United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
ANNEMARIE CARNEY AXON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
action, pro se plaintiff Bruce Smith challenges
Defendant Franklin Collection Service Inc.'s
(“Franklin”) practices concerning Franklin's
efforts to collect a debt that Mr. Smith owed AT&T. Mr.
Smith asserts two federal claims against Franklin. First, Mr.
Smith contends that Franklin violated the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) by failing to
adequately verify the debt that he owed AT&T. Second, Mr.
Smith contends that Franklin violated the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (“FCRA”) by failing to report
accurate information concerning the debt to credit reporting
the court is Franklin's motion for summary judgment.
(Doc. 8). The parties have fully briefed the motion. (Docs.
9, 10, 13, 15, 16). Because Mr. Smith has not presented
evidence creating a question of fact that Franklin violated
the FDCPA or the FCRA, the court WILL GRANT
STANDARD OF REVIEW
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “The moving party bears the initial
burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine dispute of
material fact.” FindWhat Inv'r Grp. v.
FindWhat.com, 658 F.3d 1282, 1307 (11th Cir. 2011)
(citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323
(1986)). A “material fact” is one that
“might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
demonstrate that there is a genuine dispute as to a material
fact that precludes summary judgment, a party opposing a
motion for summary judgment must cite “to particular
parts of materials in the record, including depositions,
documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes
of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or
other materials.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A); see
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252 (“[A] party opposing a
properly supported motion for summary judgment may not rest
upon mere allegation or denials of his pleading, but must set
forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
court views the evidence in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Baas v. Fewless, 886 F.3d 1088,
1091 (11th Cir. 2018). The court “may not weigh
conflicting evidence or make credibility determinations of
its own.” FindWhat Inv'r Grp., 658 F.3d at
1307. “If the record presents disputed issues of fact,
the court may not decide them; rather, it must deny the
motion and proceed to trial.” Id. at 1307.
However, “mere conclusions and unsupported factual
allegations are legally insufficient to defeat a summary
judgment motion.” Ellis v. England, 432 F.3d
1321, 1326 (11th Cir. 2005) (per curiam) (citing Bald
Mountain Park, Ltd. v. Oliver, 863 F.2d 1560, 1563 (11th
Mr. Smith's Challenges to Franklin's Statement of
response to Franklin's motion for summary judgment, Mr.
Smith challenges a number of Franklin's statements of
fact. For example, Mr. Smith disputes the following two
• “AT&T placed an account for collection with
Franklin on September 6, 2017” (Doc. 15, p. 7) (citing
Doc. 9, p. 4, ¶ 2), and
• “Franklin reported the debt as disputed to
credit reporting agencies from the time the Plaintiff
disputed that he owed the debt.” (Doc. 15, pp. 7-8)
(citing Doc. 9, p. 6, ¶ 7).
support these statements, Franklin submitted an affidavit
from Sherri Y. McClain, Franklin's Director of
Compliance. (See Doc. 9-1, p. 4, ¶ 8; Doc. 9-1,
p. 5, ¶ 12). Mr. Smith argues that the court should not
accept the factual statements because Franklin did not
provide “tangible evidence” to support the
statements beyond Ms. McClain's assertions in her
affidavit. The court is not persuaded.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure does not
“require that an otherwise admissible affidavit be
corroborated by independent evidence.” United
States v. Stein, 881 F.3d 853, 858 (11th Cir. 2018).
“Rule 56(c) states only that an affidavit must be
“made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would
be admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant or
declarant is competent to testify on the matters
stated.” Id. Ms. McClain's affidavit meets
these requirements. (See generally Doc. 9-1, pp.
3-6). Therefore, Franklin has properly supported the
challenged statements with ...