In Scott v. Collecto, Inc., the plaintiff filed a complaint in state court alleging a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and common law negligence based on the defendant’s use of a letter vendor to send the plaintiff a demand. The County Court of Florida found that the plaintiff failed to allege an injury sufficient to establish standing.

The lawsuit arose out of the defendant utilizing a third-party letter vendor to send the plaintiff a debt collection letter and by allegedly providing an incorrect deadline to dispute or request validation of the debt. The plaintiff did not explicitly allege a single injury from receipt of the letter, but instead relied on what she claimed she “justifiability fears” may happen in the future. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

While the court acknowledged that Florida courts “are generally considered ‘tribunals of plenary jurisdiction,'” its jurisdiction has limits. Specifically, the Florida Supreme Court has identified three requirements for standing: an injury in fact, a causal connection between the injury and the defendant’s conduct, and a substantial likelihood that the requested relief will remedy the alleged injury. The court found that in this case the plaintiff had alleged a purely technical statutory violation with no resulting injury. “Plaintiff alleges when [the defendant] sent its August 17, 2022 letter to the plaintiff, [the defendant] utilized a third-party letter vendor and did not provide a proper validation deadline. Plaintiff, however, does not allege she was injured in any way by the alleged conduct — nor could she.”

While the plaintiff had alleged that she feared she may be injured in the future if the court did not intervene, the court found there was no “material risk of future harm” since the plaintiff had already received and read the letter and there had been no further collection attempts. Thus, the court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss on all counts.