Attorney No. 91017
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS
FIRST MUNICIPAL DISTRICT
DEBT BUYER PARTNERS )
Plaintiff. ) No.
v. ) Amt. Claimed: $11,604.66 plus costs.
JOHN DOE )
MOTION TO DISMISS
Now comes defendant, John Doe, through his attorneys, Michelle A. Weinberg
and the Legal Assistance Foundation, and hereby moves this Honorable Court pursuant to Illinois
Code of Civil Procedure Rule 2-615 to strike the affidavit and dismiss the complaint filed by
plaintiff in the above captioned cause. A copy of the Complaint is attached hereto.
In support of this motion, defendant states as follows:
1. Plaintiff filed this action claiming that $11,604.66 is due from defendant on a purported
charge account, originally held with U.S. Bank.
2. The complaint does not set forth a cause of action for either an account stated or a breach
of contract, as demonstrated below.
The Complaint Fails To Establish The Existence Of A Contract
3. If this is a complaint for breach of contract, it should be dismissed for the following
4. In violation of Section 2-606 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, no contract is
attached to the complaint, nor does the complaint state that no contract is available and
explain its absence.
5. The complaint alleges that plaintiff “purchased” the “account,” but no assignment is
attached, nor is there any explanation for its absence.
6. Instead of account agreements and assignments, plaintiff attaches a meaningless affidavit
purporting to state that the defendant owes a sum of money. The affiant is identified
under the title “Media Supervisor.”
7. Plaintiff has no application, agreement, or transactional documents bearing the
defendant’s signature, and alleges no facts in support of the alleged agreement. In fact,
plaintiff’s complaint is devoid of anything manifesting the defendant’s actual agreement
to any terms or amount due related to this alleged account. [if applicable: The purported
contract attached to the complaint is generic boilerplate with no apparent connection to
the defendant or the plaintiff.]
8. In order to comply with The Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. § 1642, the original
lender must have a signed request or application, or in absence of such writing, there must
be a record detailing the date and circumstances of the request or application for credit.
15 U.S.C. § 1642. The plaintiff’s complaint includes none of these requirements.
9. Further, under federal law, “[i]n any action by a card issuer to enforce liability for the use
of a credit card, the burden of proof is upon the card issuer to show that the use was
authorized or, if the use was unauthorized, then the burden of proof is upon the card
issuer to show that the conditions of liability for the unauthorized use of a credit card, as
set forth in subsection (a) of this section, have been met.” 15 U.S.C. §§ 1643(b).
10. The unsupported statement that “a contract existed between plaintiff and
defendant” fails to properly allege a contract cause of action. Pollack v. Marathon
Oil Co., 34 Ill. App.3d 861, 341 N.E.2d 101 (5th Dist. 1976). Here, plaintiff alleges
no facts supporting a claim for breach of contract, and therefore, the complaint should be
The Complaint Does Not Allege The Elements of Account Stated
11. If this is complaint for the account stated, it should be dismissed for the following
12. A cause of action for an “account stated” must allege four elements: (a) transactions of a
monetary character involving the parties to the action; (b) the existence of accounts
embodying such monetary transaction; (c) an agreement by the parties to such
transactions that all items of such accounts are true and that the balance is correct; and (d)
a promise to pay such balance. Canadian Ace Brewing Co. v. Swiftsure Beer Serv. Co.,
17 Ill.App.2d 54, 149 N.E.2d 447 (1st Dist. 1958); O’Neill v. Reamon, 335 Ill.App. 327,
81 N.E.2d 749 (2nd Dist. 1948).
13. Plaintiff does not allege that it contacted the defendant at any time in regards to this
purported debt, or that any agreement was reached as to the balance allegedly due.
Instead, plaintiff merely makes the conclusory allegation that the defendant is “in default”
and an amount is allegedly due.
14. Plaintiff has failed to plead: (a) that there was any agreement between the parties
regarding accounts representing previous transactions; (b) that there was an agreement
that the items in an account were true; (c) that there was an agreement that the balance
struck was correct; and (d) that there was a promise to pay such balance. “In an action
for an account stated the complaint should allege all the material facts on which the
liability of the defendant depends.” 1 I.L.P. Account Stated § 6 (1988). See W.E. Erickson
Construction Inc. v. Congress-Kenilworth Corp., 132 Ill. App.3d 260, 268, 477 N.E.2d
513, 519 (1st Dist. 1985); and see Allied Wire Products, Inc. v. Marketing Techniques,
Inc., 99 Ill. App.3d 29, 40, 424 N.E.2d 1288, 1296 (1st Dist. 1981).
15. Just as the unsupported statement that “a contract existed between plaintiff and
defendant” fails to properly allege a contract cause of action, the bare allegation that an
account is in default with a balance due does not adequately plead an account stated
claim. “An account stated is an agreement between parties who have had previous
transactions of a monetary character that all the items of the accounts representing such
transactions are true and that the balance struck is correct, together with a promise,
express or implied, for payment of such balance.” LaGrange Metal Products v. Pettibone
Mulliken Corp., 106 Ill. App.3d 1046, 1053, 436 N.E.2d 645, 651 (1st Dist. 1983) (“The
meeting of the parties’ minds upon the correctness of an account is usually the result of
one party rendering a statement of account and the other party acquiescing thereto.”); See
Palisades Collection LLC v. Haque, NYS (Queens County Civil Court, April 14, 2006).
Here, there have been no previous transactions between plaintiff and defendant, and no
subsequent agreement as to the correctness of the account.
