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Kennedy v. Arbor Professional Solutions, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

June 21, 2019




         I. BACKGROUND

         On January 24, 2019, pro se Plaintiff Jesse Kennedy (“Kennedy”) commenced this action in the small claims division of the State of Michigan's 46thJudicial District Court in Southfield, Michigan alleging that Defendant Arbor Professional Solutions, Inc. (“Arbor”) violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681, and Sections 806, 807, and 809 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692.[1] (Doc # 1) Arbor removed this action to federal court on February 14, 2019. (Id.) On February 25, 2019, Kennedy filed a letter in which he sought to amend his Complaint. (Doc # 3) The Court considers Kennedy's letter to be his request to amend his Complaint. The Court now grants Kennedy's request pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2), which instructs the Court to “give leave [to amend] freely when justice so requires.” Further, the Court finds that Arbor will not be prejudiced in any way by granting Kennedy's request.

         On February 28, 2019, Arbor filed a Motion to Dismiss Kennedy's Amended Complaint. (Doc # 4) On March 4, 2019, Kennedy filed a letter in which he responded to Arbor's Motion.[2] (Doc # 6) On March 18, 2019, Arbor filed its Reply. (Doc # 9) This Motion is currently before the Court and a hearing was held on May 1, 2019.

         In Kennedy's Amended Complaint, he alleges the following. His claims arose on these dates: October 14-15, 2016, April 25, 2017, December 13, 2018, and January 17-18, 2019. (Doc 3, Pg ID 8) Kennedy alleges that Arbor violated his rights under the FCRA and FDCPA in Southfield, Michigan. (Id.) Due to these alleged violations, Kennedy requests that he be awarded $6, 000.[3] (Doc # 1, Pg ID 5)

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Standards of Review

         1. Motion to Dismiss

         Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). This type of motion tests the legal sufficiency of the plaintiff's complaint. Davey v. Tomlinson, 627 F.Supp. 1458, 1463 (E.D. Mich. 1986). When reviewing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must “construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept its allegations as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.” Directv Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007). A court, however, need not accept as true legal conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences.” Id. (quoting Gregory v. Shelby Cnty., 220 F.3d 443, 446 (6th Cir. 2000)). “[L]egal conclusions masquerading as factual allegations will not suffice.” Edison v. State of Tenn. Dep't of Children's Servs., 510 F.3d 631, 634 (6th Cir. 2007).

         As the Supreme Court has explained, “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. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level… .” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted); see LULAC v. Bresdesen, 500 F.3d 523, 527 (6th Cir. 2007). To survive dismissal, the plaintiff must offer sufficient factual allegations to make the asserted claim plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663 (2009). “A claim has facial plausibility when the pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.

         2. Pro Se Litigants

         Pleadings drafted by pro se litigants are held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by counsel. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A court will liberally construe a pro se complaint to determine whether it fails to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991). However, the “duty to be less stringent with pro se complaint[s] does not require [a] court to conjure up unplead allegations.” Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir.1989). Accordingly, the Court liberally construes Kennedy's allegations-without creating new ones for him. See id.

         B. Defendant's Motion to Dismiss

         Arbor argues that Kennedy's FCRA and FDCPA claims should be dismissed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) because his Amended Complaint does not contain a short and plain statement of his claims showing that he is entitled to relief. Arbor asserts that Kennedy has not described any actions that it has taken that would allow the Court to find that it violated either statute. Arbor additionally claims that Kennedy's ...

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