United States District Court, D. Columbia
Anthony Rivera, Plaintiff, Pro se, Washington, DC USA.
Jpmorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Defendant: Michael Bertrand
Roberts, REED SMITH LLP, Washington, DC USA.
C. LAMBERTH, United States District Judge.
case, plaintiff, Anthony Rivera, brings an action pro
se against JPMorgan Chase Bank (" Chase" ) for
damages and injunctive relief, alleging willful failure to
reasonably reinvestigate in violation of 15 U.S.C. §
1681s-2(a), negligent failure to reasonably reinvestigate in
violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(b), and defamation
under the common law. Plaintiff filed this complaint as a
class action, which the defendant has challenged due to the
plaintiff's pro se status. This matter is before
the Court on defendant's motion to strike class action
allegations and defendant's motion to dismiss.
following reasons and after consideration of the parties'
briefing and relevant legal standards, in a separate order to
issue this date, the defendant's motion to dismiss will
be GRANTED, and the defendant's motion to strike class
action allegations will be DENIED as moot.
is a natural person who resides in the District of Columbia.
Compl. ¶ 1. Defendant Chase is a national banking
association that provides financial services, including
mortgage-related services, to individual consumers and
financial entities Id. ¶ 2. Chase furnishes
information to credit reporting agencies (" CRAs" )
regarding its mortgagors. Id.
August 2001, the plaintiff acquired a mortgage loan (the
" Loan" ) from Washington Mutual Bank, F.A. ("
Washington Mutual" ), which began servicing the Loan in
February 2002. Id. ¶ ¶ 12-13. Plaintiff
filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January 2003, and his loan
was discharged accordingly. Id. ¶ ¶ 14,
16. Washington Mutual reported to CRAs that the Loan was
discharged with a zero balance. Id. ¶ ¶
supposedly acquired the servicing rights to the Loan in
September 2009. Id. ¶ 18. Plaintiff claims that
in March 2013 he discovered that Chase had been erroneously
reporting that plaintiff owed on his discharged loan.
Id. ¶ 19. He argues that these erroneous
reports by Chase adversely affected his credit. Id.
¶ 20. Plaintiff also alleges that he reported this
information to Equifax, a CRA, which then notified Chase of
the dispute. Id. ¶ ¶ 21-22; Pl.'s Opp.
Def.'s Mot. Dismiss ¶ 5. At this time, Chase
purportedly " responded by instructing Equifax to
continue reporting the account as being currently due and
owing." Compl. ¶ 22.
result of this dispute, the plaintiff filed a complaint
against Chase in the Superior Court for the District of
Columbia, alleging violation of two provisions of the Fair
Credit Reporting Act (" FCRA" ) and common law
defamation. Compl. ¶ ¶ 31-41. Chase timely removed
the action to this Court.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), courts should
dismiss complaints that do not allege sufficient facts,
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). A
complaint is considered " plausible on its face" if
it " pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Id. at 662.
Additionally, complaints must include " more than labels
and conclusions" and cannot merely consist of " a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action." Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). The facts
alleged " must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level." Id.
plaintiff proceeding pro se is held to a " less
stringent" standard than a lawyer, and the court must
construe his claims liberally. Erickson v. Pardus,
551 U S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007). A
pro se plaintiff is not, however, exempt from the
Rule 12(b)(6) requirements. See Atherton v. D.C.
Office of the Mayor, 567 F.3d 672, 681-82, 386
U.S.App.D.C. 144 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (" But even a pro se
complainant must plead 'factual matter' that permits
the court to infer 'more than the mere possibility of
misconduct.'" (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at