16. For the foregoing reasons, the complaint fails to state a cause of action for account stated.
The complaint is therefore deficient at law and should be dismissed.
Plaintiff’s Affidavit Is Incompetent
17. Finally, the affidavit upon which the complaint relies is utterly incompetent and legally
insufficient and should be stricken and disregarded for the following reasons.
18. Plaintiff’s complaint relies exclusively on an affidavit executed by employee KK, referred
to as a “Media Supervisor” of Debt BuyerPartners. The affidavit claims that as such, “she
is authorized to make statements and representations herein.” Plaintiff Exhibit 1, ¶ 1.
However, the affidavit does not establish the affiant’s familiarity with the original source
of information as to the alleged existence of the account and the amount allegedly due,
nor does it establish her knowledge regarding the manner or methods of the plaintiff’s
business dealings. It does not attempt to, and as demonstrated below, cannot authenticate
any documents upon which the conclusory statements are based. The affiant is therefore
entirely incompetent to testify as to the information contained in the affidavit, including
any alleged amount due from the defendant. Outboard Marine Corp. v. Liberty Mutual
Ins. Co., 154 Ill.2d 90, 132, 607 N.E.2d 1204, 1223 (1992).
19. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 191 requires that affidavits shall be “made from personal
knowledge of the affiant; shall set forth with particularity the facts upon which the claim,
counterclaim, or defense is based; shall have attached thereto sworn or certified copies of
all papers upon which the affiant relies; and shall affirmatively show that the affiant, if
sworn as a witness, can testify competently thereto.” Outboard Marine Corp. v. Liberty
Mutual Ins. Co., supra.
20. The affiant must have personal knowledge of the facts supporting the amount of the
claim, i.e., how the original creditor’s business records were created and maintained, the
entire account history, and how the claimed balance was calculated as to principal and
interest. Apa v. National Bank of Commerce, 374 Ill.App.3d 1082, 872 N.E.2d 490 (1st
21. Plaintiff’s affidavit does not attach or suggest that plaintiff possess the business records
of its assignor, nor could plaintiff’s employee competently testify as to the authenticity,
accuracy or completeness of such business records of plaintiff’s assignor, if they did in
fact exist. Plaintiff’s affidavit is therefore utterly incompetent and insufficient. Apa,
supra; Cole Taylor Bank v. Corrigan, 230 Ill. App.3d 122, 595 N.E.2d 177, 181 (2nd
Dist. 1992); Champaign Nat’l Bank v. Babcock, 273 Ill. App.3d 292, 298, 652 N.E.2d
848 (4th Dist. 1995) (affidavit allowed where affiant was personally familiar with band’s
loan files, ledgers and records, and affidavit itemized payments made, interest charges,
and principal balances from the date of inception); See also, In re Vee Vinhnee, 2005 WL
3609376 (BAP 9th Cir. 2005) (normal evidentiary foundation must be established for
admission of business computer records, including familiarity with the way records are
maintained, recognizing that computer records are not necessarily or automatically
accurate); C & W Asset Acquisition, LLC v. Somogyi, 136 S.W.3d 134, 139 (So. Dist.
2004) (records submitted by assignee of credit card company were inadmissible as
business records because custodian of assignee served only as conduit in the flow of
records, and was unable to attest to the identity and mode of preparation of records
originally created by credit card company); Citibank v. Martin, 807 N.Y.S.2d 284 (2005)
(“affidavit must demonstrate personal knowledge of essential facts or the judgment will
be assailable, even if the defendant defaults,” and must show principal balances and
additional charges from the date of inception).Palisades Collection, LLC v. Gonzalez,
22. Testimony, whether live or in the form of an affidavit, to the effect that the witness has
reviewed a loan file and that the loan file shows that the debtor is in default is hearsay and
incompetent. Instead the actual records must be introduced after a proper foundation is
provided. Apa, supra; Pell v. Victor J. Andrew High School, 123 Ill. App.3d 423, 462
N.E.2d 858, 866 (1st Dist. 2984) (letter from corporation A to corporation B is hearsay,
and is thereby inadmissible as a business record of corporation B, stating that “just
because a document is retained in the files of a business does not qualify it as a
business record if it was not generated by the business”); Benford v. Chicago
Transit Authority, 9 Ill. App.3d 875, 877-878 (1st Dist. 1973); Cole Taylor Bank v.
Corrigan, supra; Champaign Nat’l Bank v. Babcock, supra; C & W Asset Acquisition,
supra; LLC v. Somogyl, supra. It is the business records that constitute the evidence, not
the testimony of the witness referring to them. See In re A.B., 308 Ill.App.3d 227, 719,
719 N.E.2d 348 (2nd Dist. 1999).
23. The court must disregard unsupported, conclusory statements in an affidavit. Estate of
Blakely v. Federal Kemper Life Assurance Co., 267 Ill. App.3d 100, 105, 640 N.E.2d
961, 965 (2nd Dist. 1994), appeal denied, 159 Ill.2d 566, 647 N.E.2d 1008 (1995) (a
court will disregard all conclusions in an affidavit).
24. Because the sole basis of plaintiff’s claim, including the balance allegedly due
and the interest rate accruing, is an inadmissible affidavit, the affidavit should be
stricken in its entirety.
25. Therefore, plaintiff has not established a claim for either breach of contract or for an
account stated, and the complaint should thereby be dismissed with prejudice.
WHEREFORE, Defendant prays that this Honorable Court strike plaintiff’s
affidavit in its entirety, and dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice.
Michelle A. Weinberg
Michelle A. Weinberg
Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago
111 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 300
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Attorney No. 91017