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Rodriguez v. Trans Union LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Texas

October 28, 2019

SABRINA RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff
v.
TRANS UNION LLC AND SANTANDER COSUMER USA, INC., Defendants

          HONORABLE LEE YEAKEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          SUSAN HIGHTOWER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before this Court are Defendant Trans Union LLC's Motion to Dismiss and Memorandum in Support, filed June 24, 2019 (Dkt. No. 9); Plaintiff's Response to Defendant Trans Union, LLC's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint, filed July 9, 2019 (Dkt. No. 11); Trans Union LLC's Reply in Support of its Motion to Dismiss, filed July 15, 2019 (Dkt. No. 13); and Notice of Supplemental Authority in Support of Defendant's Trans Union's Motion to Dismiss, filed October 2, 2019 (Dkt. No. 16).

         On July 10, 2019, the District Court referred the above motion to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for Report and Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72, and Rule 1 of Appendix C of the Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (“Local Rules”).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Sabrina Rodriguez alleges that she discovered an error on her credit report issued by Defendant Trans Union, LLC (“Trans Union”) on October 23, 2018. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that the credit report erroneously stated that she owed a monthly payment of $345 on an account (the “Santander Account”) she previously held with Santander Consumer USA, Inc. (“Santander”). Plaintiff alleges that the Santander Account is closed and that she no longer has any obligation to make monthly payments on it. On November 12, 2018, Plaintiff sent a letter to Trans Union requesting that it report the monthly payment on the Account as $0. Plaintiff alleges that Trans Union referred the matter to Santander. Plaintiff contends that Trans Union and Santander (“Defendants”) have refused to correct the amount owed on the Santander Account as requested.

         On April 4, 2019, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit alleging that Trans Union's inaccurate credit report and Defendants' failure to correct the error on the Santander Account violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 (“FCRA”). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Santander negligently and willfully failed to conduct a proper investigation and reinvestigation of her dispute and failed to direct Trans Union to correct the amount owed, in violation of § 1681s-2(b) of the FCRA. Plaintiff alleges that Trans Union negligently and willfully failed to maintain and follow reasonable procedures to assure the maximum possible accuracy of the information pertaining to Plaintiff it reported to one or more third parties and failed to conduct a reasonable reinvestigation, in violation of § 1681e(b) and § 1681i of the FCRA. Plaintiff alleges that she “has suffered actual damages, mental anguish and suffering, humiliation, and embarrassment.” Dkt. No. 1 at ¶¶ 31, 38.

         On June 24, 2019, Trans Union filed the instant Motion to Dismiss, arguing that “Trans Union's reporting of the payment terms on the Santander Account was accurate, and because Plaintiff cannot show an inaccuracy, she does not have a viable claim under either 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681e or 1681i of the [FCRA].” Dkt. No. 9 at p. 1.

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows a party to move to dismiss an action for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted. In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the court “accepts all well-pleaded facts as true, viewing them in the light most favorable to the [nonmovant].” In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007) (internal quotation marks omitted). The Supreme Court has explained that a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter “to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the [nonmovant] pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the [movant] is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678. “While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitle[ment] to 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 quotations and citations omitted). “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id.

         The court's review is limited to the complaint, any documents attached to the complaint, and any documents attached to the motion to dismiss that are central to the claim and referenced by the complaint. Lone Star Fund V (U.S.), L.P. v. Barclays Bank PLC, 594 F.3d 383, 387 (5th Cir. 2010). Because Plaintiff's Complaint expressly references and relies on her dispute correspondence with Trans Union[1] and her Trans Union reinvestigation results[2] to support her claims, the Court may consider this evidence without converting this Motion to Dismiss to a Motion for Summary Judgment. See Collins v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, 224 F.3d 496, 499 (5th Cir. 2000) (holding that district court properly considered documents attached to motion to dismiss since they were central to plaintiff's claims and referred to in her complaint); Her v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 2019 WL 4295280, at *2 (N.D.Ga. July 12, 2019) (finding that court could consider dispute letter attached to Trans Union's motion to dismiss without converting motion to dismiss to motion for summary judgment), report and recommendation adopted, 2019 WL 4295279 (N.D.Ga. Aug. 9, 2019).

         III. ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff's Complaint alleges that Trans Union violated §§ 1681e(b) and 1681i of the FCRA by inaccurately reporting on her credit report that she owed a monthly payment of $345 on the Santander Account and by failing to conduct a reasonable reinvestigation of the alleged inaccuracy. The Court will address each claim to determine whether Plaintiff has alleged a plausible claim for relief.

         A. Plaintiff's claim ...


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