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Petronykoriak v. Equifax Information Services LLC

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

September 10, 2019

T. Petronykoriak, Plaintiff,
Equifax Information Services LLC et al., Defendants.


          JUDITH E. LEVY United States District Judge

         Plaintiff filed this action in Wayne County Circuit Court on February 12, 2019, alleging various federal statutory and state law tort claims based on allegedly false information on his credit report. Defendant Equifax Information Services LLC timely removed the case to federal court on March 15, 2019. (ECF No. 1-1, PageID.1.) Defendant Comcast of Detroit LLC (“Comcast”), moves to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12. (ECF No. 84, PageID.542.) Plaintiff failed to respond to defendant's Rule 12 motion.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff brings eleven causes of action against seventeen named defendants arising from the allegedly false information reported by defendants Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian. (ECF No. 1-2, PageID.13.) These claims appear to arise out of plaintiff's assertion that his “credit was excellent, ” but that based on false information on his credit report, plaintiff was unable to obtain a credit card and a loan. (Id. at PageID.13.)

         Plaintiff does not include allegations specifically identifying Comcast. Instead, the complaint includes various allegations regarding “ALL LISTED DEFENDANTS, ” including that they all: failed to take action to correct false consumer reports; failed to adopt procedures to assure reports were accurate; and disseminated false information about plaintiff, despite the fact that “ALL LISTED DEFENDANTS were notified of the errors and disputes.” (ECF No. 1, PageID.16-17.) Plaintiff argues that these actions violated various federal statutes, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), the Fair Credit Billing Act (“FCBA”), and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). Plaintiff brings additional counts against defendant under various state tort law theories, including negligence, defamation, “malicious use of a telephone, ” and harassment.[1]

         II. Legal Standards

         Defendant filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) on August 9, 2019. Plaintiff did not respond.

         A motion for judgment on the pleadings is reviewed under the same standard as one brought under Rule 12(b)(6). E.E.O.C. v. J.H. Routh Packing Co., 246 F.3d 850, 851 (6th Cir. 2001). That is, courts must “construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff” and “accept all of the complaint's factual allegations as true.” Id. “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A plausible claim need not contain “detailed factual allegations, ” but it must contain more than “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).

         The pleading standard is less stringent for plaintiffs proceeding pro se but does not “compel the courts to conjure up unpleaded facts to support conclusory allegations.” Grinter v. Knight, 532 F.3d 567, 577 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting Kamppi v. Ghee, 208 F.3d 213 (table), 2000 WL 303018, at *1 (6th Cir. 2000)).

         III. Analysis

         The complaint fails to allege specific facts with respect to Comcast. As a result, the Court has no way of knowing what relationship this defendant has to this case. Moreover, the Court is unable to assess whether the conduct of Comcast was lawful or reasonable with respect to plaintiff as a consumer. Because the complaint fails to allege facts with any specificity, and relies on conclusory allegations, it fails to state a claim against Comcast.

         The complaint includes similarly conclusory allegations with respect to “ALL LISTED DEFENDANTS, ” and, for reasons outlined below, these general allegations also fail to set forth a plausible claim.

         A. FCRA Claim

         In the Sixth Circuit, consumers may bring a cause of action under the FCRA against any “‘person who is negligent in failing to comply with any requirement . . . imposed with respect to any consumer under the act.” Boggio v. USAA Fed. Sav. Bank, 696 F.3d 611, 615 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting 15 U.S.C. § 1681o). Relevant to Comcast, the FRCA requires a “furnisher to ‘conduct an investigation with respect to the disputed information'” provided to it by a consumer reporting agency (“CRA”). Id. at 616 (quoting § 1681s-2(b)(1)(A)). The FRCA lays out additional steps and requirements of a furnisher with respect to the information provided about a consumer by a CRA. Id. at 616-17. However, these requirements are not triggered unless the furnisher receives “notice from a consumer ...

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