In Alan v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, NA, No. 2:20-cv-04544 AB (AFMx), 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 230614 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 7, 2020), Judge Birotte denied a motion for reconsideration of his ruling in favor of a creditor under the Rosenthal Act.
Further, as the Court previously noted, standing under the Rosenthal Act occurs when a Plaintiff “owes the debt or is otherwise obligated to pay the debt has standing to assert violations under the California [Rosenthal] Act and the Federal Act.” People v. Persolve, LLC, 218 Cal. App. 4th 1267, 1272, 160 Cal. Rptr. 3d 841 (2013); see also Sanchez v. Client Servs., Inc., 520 F. Supp. 2d 1149, 1153, 1155 n.3 (N.D. Cal. 2007) (holding that daughter of cardholder who did not owe the debt at issue and was not otherwise obligated to pay the debt was not a “debtor” and therefore lacked standing). As Plaintiff admits, he has never held any accounts with Defendant so he cannot owe a debt or be otherwise obligated to pay the debt. (Second Amended Complaint, ¶ 13.) Finally, Plaintiff premises his argument that standing is conferred where an individual is “alleged to owe” a debt upon cases that are not binding on this Court. (Dkt. No. 28 at 5-7.) The Court has not found this line of reasoning persuasive in light of the authorities discussed here and in the previous Order. For the reasons above, a motion for reconsideration is not warranted.
In the original decision, here, Judge Birotte had held that:
To state a claim under the Rosenthal Act, Plaintiff is required to allege the factual basis for asserting that Defendant is a debt collector, attempting to collect debts. See Izenberg v. ETS Servs., LLC, 589 F. Supp. 2d 1193, 1199 (C.D. Cal. 2008). Under the Rosenthal Act, a debt collector is defined as “any person who, in the ordinary course of business, regularly, on behalf of himself or herself or others, engages in debt collection.” Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.2(c). And “debt collection” is defined as “any act or practice in connection with the collection of consumer debts.” Id. § 1788.2(b). However, standing is a threshold inquiry and “[o]nly the person who owes the debt or is otherwise obligated to pay the debt has standing to assert violations under the California [Rosenthal] Act and the Federal Act.” People v. Persolve, LLC, 218 Cal. App. 4th 1267, 1272 (2013); accord, Sanchez v. Client Servs., Inc., 520 F. Supp. 2d 1149, 1155 n.3 (N.D. Cal. 2007). “It is well-established that a plaintiff lacks standing to bring a cause of action under the [Rosenthal Act] when [he] does not owe or is not alleged to owe the debt.” Barvie v. Bank of Am., N.A., No. 18-CV-449-JLS (BGS), 2018 WL 4537723, at *4 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 21, 2018). Plaintiff unequivocally asserts that he “is not a customer of the Defendant and has no accounts with Defendant.” (SAC at ¶ 13.) Plaintiff further alleges that he “does not have a credit card or any accounts with Defendant.” (Id. at ¶ 34.) These statements foreclose the possibility that Plaintiff “owes [a] debt or is otherwise obligated to pay the debt” to Defendant. Persolve, 281 Cal. App. 4th at 1272. Although Plaintiff’s Opposition cites to a case in which a California Court of Appeal addressed the merits of a non-debtor’s claim under the Rosenthal Act (see Komarova v. Nat’l Credit Acceptance, Inc., 175 Cal. App. 4th 324 (2009)), the court did not address standing at all. Accordingly, the Court finds Plaintiff’s argument unpersuasive, especially in light of the above-cited cases specifically requiring Plaintiff allege he owes a debt to have standing. See Barvie, 2018 WL 4537723, at *4. Because Plaintiff has never had any accounts with Defendant nor owed Defendant any money, he lacks standing to proceed with this claim and the Court need not rule on the merits of Defendant’s Motion. Amendment would be futile, so the Court GRANTS Defendant’s motion and DISMISSES WITH PREJUDICE Plaintiff’s first cause of action.