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Betz v. Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

September 22, 2014

NA'EEM O. BETZ, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFFERSON CAPITAL SYSTEMS, LLC, Defendant

Page 131

NA'EEM O. BETZ, Plaintiff, Pro se, Washington, DC.

For JEFFERSON CAPITAL SYSTEMS, LLC, Defendant: Phillip C. Chang, LEAD ATTORNEY, MCGUIREWOODS LLP, Washington, DC.

Page 132

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ELLEN SEGAL HUVELLE, United States District Judge.

On January 24, 2014, plaintiff Na'eem Betz, proceeding pro se, sued defendant Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC, alleging claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (" FCRA" ), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., and common-law invasion of privacy. (Compl., Jan. 24, 2014 [Dkt. No. 1] at 3-4.) Before the Court is defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim. (Mot., May 28, 2014 [Dkt. No. 5].) For the following reasons, the Court will grant defendant's motion in part.

BACKGROUND

On November 11, 2012, defendant--who plaintiff concedes is a " debt collector" (Compl. at 2-4)--initiated and reported a collection trade line on plaintiff's consumer credit report file with the three major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. ( Id. at 2.) The collection trade line at the center of this case states that plaintiff is delinquent with respect to over $4000 of debt originally owed to Heritage Education and that defendant, having purchased this debt from Heritage Education, is now plaintiff's creditor. (Compl. Exh. A.)

Plaintiff never applied for credit from defendant and thus considers the collection trade line as " fraudulent." (Compl. at 2, 4.) Plaintiff filed disputes regarding the debt with the credit bureaus, which concluded the debt that defendant reported on plaintiff's consumer credit report was valid. ( Id. at 2.) From these allegations, plaintiff concludes that defendant either " willfully" or " negligently" violated the FCRA " by obtaining [his] consumer report without a permissible purpose as defined by" the statute ( id. at 3-4), and also invaded his privacy. ( Id. at 4.)[1]

ANALYSIS

I. LEGAL STANDARD

" 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). " 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 " facial plausibility" standard " asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). " [A]

Page 133

complaint [does not] suffice if it tenders 'naked assertions' devoid of 'further factual enhancement.'" Id. (some alterations omitted) ...


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