By Hon. Judith K. Fitzgerald (Ret.)
Tucker Arensberg, P.C.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued its opinion in Rotkiske v. Klemm, a unanimous, en banc decision yesterday that creates a clear split with the Fourth and Ninth Circuits. The Third Circuit ruled that the statute of limitations for FDCPA violations is one year from the date of violation, not from the date of discovery.
Judge Hardiman, writing for the full court, stated:
This appeal requires us to determine when the statute of limitations begins to run under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA or Act), 91 Stat. 874, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. The Act states that “[a]n action to enforce any liability created by this subchapter may be brought in any appropriate United States district court ... within one year from the date on which the violation occurs.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(d). The United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Ninth Circuits have held that the time begins to run not when the violation occurs, but when it is discovered. See Lembach v. Bierman, 528 Fed.Appx. 297 (4th Cir. 2013) (per curiam); Mangum v. Action Collection Serv., Inc., 575 F.3d 935 (9th Cir. 2009). We respectfully disagree. In our view, the Act says what it means and means what it says: the statute of limitations runs from “the date on which the violation occurs.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(d).
Rotkiske v. Klemm, No. 16-1668, 2018 WL 2209120, at *1 (3d Cir. May 15, 2018)