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Hall v. Bay Area Credit Service

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

September 15, 2017

KRISTEE HALL, Plaintiff,
v.
BAY AREA CREDIT SERVICE, ET AL., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN MCBRYDE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Came on for consideration the motion of defendant Bay Area Credit Service ("BACS") to dismiss plaintiff's claims against it in the above-captioned action. The court, having considered the motion, the response, the record, and applicable legal authorities, concludes that it should be granted in part.

         I.

         Plaintiff's Claims

         Kristee Hall initiated this action on June 26, 2017 by filing her original complaint. Plaintiff's live pleading is her first amended complaint filed August 16, 2017. In it, plaintiff alleges that BACS violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681-1681X ("FCRA"), as well as various provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C § 1692-1962p("FDCPA"), by reporting inaccurate information to a credit reporting agency and by failing to correct the information upon becoming aware of its inaccuracy. Plaintiff makes the following factual allegations:

         In January 2 017, plaintiff became aware from her TransUnion credit report that BACS was reporting her to be delinquent on a debt. Plaintiff inquired as to the nature of this debt, and learned that it was for an ambulance ride in California that she in fact had not taken. Plaintiff filed an online dispute with TransUnion regarding the inaccurate debt, which then conveyed the information to BACS. BACS apparently responded by placing plaintiff's account in disputed status and notifying the credit reporting agencies of the disputed status. In February 2017 plaintiff again called BACS to dispute the debt she saw reflected on her credit report. Plaintiff contacted BACS in April 2017 to dispute the debt yet again, prompting BACS to finally investigate the legitimacy of the debt.

         II.

         Grounds of Bay Area Credit Service's Motion

         Movant seeks dismissal of plaintiff's claims against it for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Specifically, BACS claims that plaintiff has failed to state a claim under 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(b) because BACS complied with the requirements of the FCRA by placing plaintiff's claim "in dispute" after their first communication and then later deleting the item from plaintiff's credit history. Second, BACS claims that plaintiff has failed to state a claim under the FDCPA because her pleadings fail to allege that BACS made any attempt to collect a debt from plaintiff.

         III.

         Applicable Pleading Standards

         Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in a general way, the applicable standard of pleading. It requires that a complaint contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief[, ]" Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), "in order to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim[s are] and the grounds upon which [they] rest[]." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal quotation marks and ellipsis omitted). Although a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, the "showing" contemplated by Rule 8 requires the plaintiff to do more than simply allege legal conclusions or recite the elements of a cause of action. Id. at 555 & n.3. Thus, while a court must accept all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true, it need not credit bare legal conclusions that are unsupported by any factual underpinnings. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 ("While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.")

         Moreover, to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), the facts pleaded must allow the court to infer that the plaintiff's right to relief is plausible. Id. at 678. To allege a plausible right to relief, the facts pleaded must suggest liability; allegations that are merely consistent with unlawful conduct are insufficient. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 566-69. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief . . . [is] a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Iqbal, 55 6 U.S. at 679.

         The court generally is not to look beyond the pleadings in deciding a motion to dismiss. Spivey v. Robertson, 197 F.3d 772, 774 (5th Cir. 1999). "Pleadings" for purposes of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion include the complaint, its attachments, and documents that are referred to in the complaint and central to the plaintiff's ...


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