United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
L. Maloney United States District Judge
a civil action brought by a state prisoner asserting
violation of various federal consumer protection statutes.
The Court has granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub.
L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996), the Court is required
to dismiss any prisoner action brought under federal law if
the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief
from a defendant immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A. The Court must read
Plaintiff's pro se complaint indulgently,
see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and
accept Plaintiff's allegations as true, unless they are
clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). Applying these
standards, Plaintiff's action will be dismissed for
failure to state a claim.
is incarcerated in the Cooper Street Correctional Facility.
In his pro se complaint, Plaintiff sues Consumers
Credit Union (CCU), Kalamazoo County, Kalamazoo County
Sheriff Richard Fuller and Kalamazoo County Deputy Jeffrey
opened a deposit account at CCU on November 15, 2014.
Plaintiff consented to a credit check in order to open the
account. Over a one-month period, Plaintiff deposited several
checks made payable to him drawn upon the Suntrust bank
account of Rosanna Dickenson. Plaintiff claims that under the
terms of the contract he entered into with CCU, the credit
union could place a hold on checks deposited by Plaintiff or
grant him an unsecured line of credit until the check
cleared. In this case, all of the checks deposited by
Plaintiff were returned for insufficient funds. In the
meantime, Plaintiff made ATM withdrawals and purchases on his
debit card totaling $1, 015.03. CCU closed Plaintiff's
account on December 13, 2014, and charged off the negative
balance of $1, 015.03.
between November 15 and 24, 2014, Defendant Baker called
Plaintiff and advised him that he was the loss-prevention
officer for CCU. According to Plaintiff, Baker also was
employed as a Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Deputy. Baker
informed Plaintiff that he had accessed Plaintiff's
credit report numerous times in order to monitor credit
checks being conducted by other financial institutions where
Plaintiff was seeking to open accounts. Baker contacted five
other financial institutions where Plaintiff had opened
accounts and warned them of the activity on Plaintiff's
CCU account. Even after Plaintiff's account was closed by
CCU, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Baker called him
numerous times by telephone and email regarding the debt he
owed to CCU. Baker allegedly advised Plaintiff to pay back
the monies CCU had loaned him or he “would go to
jail.” (Compl. ¶ 14, ECF No. 1, PageID.5.)
Plaintiff told Baker to stop calling him, but Baker continued
to leave him phone messages through February 2015.
result of Baker's allegedly unlawful searches of
Plaintiff's credit report, Plaintiff was charged in
Kalamazoo County with uttering and publishing and obtaining
money by false pretenses. Plaintiff was arrested on the
charges in Florida and extradited to Michigan, where he
pleaded guilty to two counts of false pretenses, more than
$1, 000 but less than $20, 000, Mich. Comp. Laws §
750.2184A. He was sentenced on March 8, 2006, to concurrent
prison terms of 10 to 90 months. See Michigan
Department of Corrections Offender Tracking and Information
contends that Baker and CCU obtained his credit report
numerous times under false pretenses and without permissible
purpose in violation of the Consumer Credit Protection Act
(CCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq., the
Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et
seq., and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15
U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. Plaintiff further claims
that CCU violated the Right to Financial Privacy Act (RFPA),
12 U.S.C. § 3401 et seq., by disclosing his
financial records to the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's
Department without a subpeona or Plaintiff's written
consent. Plaintiff also contends that Defendant Fuller and
Kalamazoo County developed and maintained policies or customs
that caused Plaintiff's rights to be violated.
Specifically, Plaintiff claims Defendants Fuller and
Kalamazoo County developed a “hands off” policy
or custom with regard to the illegal activities undertaken by
Defendant Baker, such that Baker believed that he could
violate Plaintiff's rights with impunity.
relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.
complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it
fails “‘to give the defendant fair notice of what
the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). While a complaint need not contain
detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's allegations
must include more than labels and conclusions.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”). The
court must determine whether the complaint contains
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
570. “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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 679. Although the plausibility standard is not equivalent
to a “‘probability requirement, ' . . . it
asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has
acted unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[W]here
the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more
than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
alleged - but it has not ‘show[n]' - that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)); see also Hill
v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding
that the Twombly/Iqbal plausibility standard applies
to dismissals of prisoner cases on initial review under 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)).
Consumer Credit Protection Act
asserts violations of the CCPA arising from the alleged
unlawful use of his credit report. The CCPA is codified at 15
U.S.C. §§1601-1693r. The subchapters of the CCPA
can be summarized as follows:
Subchapter I of the Consumer Credit Protection Act is the
Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), 15 U.S.C. §
1601 et seq., which imposes disclosure requirements
on creditors. Subchapter II places restrictions on
garnishment of compensation, 15 U.S.C. § 1671 et
seq. Subchapter II-A is the Credit Repair Organizations
Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1679 et seq., which protects
consumers from unfair trade practices by credit repair
organizations. Subchapter III is the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. §
1681 et seq., which primarily regulates credit
reporting agencies but also places requirements on users of
credit information from these agencies. Subchapter IV is the
Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15 U.S.C.§ 1691 et
seq., which prohibits discrimination in the extension of
credit. Subchapter V is the Fair Debt ...