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Medical Recovery Services, LLC v. Ugaki-Hicks

Supreme Court of Idaho

May 2, 2018

MEDICAL RECOVERY SERVICES, LLC, an Idaho limited liability company, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
YVONNE UGAKI-HICKS, Defendant-Respondent.

          Boise, April 2018 Term

          Appeal from the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Bannock County. Hon. Mitchell W. Brown, District Judge.

         The decision of the district court is affirmed. No costs or attorney fees are awarded.

          Smith, Driscoll & Associates, PLLC, Idaho Falls, for appellant.

          Brian Zollinger argued.

          SCHROEDER, Justice pro tem

         I. Nature of the Case

         Medical Recovery Services, LLC ("MRS"), appeals a district court decision that affirmed a magistrate court's dismissal of an MRS complaint. MRS alleged a right to collect on a debt from Yvonne Ugaki-Hicks, who did not respond to the complaint. MRS filed an application for entry of default and default judgment. The magistrate court denied the request. MRS appealed to the district court which determined default should have been entered but affirmed the magistrate court's denial of entry of default judgment. MRS appealed to this Court.

         II. Factual and Procedural Background

         MRS filed a complaint against Ugaki-Hicks to recover $1, 416.63 alleged to be due for medical services provided by SEI Anesthesia. MRS alleged that it was the assignee of the bill. Ugaki-Hicks did not respond. MRS filed an application for entry of default and for entry of default judgment. In support of its application for default judgment, MRS filed the affidavit of counsel which stated that an original instrument evidencing MRS's claim was attached as Exhibit A. However, Exhibit A was not included in the record filed with the district court and is not present in the record before this Court.

         The magistrate court denied MRS's request for entry of default because MRS failed to provide sufficient proof of assignment of the debt as required by Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2). MRS filed a motion for reconsideration, asserting that Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(1) applied, not Rule 55(b)(2). Subsequently, MRS filed a second affidavit of counsel in support of the application which provided in pertinent part:

6. Pursuant to I.R.C.P. 55(b)(1) exhibit "A" is a true and correct copy of an "original instrument" evidencing Plaintiff's claim sent with Reconsideration on December 12 [sic], 2015.
7. As the attorney for MRS I have personal knowledge of the contract(s) between the providers and MRS assigning the accounts in this case to MRS for collection. The applicable contract(s) designate the original service provider as "Assignor" and MRS as "Assignee." The applicable contract(s) state, in relevant part: "Assignor desires, from time to time during the term of this agreement, to submit to Assignee for collection certain claims, accounts or other evidences of indebtedness." Accordingly, the account(s) at issue in this case were assigned at the moment MRS received account information in this case from the provider for collection.
8. Each of the accounts identified in Exhibit "A" have been assigned to MRS because MRS has received the account information from the provider ...

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