Friday, December 27, 2013

Bates v. C & S Adjusters, Inc. case brief

Bates v. C & S Adjusters, Inc. case brief summary
980 F.2d 865 (2d Cir. 1992)

Plaintiff debtor appealed a judgment from the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, which dismissed plaintiff's action against defendant debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C.S § 1692 et seq.

Defendant debt collector mailed collection letter to plaintiff's old address. Post office forwarded letter to plaintiff's new address, which was in different judicial district. Plaintiff sued, and defendant had case dismissed for improper venue.


  • The court reversed. 
  • The court held that venue was proper, under 28 U.S.C.S. § 1391(b)(2), in the district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred. 
  • The court noted the liberalization of venue provisions, to permit multiple venues, and not to require a district court to determine what was the best venue. 
  • The court then held that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1692 et seq., the harm the statute sought to prevent did not occur until the collection notice was received. 
  • Therefore, the court held, a substantial part of the claim occurred in the district where plaintiff received the notice.

The court reversed the trial court's judgment that dismissed plaintiff's complaint for improper venue and remanded for further proceedings under the Fair Debt Collections Practice Act.

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