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Ross and Farrell Obtain Dismissal of Putative Nationwide Class Action

July 20, 2018

David Ross (Partner-Washington, DC) and Kevin Farrell (Of Counsel-Washington, DC) recently obtained dismissal with prejudice of a putative nationwide class action brought by student loan debtors against the firm’s law firm client. The causes of action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia were based on the allegation that underlying state court collection lawsuits brought against the plaintiffs by lenders and their law firm were illegal because the loans were provided by another entity or had been securitized and sold, and that the collection actions used false affidavits. The Court adopted several motion to dismiss arguments and determined that (1) the Court lacked jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine to hear the plaintiffs’ RICO, unjust enrichment, and abuse of process claims because “the alleged harms for those claims flow from the underlying judgments and seek review and rejection of those judgments”; (2) res judicata precludes the plaintiffs from bringing their claims because the case and the underlying collection lawsuits involve the same nucleus of facts; (3) the plaintiffs’ RICO claims lack RICO-essential pleading elements of a pattern of racketeering activity and a RICO enterprise;  and (4) the plaintiffs’ FDCPA claim is time-barred, and they failed to plead fraudulent concealment. The Court refused to allow the plaintiffs to amend their complaint. The case is Quick v. EduCap, Inc., No. 17-1242 (APM), 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116766 (D.D.C. July 12, 2018).

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