Midland Funding LLC, assignee of Chase Bank USA, N.A.
Tammy Turcotte Raposo.
County KD 18-58, KD 18-59 Superior Court Richard A. Licht
Plaintiff: Kara Thorvaldsen, Esq. Paul G. Manning, Jr., Esq.
Defendant: Stephen A. Robinson, Esq.
Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and
A. Suttell Chief Justice.
defendant, Tammy Turcotte Raposo, appeals from the entry of
two Superior Court judgments in favor of the plaintiff,
Midland Funding, LLC (Midland), in these consolidated
credit-card debt collection appeals. Raposo contends on
appeal that the hearing justice erred in granting
Midland's motions for summary judgment. This case came
before the Supreme Court for oral argument pursuant to an
order directing the parties to appear and show cause why the
issue raised in this appeal should not be summarily decided.
After a close review of the record and careful consideration
of the parties' arguments, we shall decide the appeal at
this time. For the reasons stated in this opinion, we affirm
the judgments of the Superior Court.
and Procedural History
filed two separate civil book-account actions in Third
Division District Court alleging that Raposo owed Midland, as
the assignee of Chase Bank USA, N.A., the unpaid balance due
on two credit-card accounts. The first complaint sought to
recover the sum of $2, 200.82 plus costs. Raposo answered the
complaint with a letter in which she "den[ied] any and
all statements set forth in [her] name" within
Midland's complaint and stated she had "no
recollection or knowledge of" the claims asserted
against her. Midland filed a motion for summary judgment.
Raposo did not file an objection to the motion. The District
Court granted Midland's motion.
second complaint sought to recover the sum of $9, 705.78 from
a different credit-card account in Raposo's name. Raposo
answered in a letter which stated that she had "no
knowledge of this complaint[.]" Midland filed a motion
for summary judgment, to which Raposo again did not file an
objection. The District Court granted Midland's motion.
appealed to the Superior Court from the judgments in both
cases. Midland filed a motion for summary judgment in each
appeal, to which Raposo objected, attaching identical
affidavits in which she stated that, "[t]o the best of
[her] knowledge," she had never opened the accounts at
issue or used the credit cards. Midland filed responses to
Raposo's objections, including billing records that
detailed purchases and payments made by Raposo on both
hearing justice consolidated the cases for argument. After
reviewing the record and hearing arguments, the hearing
justice found that Raposo's affidavit was not sufficient
to create a genuine issue of material fact. The hearing
justice reasoned that, without more than a
"self-serving" statement that Raposo did not recall
opening these accounts or using the credit cards, there was
no basis upon which he could find an issue of fact as to the
ownership of the accounts. Accordingly, the hearing justice
granted summary judgment as to each of the two book-account
claims, and final judgments were entered in favor of Midland
for the full balance of each account plus costs. Raposo filed
a timely notice of appeal from each judgment, and we
consolidated the appeals before oral argument.