United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER OF PRELIMINARY CLASS CERTIFICATION
TORRESEN UNITED STATES CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE.
This action involves standardized initial debt collection
letters sent to consumers by Susan J. Szwed, P.A. The
Plaintiffs Alfred Marcoux and Charlene Jones allege those
letters violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C.
§§ 1692 et seq., by failing to properly
notify Maine consumers of how they could dispute the validity
of the debts they were alleged to owe and how they could
obtain from the Defendant verification of the legitimacy of
been advised that the parties to this action have agreed to
settle this case. The Plaintiffs' attorney has moved for
preliminary Class Certification and has filed a proposed Notice
of Proposed Class Action Settlement along with the signed
Settlement Agreement. The parties propose certification of
the following class:
All persons (a) with an address in Maine, (b) to whom Susan
J. Szwed, P.A. mailed an initial debt collection
communication that stated: “If you notify this firm
within thirty (30) days after your receipt of this letter,
that the debt or any portion thereof, is disputed, we will
obtain verification of the debt or a copy of the judgment, if
any, and mail a copy of such verification or judgment to you,
” (c) between March 10, 2014 and March 10, 2015, (d) in
connection with the collection of a consumer debt on behalf
of Bank of America, N.A.
Defendant represents that there are 92 Class Members,
including the named Plaintiffs. I preliminarily find that the
case satisfies the applicable prerequisites for class action
treatment under Rule 23.
seeking class certification must first demonstrate that all
requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) are
satisfied. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct.
2541, 2548 (2011). These requirements are:
(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is
(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are
typical of the claims or defenses of the class; and (4) the
representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the
interests of the class.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a). Next, the named plaintiff must show
that the class is maintainable under one of the types of
class actions described in Rule 23(b). Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 131 S.Ct. at 2548. “To qualify for
certification under Rule 23(b)(3), a class must meet two
requirements beyond the Rule 23(a) prerequisites: Common
questions must ‘predominate over any questions
affecting only individual members'; and class resolution
must be ‘superior to other available methods for the
fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy.'
” Amchem Prods., Inc. v. Windsor, 521 U.S.
591, 615 (1997) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(b)(3)).
Rule 23(a) Requirements
proposed class meets the Rule 23(a) requirements of
numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy.
23(a)(1) requires that the class be “so numerous that
joinder of all members is impracticable.” “
‘Impracticability' does not mean
‘impossibility, ' but only the difficulty or
inconvenience of joining all members of the class.”
Advertising Specialty Nat. Assoc. v. Federal Trade
Commission, 238 F.2d 108, 119 (1st Cir. 1956). The
parties represent that there are 92 Class Members, including
the named Plaintiffs. Rule 23(a)(1) does not mandate any
strict numerical cut-off for class certification, but courts
in this circuit have ...