In 2012, a debt collector, Med-1 Solutions, won a judgment against Mark Suesz in Pike Township Small Claims Court for unpaid debt that arose in Lawrence Township, Indiana. Suesz, a resident of Hancock County, sued Med-1 for a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which requires small claims suits to be brought in the same “judicial district or similar legal entity” where the debtor lives or where the debt originated. In Suesz v. Med-1 Solutions, L.L.C., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, sitting en banc, ruled in favor of Suesz and held that Pike Township Small Claims Court was a separate “judicial district or similar legal entity” from Lawrence Township, making Med-1’s original suit illegal. This Comment argues in favor of the en banc majority’s interpretation because it (1) incorporated the flexibility that Congress inserted within the statute, (2) allowed states to customize their judicial system to meet their residents’ needs, and (3) most importantly, prevented debt collectors from using the localized courts as a weapon against debtors.
Source: Boston College Joural of Law and Social Justice