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Renner v. Bank of America

United States District Court, D. Arizona

July 28, 2014

Patrick Renner, Plaintiff,
Bank of America, N.A., Defendant.


JAMES A. TEILBORG, District Judge.

Pending before the Court are: (1) Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint ("Motion to Dismiss") (Doc. 23); (2) Plaintiff's Objection to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint ("Response") (Doc. 24); (3) Plaintiff's Motion Requesting the Court's Leave to Amend Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2) ("Motion to Amend") (Doc. 25); (4) Plaintiff's Lodged Second Amended Complaint pursuant to LRCiv. 15.1(b) (the "Lodged SAC") (Doc. 26); and (5) Defendant's Reply in Support of Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint ("Reply") (Doc. 27). Defendant's Reply also serves as a Response to Plaintiff's Motion to Amend. ( Id. ).

I. Background

The Court assumes the facts alleged in the First Amended Complaint (the "FAC") (Doc. 17) are true for purposes of deciding the pending Motion to Dismiss. See Shwarz v. United States, 234 F.3d 428, 435 (9th Cir. 2000). For an unspecified amount of time, Defendant Bank of America, N.A. owned, held, and serviced a mortgage on Plaintiff Patrick Renner's Flagstaff property. (Doc. 17 at 2; see Doc. 23-1). In 2012, after noticing inaccuracies in his credit history, Plaintiff lodged complaints with Defendant and the Credit Reporting Agencies (the "CRAs"). (Doc. 17 at 1). Defendant refused to verify or correct the inaccurate and incomplete information reported to the CRAs. ( Id. at 2). As a result, Plaintiff has suffered damages from his inability to obtain a mortgage at a low interest rate. ( Id. at 2).

On March 4, 2014, Plaintiff filed a complaint in state court alleging that Defendant violated "the Fair Credit Reporting Act [(the "FCRA")], 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq, " by failing to completely and "accurately report information known [by Defendant] to the [CRAs]." (Doc. 17 at 1; see also Doc. 1-1; Doc. 1-5 at 1). On March 31, 2014, Defendant removed the action to this Court. ( See Doc. 1).

II. Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint

Defendant moves to dismiss Plaintiff's FAC because Plaintiff fails to "plead allegations sufficient to establish a claim against" Defendant and "the FCRA does not provide Plaintiff with a private cause of action." (Doc. 23 at 3).

A. Legal Standard

The Court may dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for two reasons: (1) lack of cognizable legal theory; or (2) insufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). To survive a 12(b)(6) motion for failure to state a claim, a complaint must meet the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), which requires a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, " so that the defendant has "fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).

Although a complaint attacked for failure to state a claim does not need detailed factual allegations, the pleader's obligation to provide the grounds for relief requires "more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal citations omitted). Rule 8(a)(2) "requires a showing, ' rather than a blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief. Without some factual allegations in the complaint, it is hard to see how a claimant could satisfy the requirement of providing not only fair notice' of the nature of the claim, but also grounds' on which the claim rests." Id. (citing 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1202, pp. 94, 95 (3d ed. 2004)). Thus, Rule 8's pleading standard demands more than "an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

In deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must construe the facts alleged in the complaint in the light most favorable to the drafter of the complaint and the Court must accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true. See Shwarz, 234 F.3d at 435. Nonetheless, the Court does not have to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation. Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986).

B. Analysis

Defendant argues that the Court should dismiss Plaintiff's FAC because "Plaintiff fail[s] to plead any facts that would entitle him to" relief under the FCRA and the FAC "fails to plausibly allege any claim against [Defendant]." (Doc. 23 at 1).

Congress enacted the FCRA to ensure fair and accurate credit reporting, to promote efficiency in the banking system, and to protect consumer privacy. Gorman v. Wolpoff & Abramson, LLP, 584 F.3d 1147, 1153 (9th Cir. 2009). To ensure accurate credit reporting, the FCRA imposes some duties on the sources that ...

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