United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Rosenthal, Chief United States District Judge.
Eustice sued JPMorgan Chase & Co., alleging breach of
contract, promissory estoppel, fraud, and violations of the
Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Texas Debt Collection Act, and
the Texas Financial Code. (Docket Entry No. 1-1). Chase
timely removed and moved for judgment on the pleadings.
(Docket Entry No. 1, 6). Eustice then amended his complaint
and asked the court to deny the motion for judgment on the
pleadings as moot. (Docket Entry Nos. 10, 12). Chase moved to
dismiss the amended complaint, Eustice responded, and Chase
replied. (Docket Entry Nos. 15, 17, 18).
on the amended complaint; the motion, response, and reply;
and the applicable law, the court grants Chase's motion
to dismiss, without prejudice and with leave to amend, no
later than August 16, 2019. (Docket Entry No. 15). The
reasons for this ruling are set out below.
alleges, without specifying when, that he opened four
personal and business bank accounts, three personal credit
cards, and one business credit card with Chase Bank. (Docket
Entry No. 12 at ¶ 6). According to Eustice, Chase
extended almost $100, 000 in credit across the four credit
cards. (Id. at ¶ 7). In November 2018, Chase
“revoked those cards” for nonpayment.
(Id. at ¶¶ 7-8). Eustice alleges that the
revocation has damaged his credit. (Id. at ¶
alleges that Chase's revocation was not based on
nonpayment because he had never missed a payment.
(Id. at ¶ 8). According to Eustice, Chase
instead revoked the cards “because he filed internal
[Fair Credit Reporting Act] billing disputes for returned
merchandise and defective merchandise.” (Id.
at ¶ 9). Eustice alleges that Chase has given credit
bureaus inaccurate information about him, including reporting
a $25, 000 credit-card debt that he disputes. (Id.
at ¶¶ 11-12).
The Legal Standard
12(b)(6) allows dismissal if a plaintiff fails “to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Rule 12(b)(6) must be read in
conjunction with Rule 8(a), which requires “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A complaint
must contain “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). Rule 8 “does
not require ‘detailed factual allegations,' but it
demands more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “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. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
“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. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556).
court should generally give a plaintiff at least one chance
to amend under Rule 15(a) before dismissing the action with
prejudice, unless it is clear that to do so would be futile.
See Carroll v. Fort James Corp., 470 F.3d 1171, 1175
(5th Cir. 2006) (“[Rule 15(a)] evinces a bias in favor
of granting leave to amend.” (quotation omitted));
Great Plains Tr. Co. v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter &
Co., 313 F.3d 305, 329 (5th Cir. 2002)
(“[D]istrict courts often afford plaintiffs at least
one opportunity to cure pleading deficiencies before
dismissing a case, unless it is clear that the defects are
incurable or the plaintiffs advise the court that they are
unwilling or unable to amend in a manner that will avoid
dismissal.”). A court may deny a motion to amend for
futility if an amended complaint would fail to state a claim
on which relief could be granted, using the Rule 12(b)(6)
standard. Pervasive Software Inc. v. Lexware GmbH &
Co. KG, 688 F.3d 214, 232 (5th Cir. 2012). The district
court has discretion to grant or deny leave to amend.
Eustice is representing himself, the court construes his
filings liberally, examining them under “less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Even so,
self-represented litigants “‘must abide by'
the rules that govern the federal courts.” Frazier
v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 541 Fed.Appx. 419, 421 (5th
Cir. 2013) (per curiam). “Pro se litigants
must properly plead sufficient facts that, when liberally
construed, state a plausible claim to relief, serve
defendants, obey discovery orders, present summary judgment
evidence, file a notice of appeal, and brief arguments on
appeal.” E.E.O.C. v. Simbaki, Ltd., 767 F.3d
475, 484 (5th Cir. 2014).
The Fair Credit Billing Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act
alleges that Chase “has failed to report disputed
transactions and debts to the credit bureaus” and
“pulled [his] credit report without permissible
purpose, ” in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting
Act. (Docket Entry No. 12 at ¶¶ 21-22). Chase
argues that Eustice has not alleged facts supporting his
“baseless claims” or given “a single
instance that Chase ever engaged in the conduct
alleged.” (Docket Entry No. 15 at 5).
Fair Credit Reporting Act imposes two general duties on those
who give credit information to credit reporting agencies: (1)
“a [d]uty of furnishers of information to provide
accurate information, ” 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(a);
and (2) “[d]uties of furnishers of information upon
notice of dispute, ” including to investigate disputes,
correct inaccurate information, and inform the credit
reporting agency of an investigation's results, 15 U.S.C.
§ 1681s-2(b). The Fair Credit Reporting Act also imposes
civil liability on a person who willfully or negligently
obtains a consumer report for a purpose that the FCRA does
not authorize. Norman v. Northland Grp., Inc., 495
Fed.Appx. 425, 426 (5th Cir. ...