UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
ERIC L. ELLIS §
v. § Case No.
COREY PINCKLEY, acting as an employee §
of CENTURION AUTO RECOVERY; §
CAPITAL ONE AUTO FINANCE; §
CENTURION AUTO RECOVERY; and §
BOSSIER CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT §
PLAINTIFF’S ORIGINAL COMPLAINT
NOW COMES Eric L. Ellis, Plaintiff, complaining of Defendants, Corey Pinckley, Capital One Auto Finance, Centurion Auto Recovery, and Bossier City Police Department, and for cause would show this Honorable Court as follows:
- Plaintiff Eric L. Ellis is a male adult of sound mind and a resident of 637 Yarbrough St., Bossier City, LA 71111.
- Defendant Corey Pinckley is an employee of Centurion Auto Recovery. At all times in this lawsuit, Corey Pinckley acted as an agent of Centurion Auto Recovery in repossessing Plaintiff’s vehicle.
- Defendant Capital One Auto Finance is a company that provides various financial services, including but not limited to, auto financing new and used vehicles, giving loans, and refinancing loans from other institutions.
- Defendant Centurion Auto Recovery is a professional repossession agency located in Covington, Louisiana. At all times in this lawsuit, Centurion Auto Recovery was acting on behalf of Capital One Auto Finance.
- Defendant Bossier City Police Department is the police authority of City of Bossier City, Louisiana.
- JURISDICTION AND VENUE
- Jurisdiction exists in this court pursuant to 28 U.S. Code § 1331.
- Venue is proper in this court because the causes of action occurred within the Western District of Louisiana.
- Plaintiff bought a vehicle, a 2013 RAM 1500 2WD Quad Cab, through financing by Capital One Auto Finance.
- On 01/31/2021, Mr. Pinckley attempted to repossess Plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff was inside his vehicle when Mr. Pinckley lifted the vehicle.
- Plaintiff opened the door on the driver’s side and Mr. Pinckley noticed there was someone inside the vehicle.
- Mr. Pinckley asked Plaintiff to get out of the vehicle as he was repossessing it. Plaintiff told Mr. Pinckley that he couldn’t repossess the vehicle because Plaintiff had not received any notice of repossession.
- In a bid to intimidate Plaintiff to leave the vehicle, Mr. Pinckley asked him to exit the vehicle, otherwise he would call the police. Plaintiff refused to exit his vehicle.
- Mr. Pinckley went ahead and called officers from Bossier City Police Department. The police arrived and blocked Plaintiff’s vehicle from the side.
- The Officers from Bossier City Police Department began asking Plaintiff questions about his finances. They also refused to leave until Mr. Pinckley had Plaintiff’s vehicle in his possession.
- After Plaintiff’s vehicle was repossessed, he called Centurion Auto Recovery to retrieve some items out of his vehicle. Plaintiff spoke with Mr. Pinckley who told him that he could go and get his items, though it would cost him $600.00 because he was resistant during repossession.
- BREACH OF LOUISIANA REPOSSESSION LAW
- Plaintiff incorporates and realleges paragraphs 1 through 15 as if fully restated herein.
- LA Rev. Stat. § 6:966.1.A provides as follows: “Within three business days of taking possession of collateral, a secured party who utilizes the additional default remedies provided by this Chapter to obtain possession of collateral shall deliver in person or send by mail a ‘Notice of Repossession’ to the recorder of mortgages in the parish where the collateral was located and to the appropriate official for filing purposes. The ‘Notice of Repossession’ shall contain the debtor’s name, last known address, date of birth, and a description of the collateral repossessed.
- Capital One Auto Finance hired Centurion Auto Recovery to repossess Plaintiff’s vehicle on its behalf without sending Plaintiff a Notice of Repossession, contrary to LA Rev. Stat. § 6:966.1.A.
- The Notice of Possession must contain Plaintiff’s name, address, date of birth, and a description of Plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff received no such notice from Capital One Auto Finance.
- Capital One Auto Finance breached LA Rev. Stat. § 6:966.1.A by hiring Centurion Auto Recovery to repossess Plaintiff’s vehicle without sending Plaintiff a Notice of Repossession with Plaintiff’s name, address, date of birth, and a description of Plaintiff’s vehicle.
- BREACH OF CONTRACT
- Plaintiff incorporates and realleges paragraphs 1 through 20 as if fully restated herein.
