United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MARSHALL DYSON, individually and as a representative of the class, Plaintiff,
SKY CHEFS, INC., d/b/a LSG SKY CHEFS and LSG SKY CHEFS NORTH AMERICA SOLUTIONS, INC., d/b/a LSG SKY CHEFS, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Due to Lack of
Article III Standing, or in the alternative, Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings. Doc. 49. For the reasons that
follow, the Court GRANTS Defendants'
a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) case. In December 2015,
Plaintiff applied to work for Defendants as a cook. Doc. 1,
Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 20. As part of the employment
application process, Defendants provided applicants with the
following Disclosure and Authorization Form:
Doc. 1-1, Pl.'s Ex. 1, Discl. & Auth. Form.
as will soon become apparent, maintains that the Disclosure
and Authorization Form violates the FCRA. Defendants, by
contrast, say that Plaintiff was provided with at least two
additional background check disclosures, all of which
complied with the FCRA. Doc. 49, Defs.' Mot. for Dismiss.
Due to Lack of Art. III Standing or, in the Alternative, Mot.
for J. on Pl. [hereinafter Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss] 3;
Doc. 50, Defs.' App. Supp. Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss 1-2
[hereinafter Defs.' App.], Ex. A, Marshall Dyson
Disclosure Forms. Nevertheless, Plaintiff signed the form
when he applied. See id.; Doc. 1-1, Pl.'s Ex. 1,
Discl. & Auth. Form.
week later, Defendants offered Plaintiff a job as a cook.
Doc. 1, Pl.'s Compl. ¶¶ 39-40. The offer
letter's last paragraph explained that the offer was
“‘contingent upon the successful completion of
the pre-employment process including but not limited to
background and employment checks.'” Id.
¶ 40 (quoting Doc. 1-1, Pl.'s Ex. 3, Offer Letter).
Plaintiff accepted the position and signed the document.
Id. ¶ 39. Defendants, in turn, procured a
consumer report on Plaintiff on January, 1, 2016, and hired
him shortly thereafter. Id. ¶ 41.
claims that, due to the Disclosure and Authorization's
Form's non-compliance with the FCRA, Defendants obtained
information about him that they had no legal right to obtain.
Id. ¶ 42. Plaintiff further claims that
Defendants did the same to thousands of their other
employees. Id. ¶ 54. On that basis, Plaintiff
filed his Complaint on behalf of himself and a putative
class, asserting that Defendants violated the FCRA's
stand-alone disclosure requirement. Id. ¶¶
54-64 (citing 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)). Plaintiff does
not claim that he or the putative class suffered any actual
damages, but seeks instead statutory damages, putative
damages, costs, and attorneys' fees. Id. ¶
then moved to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c), arguing that Plaintiff lacked
standing to sue, or alternatively, that he failed to state a
claim upon which relief could be granted. Doc. 49, Defs.'
Mot. to Dismiss. Plaintiff responded to Defendants'
Motion. Doc. 53, Pl.'s Resp. Opp'n Defs.' Mot. to
Dismiss [hereinafter Pl.'s Resp.]. And Defendants
replied. Doc. 56, Defs.' Reply in Further Supp. of
Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss [hereinafter Defs.' Reply].
The Motion is therefore ripe for the Court's review.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) provides that “[a]fter
the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay
trial-a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 7(a);
5C Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal Practice &
Procedure § 1367 (internal footnotes omitted)
(“Rule 7(a) provides that the pleadings are closed upon
the filing of a complaint and an answer (absent a
court-ordered reply), unless a counterclaim, cross-claim, or
third-party claim is interposed, in which event the filing of
a reply to a counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party answer
normally will mark the close of the pleadings.”). The
pleadings in this case are closed and Defendants timely filed
their Motion. Thus, the Court may properly consider
Defendants' Rule 12(c) challenge.
motion for judgment on the pleadings “is designed to
dispose of cases where the material facts are not in dispute
and a judgment on the merits can be rendered by looking to
the substance of the pleadings and any judicially noticed
facts.” Herbert Abstract Co. v. Touchstone Props.,
Ltd., 914 F.2d 74, 76 (5th Cir. 1990). The standard for
evaluating a Rule 12(c) motion is the same as the standard
for evaluating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure
to state a claim. Doe v. Myspace, Inc., 528 F.3d
413, 418 (5th Cir. 2008). That holds true regardless of
whether the Rule 12(c) motion raises Article III standing or
other merits arguments. See Brown v. Livingston, 524
F. App'x 111, 114 (5th Cir. 2013); see also Hosein v.
Gonzales, 452 F.3d 401, 403 (5th Cir. 2006) (“We
may affirm a district court's Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal on
any grounds supported by the record, including a party's
lack of standing.”).
Court may look to “allegations in the complaint and to
those documents attached to a defendant's motion to
dismiss to the extent that those documents are referred to in
the complaint and are central to the claims.” Cox
v. Cent. Insurex Agency, Inc., No. 3:11-cv-2267-B, 2012
WL 253882, at *2 (N.D. Tex. Jan 26, 2012) (citing Causey
v. Sewell Cadillac-Chevrolet, Inc., 394 F.3d 285, 288
(5th Cir. 2004)).
Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes
a court to dismiss a plaintiff's complaint for
“failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). In considering a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, “[t]he court accepts all
well-pleaded facts as true, viewing them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff.” In re Katrina Canal
Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007)
(quoting Martin K. Eby Constr. Co. v. Dall. Area Rapid
Transit, 369 F.3d 464, 467 (5th Cir. 2004)).
survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. “The
plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability
requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Id. When well-pleaded facts fail to achieve this
plausibility standard, “the complaint has alleged-but
it has not shown-that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Id. at 679 (internal quotation marks
and alterations omitted).
The FCRA's Stand-Alone Disclosure Requirement
FCRA provides that a person may not procure a consumer
report, or cause a consumer report to be procured, for