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Kortum-Managhan v. Herbergers NBGL

Montana Supreme Court
204 P.3d 693 (2009)


Facts

Santana Kortum-Managhan (plaintiff) opened a credit card account with Herbergers NBGL, Herbergers HB, Household/Herbergers, and Saks Incorporated (collectively Herbergers) (defendant). The credit application did not include the terms and conditions of the agreement. Kortum-Managhan subsequently received in the mail a Herbergers credit card and the credit card agreement. The agreement did not include a provision requiring arbitration in the event the parties had a dispute. However, the agreement did provide that Herbergers could unilaterally alter the agreement at any time. The agreement further noted that the continued use of the credit card by Kortum-Managhan signified her acceptance of any changes to the terms and conditions. A few months later, a “bill stuffer” was included in Kortum-Managhn’s monthly billing statement which contained several changes to the agreement, including an arbitration clause. Kortum-Managhan filed suit against Herbergers in state court alleging multiple violations of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, including falsely reporting to the credit bureaus that Kortum-Managhan had several open accounts with Herbergers instead of just one account. Herbergers moved to dismiss the complaint and to compel arbitration of the claims. The trial court granted Herbergers’ motion to dismiss the complaint and Kortum-Managhan appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Nelson, J.)

Dissent (Rice, J.)

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