- The Retail Installment Sale Contract between Plaintiff and Capital One Auto Finance provides that if Plaintiff defaults payment, Capital One Auto Finance may repossess the vehicle after it gives Plaintiff notice and waits the time required by law.
- Through Centurion Auto Recovery, Capital One Auto Finance repossessed Plaintiff’s vehicle without sending him a notice.
- Plaintiff did not receive a Notice of Repossession in accordance with LA Rev. Stat. § 6:966.1.A.
- In the Contract, Capital One Auto Finance stipulated that it would act within the law in repossessing Plaintiff’s vehicle due to default of payment.
- By failing to follow the law (LA Rev. Stat. § 6:966.1.A), Capital One Auto Finance breached the Retail Installment Sale Contract between Plaintiff and Capital One Auto Finance which states in part as follows: “We may take the vehicle from you. If you default, we may take (repossess) the vehicle from you after we give you any notice and wait the time the law requires. If the vehicle is located outside of Louisiana, we may, at our option, take (repossess) the vehicle from you under the law of the state in which the vehicle is located.”
- BREACH OF PEACE
- Plaintiff incorporates and realleges paragraphs 1 through 26 as if fully restated herein.
- LA Rev. Stat. § 6:965 defines breach of peace as oral protest by a debtor to the repossessor against repossession prior to the repossessor seizing control of the collateral shall constitute a breach of peace by the repossessor.
- As Mr. Pinckley attempted to repossess Plaintiff’s vehicle, Plaintiff protested by refusing to exit his vehicle. Mr. Pinckley had to call officers from Bossier City Police Department.
- It is only after the intervention of officers from Bossier City Department that Mr. Pinckley repossessed Plaintiff’ss vehicle.
- Plaintiff’s refusal to exit his vehicle during repossession by Mr. Pinckley amounts to breach of peace by Centurion Auto Recovery. Centurion Auto Recovery are vicariously liable.
- Bossier City Police Department had no right to interfere in a civil matter between Plaintiff and Centurion Auto Recovery on behalf of Capital One Auto Finance. Bossier City Police Department is liable for breach of peace because it enable Centurion Auto Recovery’s breach of peace.
- Plaintiff incorporates and realleges paragraphs 1 through 32 as if fully restated herein.
- When Plaintiff’s vehicle was repossessed, he wanted to collect his personal belongings from the vehicle. He called Centurion Auto Recovery and Mr. Pinckley informed him that he had to pay $600.00 to get his personal belongings out of his car.
- When Centurion Auto Recovery repossessed Plaintiff’s car on behalf of Capital One Auto Finance, that gave neither of them any right to Plaintiff’s personal belongings.
- Plaintiff had the right to go and collect his personal belongings from his repossessed vehicle without paying any fee to do so because he had rights to the personal property in his vehicle.
- The demand of $600.00 by Centurion Auto Recovery so that Plaintiff could recover his personal belongings from his vehicle amounted to extortion.
- PRAYER FOR RELIEF
REASONS WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests this Honorable Court to grant him the following reliefs:
- An order of specific performance compelling Centurion Auto Recovery to release Plaintiff’s vehicle to Plaintiff;
- Award Plaintiff damages for breach of LA Rev. Stat. § 6:966.1.A;
- Award Plaintiff damages for breach of contract;
- Award Plaintiff damages for breach of peace;
- Award Plaintiff damages for extortion;
- Award Plaintiff punitive damages;
- Award Plaintiff pre and post judgment interests, costs of this suit and attorney fees as allowed by law;
- Award Plaintiff such equitable relief as may be appropriate under the circumstances; and
- Award such further relief as this Honorable Court deems necessary and proper.
Eric L. Ellis
637 Yarbrough St.,
Bossier City, LA 71111
I, Eric L. Ellis, being duly sworn depose and say that I am the Plaintiff in the above entitled action, that I have read the foregoing Complaint and know the contents thereof. That the same is true of my own knowledge except as to those matters and things stated upon information and belief, and as to those things, I believe them to be true.
(Sign in the presence of a Notary Public)
Sworn to and subscribed before me this the _____ day of ____________________, 2021.
(Printed name of Notary Public)
My Commission Expires: ____________________
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that a true and correct copy of the foregoing document was sent on the (Date) day of (Month) (Year) by regular U.S. mail, by facsimile, or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the following parties or attorneys of record:
(Name of Attorney), Attorney at Law
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