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Pickaree v. Visa USA, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division

September 9, 2019

VISA USA, INC., Defendant.


          Lee H. Rosenthal, Chief United States District Judge.

         In June 2019, Marilyn R. Pickaree sued Visa USA, Inc. for $20 million in damages for violating the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq. (Docket Entry No. 1 at 18). Visa moved to dismiss and for a more definite statement, arguing that Pickaree filed her complaint outside the statute of limitations and lacks standing to bring her claim. (Docket Entry No. 7 at 2-4). Pickaree, a self-described professional pro se litigant, replied by restating the arguments in her complaint and asserting that her filing is timely. (Docket Entry No. 7-1 at 2; Docket Entry No. 12 at 12).

         The court agrees that this action is time-barred and grants the motion to dismiss. An order dismissing the case with prejudice is entered separately. The dismissal moots the standing issue and Visa's motion for a more definite statement.

         I. Background

         Pickaree claims that, on June 10, 2015, after making a purchase with her Visa credit card, she received a receipt illegally displaying her full credit card number and expiration date. (Docket Entry No. 1 at ¶¶ 9, 14). In May 2017, Pickaree sued the store, Royal Coin & Jewelry, in Harris County, Texas district court. (Id. at ¶ 15). She added Woodforest National Bank as a party in June 2018. (Id. at ¶ 18). Pickaree alleges that she settled with both the store and the bank. (Id. at ¶¶ 20- 21). She sued Visa for the first time in June 2019 in federal court, arguing that Visa is also responsible for the allegedly defective receipt. (Id. at ¶ 22).

         Pickaree's complaint does not specify what section of the Act Visa violated. Her original state-court petition against the store, which she attached to her federal complaint, cites 15 U.S.C. § 1681c(g)(1), which provides that:

[e]xcept as otherwise provided in this subsection, no person that accepts credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of the sale or transaction.

(Docket Entry No. 1-2 at 36 n.10). Pickaree did not sue Visa until June 2019 even though the transaction occurred in June 2015. (Docket Entry No. 1).

         II. The Legal Standard for Granting a Motion to Dismiss

         Rule 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, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting 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. (quoting Twombly, 550, U.S. at 556).

         “[W]hen the allegations in a complaint, however true, could not raise a claim of entitlement to relief, this basic deficiency should be exposed at the point of minimum expenditure of time and money by the parties and the court.” Cuvillier v. Taylor, 503 F.3d 397, 401 (5th Cir. 2007) (alterations omitted) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 558). A court may dismiss an action under Rule 12(b)(6) “where it is evident from the plaintiff's pleadings that the action is [time-]barred and the pleadings fail to raise some basis for tolling or the like.” King-White v. Humble Indep. Sch. Dist., 803 F.3d 754, 758 (5th Cir. 2015) (quoting Jones v. Alcoa, Inc., 339 F.3d 359, 366 (5th Cir. 2003).

         A court reviewing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) may consider “(1) the facts set forth in the complaint, (2) documents attached to the complaint, and (3) matters of which judicial notice may be taken under Federal Rule of Evidence 201.” Inclusive Cmtys Project, Inc. v. Lincoln Prop. Co., 920 F.3d 890, 900 (5th Cir. 2019).

         III. Analysis

         Pickaree's complaint is time-barred because she sued Visa over two years after discovering the Act violations in the receipt. The Act's limitations ...

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