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NY Judge Gives Green Light On RICO Class Action Against Law Firm in ‘Sewer Service’ Case SIKES v. MEL HARRIS & ASSOCIATES

NY Judge Gives Green Light On RICO Class Action Against Law Firm in ‘Sewer Service’ Case SIKES v. MEL HARRIS & ASSOCIATES


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

MONIQUE SYKES et al.,
Plaintiffs,

- against -

MEL HARRIS AND ASSOCIATES, LLC,
-et al.,
Defendants

APPEARANCES: (See last page)

CHIN, Circuit Judge:

In this case, eight plaintiffs allege that a debt buying
company, a law firm, a process service company, and others
engaged in a “massive scheme to fraudulently obtain default
judgments against them and more than 100,000 other consumers in
state court. Plaintiffs allege that defendants did so by
engaging in “sewer servicer” — the practice of failing to serve a
summons and complaint and then filing a fraudulent affidavit
attesting to service. When the debtors failed to appear in court
because they did not have notice of the lawsuits, defendants
obtained default judgments against them.

Plaintiffs sue on behalf of themselves and all others
similarly situated. Their second amended complaint (the
“Complaint”) asserts claims under the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act (the “FDCPA”)1,5 U.S.C. 5 1692 et sea., the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18
U.S.C. 5 1961 et sea., New York General Business Law (“GBL”) §
349, and New York Judiciary Law 5 487. Plaintiffs seek
injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and damages.
Defendants move to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to
Rules 9 (b) , 12 (b) (1) , and 12 (b) (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, challenging the sufficiency of every claim and the
subject matter jurisdiction of this Court. For the reasons that
follow, the motions to dismiss are denied in part and granted in
part.

Continue below to the decision…

[ipaper docId=46299681 access_key=key-5agcnkn7aipcco9kw1w height=600 width=600 /]

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