In Gnoinska v. Messerli & Kramer, P.A., 2012 WL 5382180 (D.Minn. 2012), Judge Magnusson held that rudeness did not equate to harassment under the FDCPA.
The standard on a Motion to Dismiss is not merely whether the allegations could amount to a claim, but whether the allegations plausibly state a claim. Gnoinska bases her claim on: (1) Doe’s unwillingness to put her in contact with Pappas; (2) Doe’s alleged statements that she would not be able to speak with Pappas and that he believed that she was unwilling to resolve the debt, and (3) Doe’s question as to whether she was going “to rip them off.” According to Gnoinska, Doe’s statements made her feel threatened, oppressed, and hopeless. ¶ “Section 1692d is meant to provide a remedy for harassment, oppression, and abuse, not for bad manners.” Id. at 799. Under the facts alleged in the Complaint, it appears that Doe did not treat Gnoinska with the utmost kindness and respect, but that does not mean that his words were harassing, oppressive, or abusive as required by the FDCPA. Section 1692d provides the following specific examples of what constitutes oppressive, harassing, or abusive behavior: threatening violence or criminal means, the use of obscene or profane language, the publication of a list of consumers with debt, the advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce the payment of the debt, and repeatedly calling the debtor in a harassing manner. ¶ Doe’s alleged rudeness and obstinance were not in kind with these examples and, in fact, pale in comparison. This Court has dismissed cases under similar circumstances. See Gallagher, 645 F.Supp.2d. at 799 (finding no violation of § 1692d where there was “no [ ] conduct—no profanities, no name calling, no insults, no unwanted calls, no disclosure of private information to third parties, nothing—that could reasonably be deemed harassing, oppressive, or abusive”); Reeves v. Messerli & Kramer, P.A., No. 11cv729, 2012 WL 926063, at *4 (D.Minn. Mar. 16, 2012) (Ericksen, J.) (finding no violation of § 1692d when defendant “did not threaten violence, use profanity, or demean Plaintiff, nor did it publish Plaintiff’s name or advertise to sell his debt”); see also Bassett v. I.C. Sys., Inc., 715 F.Supp.2d 803, 809 (N.D.Ill.2010) (holding that calling debtor a liar did not violate § 1692d); Guajardo v. GC Servs., No. H–08–119, 2009 WL 3715603 (S.D.Tex. Nov. 3, 2009) (calling debtor a liar and saying “I can tell the kind of life you live by the fact that you don’t pay your bills on time” does not constitute a violation of § 1692d). Gnoinska’s claim under § 1692d fails as a matter of law.