179 F.3d 103 (4th Cir. 1999), 98-1942, Toms v. Allied Bond & Collection Agency, Inc.

Docket Nº:98-1942
Citation:179 F.3d 103
Opinion Judge:WILKINSON, Chief Judge:
Party Name:ROBERT TOMS, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. ALLIED BOND & COLLECTION AGENCY, INCORPORATED, Defendant-Appellee. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CONSUMER ADVOCATES; TRIAL LAWYERS FOR PUBLIC JUSTICE; VIRGINIA TRIAL LAWYERS' ASSOCIATION; VIRGINIA POVERTY LAW CENTER, INCORPORATED; AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION O
Attorney:Owen Randolph Bragg, HORWITZ, HORWITZ & ASSOC., Chicago, Illinois, for Appellant. Carol Thomas Stone, JORDAN, COYNE & SAVITS, L.L.P., Fairfax, Virginia, for Appellee. Dale W. Pittman, LAW OFFICES OF DALE W. PITTMAN, Petersburg, Virginia, for Appellant. Jennifer R. Helsel, JORDAN, COYNE & SAVITS, ...
Judge Panel:Before WILKINSON, Chief Judge, and WIDENER and KING, Circuit Judges. Chief Judge Wilkinson wrote the opinion, in which Judge Widener and Judge King joined.
Case Date:June 01, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
 
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Page 103

179 F.3d 103 (4th Cir. 1999)

ROBERT TOMS, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

ALLIED BOND & COLLECTION AGENCY, INCORPORATED, Defendant-Appellee. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CONSUMER ADVOCATES; TRIAL LAWYERS FOR PUBLIC JUSTICE; VIRGINIA TRIAL LAWYERS' ASSOCIATION; VIRGINIA POVERTY LAW CENTER, INCORPORATED; AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF VIRGINIA FOUNDATION, Amici Curiae

No. 98-1942

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

June 1, 1999

Argued April 9, 1999

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Norfolk. Raymond A. Jackson, District Judge. (CA-96-955-2).

ARGUED:

Owen Randolph Bragg, HORWITZ, HORWITZ & ASSOC., Chicago, Illinois, for Appellant.

Carol Thomas Stone, JORDAN, COYNE & SAVITS, L.L.P., Fairfax, Virginia, for Appellee.

ON BRIEF:

Dale W. Pittman, LAW OFFICES OF DALE W. PITTMAN, Petersburg, Virginia, for Appellant.

Jennifer R. Helsel, JORDAN, COYNE & SAVITS, L.L.P., Fairfax, Virginia, for Appellee.

David Rubenstein, VIRGINIA POVERTY LAW CENTER, INC., Richmond, Virginia; Patricia Sturdevant, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CONSUMER ADVOCATES, Washington, D.C., for Amici Curiae.

Before WILKINSON, Chief Judge, and WIDENER and KING, Circuit Judges. Chief Judge Wilkinson wrote the opinion, in which Judge Widener and Judge King joined.

Page 104

OPINION

WILKINSON, Chief Judge:

We face here the appeal of an adverse class certification ruling by a plaintiff who settled his claim with defendants after class certification was denied. Robert Toms filed individual and class claims against Allied Bond & Collection Agency for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. After the district court denied Toms' motion to certify a class, Toms and Allied entered into a settlement. Toms now appeals the denial of class certification. We hold that the settlement extinguished Toms' interest in this litigation. The case is therefore moot, and we dismiss this appeal.

I.

On March 27, 1996, Allied mailed Toms a collection letter for a $ 42.98 debt Toms owed to his telephone company. As required by the FDCPA, the letter included a " thirty-day validation notice" informing Toms that he had the right to dispute the

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debt within thirty days after receipt of the notice. See 15 U.S.C. § 1692g.

On April 10, 1996, Allied sent Toms a second letter again seeking to collect the debt. This letter stated that " failure to receive full-payment within the next five (5) days will necessitate further action to enforce collection." A friend paid the debt on Toms' behalf.

Toms then filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia charging...

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