for collection.
Unless you notify this office within 30 days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid. If you notify this office in writing within 30 days from receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgment and mail you a copy of such judgment or verification. If you request this office in writing within 30 days after receiving this notice this office will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
Please make your check or money order Payable to Medical Revenue Service. In order to assure proper credit to your account, include the reference number with your payment. We also accept credit card and “check by telephone” payments for your convenience. If you have any questions, you may contact one of our account representatives at the toll-free telephone number listed on this letter.
This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpo ...

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