Byline: Derek Hawkins
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Case Name: John H. Burton v. Kohn Law Firm, S.C., et al.
Case No.: 18-2059
Officials: FLAUM, RIPPLE, and MANION, Circuit Judges.
Focus: Sufficiency of Evidence
The history of this litigation began in the circuit court for Brown County, Wisconsin. Kohn Law Firm, S.C. ("Kohn"), acting on behalf of Unifund CCR, LLC ("Unifund"), a debt collection agency, brought an action against John H. Burton. Unifund sought to collect from Mr. Burton a debt incurred on a Citibank, N.A. ("Citibank"), credit card account. Mr. Burton denied knowledge of, or any association with, that account. While that action was pending in state court, Mr. Burton filed the present lawsuit against Kohn in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He alleged that, with respect to the same debt, Kohn had violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. 16921692p, and the Wisconsin Consumer Act ("WCA"), Wis. Stat. 421427, by filing the Wisconsin action against Mr. Burton without first providing him notice of his right to cure the default.
The Wisconsin state court later dismissed Kohn's action against Mr. Burton on the basis of Mr. Burton's denial that he was the individual who had incurred the underlying debt. Mr. Burton then amended his complaint in this federal action to add Unifund as a defendant. Following...