United States District Court, D. Arizona
Shannon K. Randall, Plaintiff,
Maxwell & Morgan, P.C., an Arizona professional corporation, Rebecca Easton and Ryan Daniel Easton, Defendants.
A. TEILBORG SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are Defendants Maxwell & Morgan, P.C.,
Rebecca Easton, and Ryan Daniel Easton's
(“Defendants”) Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings, (Doc. 45), Plaintiff Shannon K. Randall's
(“Plaintiff”) Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc.
46), and Defendants' Motion to Strike Portions of the
Plaintiff's Reply in Support of the Motion for Summary
Judgment, (Doc. 56).
is a resident of Pinal County and is employed by the Casa
Grande Elementary School District. (Doc. 46 at 2.) Plaintiff
owned her primary residence, which was located in Pinal
County, until it was foreclosed upon in 2010. (Id.)
As the owner of her primary residence, Plaintiff was
obligated to pay homeowners' assessments to her
homeowners' association (the “Association”).
(Id.) After Plaintiff failed to pay her
homeowners' assessments, an action was filed against her
by the Association in the Casa Grande Justice Court of Pinal
County. (Doc. 45 at 3-4.) The Association was granted summary
judgment in that action against Plaintiff. (Id. at
4.) The judgment awarded, among other things, the unpaid
homeowners' assessments and “all reasonable costs
and attorneys' fees incurred by [the Association] after
entry of this judgment in collecting the amounts awarded
January 31, 2017, Defendants commenced a garnishment action
on behalf of the Association (the “Garnishment
Action”) by filing an Application for Garnishment in
the Maricopa County Superior Court against Plaintiff's
employer, the Casa Grande Elementary School District. (Doc.
46 at 2.) The Garnishment Action sought payment of the amount
adjudged due, “including attorney fees and costs as may
be awarded by [the] Court.” (Doc. 45 at 4.) Defendants
also filed an Application for Amount of Attorney Fees, a
China Doll Affidavit in support of the Fee
Application, and a statement of costs in the Garnishment
Action to seek court approval of the fees and costs
identified in the Application for Garnishment. (Id.)
February 8, 2017, the Maricopa County Superior Court issued a
Writ of Garnishment to Plaintiff's employer.
(Id.) Plaintiff's employer submitted an Answer
of Garnishee, and on February 21, 2017, the Maricopa County
Superior Court approved the application for fees and
statement of costs. (Id.)
March 9, 2017, Plaintiff objected to and moved to quash the
Writ of Garnishment and vacate the order approving the
application for attorneys' fees and statement of costs on
the grounds that they were filed in an improper venue.
(Id. at 5.) The Maricopa County Superior Court
denied the objection and both motions. (Id.)
November 22, 2017, Plaintiff filed the First Amended
Complaint, (Doc. 37). (Id.) In it, Plaintiff alleges
that, by commencing a garnishment action and requesting
post-judgment fees and costs in Maricopa County, Defendants
violated § 1692i of the Fair Debt Collection Practices
Act (“FDCPA”). (Id.) Plaintiff alleges
that under § 1692i, Defendants were required to file the
garnishment action and supporting papers in Pinal County.
March 12, 2018, Defendants filed the pending Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings requesting that this Court grant
judgment in favor of Defendants on all claims. (Id.
at 11.) Plaintiff filed a brief in opposition to the Motion
for Judgment on the Pleadings, (Doc. 51), as well as a Motion
for Summary Judgment. Defendants filed a brief in opposition
to the Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc. 52), as well as a
Motion to Strike Portions of Plaintiff's Reply in Support
of the Motion for Summary Judgment.
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 12(c) is
“functionally identical” to a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss. Cafasso, U.S. ex rel. v. Gen. Dynamics
C4 Sys., Inc., 637 F.3d 1047, 1055 n.4 (9th Cir. 2011).
Therefore, “the same standard of review applies to
motions brought under either rule, ” id., and
“[a] judgment on the pleadings is properly granted
when, taking all the allegations in the pleadings as true,
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law,
” Nelson v. City of Irvine, 143 F.3d 1196,
1200 (9th Cir. 1998) (citing McGann v. Ernst &
Young, 102 F.3d 390, 392 (9th Cir. 1996)).
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion for failure to state a claim,
a complaint must meet the requirements of Rule 8. Rule 8
requires that a pleading contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). To meet this
standard, “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
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). To
have facial plausibility, a complaint must include
“factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. This analysis is
“context-specific” and is driven by
“judicial experience and common sense.”
Id. at 679.
deciding a motion to dismiss, the Court must construe the
facts alleged in the complaint “in the light most
favorable” to the plaintiff. Schlegel v. Wells
Fargo Bank, 720 F.3d 1204, 1207 (9th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Autotel v. Nev. Bell Tel. Co., 697 F.3d 846, 850
(9th Cir. 2012)); see also Cafasso, 637 F.3d at 1053
(“When considering a Rule 12(c) dismissal, we must
accept the facts as pled by the nonmovant”). This same
presumption, however, is not extended to legal conclusions:
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678. Rule 8
“requires a ‘showing,' rather than a blanket
assertion, of entitlement to relief.”
Twombley, 550 U.S. at 555 (citing 5 Charles A.
Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice &
Procedure § 1202 (3d ed. 2004)).