CIVIL PROCEDURE – MOTION PRACTICE
Motion Practice • Pre-trial Procedure • Complaint Required Attachments
CACH, LLC v. Schram, PICS Case No. 14-0128 (C.P. Monroe Dec. 13, 2013) Higgins, J. (7 pages).
Where a complaint for credit card debt informs a defendant of the nature and extent of the claim against him, although it may lack the required attached credit card agreement, a demurrer cannot be sustained. Granted in part and denied in part.
Plaintiff CACH, LLC brought suit against defendant William Schram for unpaid credit card debt. Schram filed preliminary objections to CACH’s complaint on the basis that: (1) CACH failed to attach the written agreement signed by the parties; (2) the complaint is not endorsed with the address and telephone number of CACH’s attorney in violation of Pa R. Civ. P 1025; (3) the complaint fails to specify facts of how Schram became indebted, including the dates, nature, and amounts of transactions; and (4) that the complaint is insufficient in its allegations to allow Schram to respond to it.
The court found prior precedent requiring attachment of the credit card agreement and statement of account to the complaint. CACH had attached a sample agreement, which the instant court found insufficient; it ruled that CACH must attach the actual agreement between the parties, or a statement of the substance of the agreement along with an explanation that the actual writing could not be found. However, the copy of the agreement need not be signed, as neither the rules nor precedent require it.
The court found that the contact information for CACH’s attorney was located on the first page of the complaint; it also rejected Schram’s objection that specific of transactions are not identified, noting that such information can be obtained in discovery.
Finally, the court treated Schram’s objection that the complaint is insufficient in its allegations as a demurrer. The court noted that under Pa. R. Civ. P. 1019(a), the purpose of a complaint is to disclose material facts sufficient to allow an adverse party to prepare a case, including the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s claim. The court found that CACH’s allegation of Schram’s failure to make payments, along with the final account statement and credit card agreement would be sufficient information to allow Schram to begin to prepare his case. Therefore, the court sustained Schram’s objection to the extent that it permitted CACH to amend its complaint to attach the actual credit card agreement, but denied Schram’s objection in the form of a demurrer.