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Baez v. Ltd Financial Services, L.P.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

April 7, 2017

LIZNELIA BAEZ, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
LTD FINANCIAL SERVICES, L.P., Defendant.

          ORDER

          PAUL G. BYRON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This cause comes before the Court on the following:

1. Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 76), filed February 7, 2017;
2. Plaintiff's Response in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 84), filed February 16, 2017;
3. Defendant's Objection to Magistrate's Order (Doc. 94), filed March 1, 2017; and
4. Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Objection to Magistrate's Order (Doc. 95), filed March 6, 2017.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This class action lawsuit arises out of Plaintiff's receipt-and the receipt by approximately 34, 000 other individuals-of a dunning letter from Defendant which sought partial payment of a debt that is barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Plaintiff claims that the dunning letter violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) due to Defendant's failure to disclose to the recipient that a partial payment on a time- barred debt “revives” the debt under Florida law, thus subjecting the recipient to liability anew. In this way, Plaintiff asserts that Defendant's dunning letter misrepresents the true character and legal status of the underlying debt and otherwise constitutes a misleading and unfair means of collecting or attempting to collect a debt.

         On July 12, 2016, Defendant moved for judgment on the pleadings and, on August 1, 2016, Defendant moved for summary judgment. On January 30, 2017, the Court converted Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings into a motion for summary judgment, considered the motion together with Defendant's other later-filed motion for summary judgment, and denied both motions. Defendant now asks the Court to reconsider its denial of the converted motion for summary judgment (Defendant's former motion for judgment on the pleadings).

         Additionally, on February 24, 2017, class counsel moved to allow co-counsel, David K. Lietz, to appear pro hac vice. On February 27, 2017, the presiding Magistrate Judge granted the motion over Defendant's opposition. Defendant now appeals from the Magistrate's decision as well.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Motion for Reconsideration

         Reconsideration is an extraordinary remedy which will only be granted upon a showing of one of the following: (1) an intervening change in law, (2) the discovery of new evidence which was not available at the time the Court rendered its decision, or (3) the need to correct clear error or manifest injustice. Fla. Coll. of Osteopathic Med., Inc. v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 12 F.Supp.2d 1306, 1308 (M.D. Fla. 1998). It is wholly inappropriate in a motion for reconsideration to relitigate the merits of the case or to “vent dissatisfaction with the Court's reasoning.” Madura v. BAC Home Loans Servicing L.P., No. 8:11-cv-2511-T-33TBM, 2013 WL 4055851, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 12, 2013). Instead, the party moving for reconsideration must set forth “strongly convincing” reasons for the Court to change its prior decision. Id. at *1.

         In its motion for reconsideration, Defendant contends that the Court clearly erred when it found that the legal theory on which Plaintiff premises her FDCPA claims-that a partial payment on a time-barred debt revives the debt-is an accurate representation of Florida law. Defendant takes the position that a case Plaintiff cites in her Complaint does not support her legal theory. Defendant then focuses on Plaintiff's admission in response to Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings that she was incorrect to cite that case in her Complaint. As a result, Defendant ...


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