This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the matter of Rotkiske v. Klemm on the issue of whether the "discovery rule" applies to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claims. The Court's decision will impact how long consumer plaintiffs have to file FDCPA lawsuits against debt collectors as it will determine when the statute of limitations clock starts ticking.
The FDCPA states that a consumer may file an FDCPA action “within one year from the date on which the violation occurs.” A case arose out of the Third Circuit where the consumer argued that the statute of limitations should begin to run when the violation was discovered by the consumer—hence the name of the discovery rule—rather than when the injury occurred.
In May of 2018, the Third Circuit issued its decision in Rotkiske—the decision the Supreme Court will review—finding that the text of the FDCPA is clear: the statute of limitations begins to run when the violation occurs, not when it is discovered. The consumer appealed, and in February of this year, the Supreme Court granted the petition for writ of certiorari, a fancy name for the court agreeing to hear the case.
According to the Supreme Court's schedule, Rotkiske is slated as the second argument for the day, with one hour allotted for arguments.