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Wright v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. California

October 16, 2014

LYNNE L. WRIGHT, Plaintiff,


JENNIFER L. THURSTON, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Lynne Wright initiated this action against Defendant Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC by filing a complaint on October 9, 2014. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff asserts that Defendant has made false reports regarding a debt to three credit reporting agencies and has used unlawful methods to attempt to collect this debt.

Because Plaintiff has not alleged facts sufficient to support her claims for invasion of privacy, negligence, or a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Court orders Plaintiff to either file a First Amended Complaint or notify the Court of her willingness to proceed only on her claim for a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

I. Pleading Requirements

General rules for pleading complaints are governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. A complaint must include a statement affirming the court's jurisdiction, "a short and plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief; and... a demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). The Federal Rules adopt a flexible pleading policy, and pro se pleadings are held to "less stringent standards" than those drafted by attorneys. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 521-21 (1972).

A complaint must state the elements of the plaintiff's claim in a plain and succinct manner. Jones v. Cmty Redevelopment Agency, 733 F.2d 646, 649 (9th Cir. 1984). The purpose of a complaint is to give the defendant fair notice of the claims against him, and the grounds upon which the complaint stands. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002). The Supreme Court noted,

Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation. A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Conclusory and vague allegations do not support a cause of action. Ivey v. Board of Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). The Court clarified further,

[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." [Citation]. 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. [Citation]. The plausibility standard is not akin to a "probability requirement, " but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. [Citation]. Where a complaint pleads facts that are "merely consistent with" a defendant's liability, it "stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'

Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citations omitted). If factual allegations are well-pled, a court should assume their truth and determine whether the facts would make the plaintiff entitled to relief; conclusions in the pleading are not entitled to the same assumption of truth. Id.

The Court has a duty to dismiss a case at any time it determines an action fails to state a claim, "notwithstanding any filing fee that may have been paid." 28 U.S.C. § 1915e(2). Accordingly, a court "may act on its own initiative to note the inadequacy of a complaint and dismiss it for failure to state a claim." See Wong v. Bell, 642 F.2d 359, 361 (9th Cir. 1981) (citing 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure, § 1357 at 593 (1963)). However, the Court may grant leave to amend a complaint to the extent deficiencies of the complaint can be cured by an amendment. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127-28 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc).

II. Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff alleges Defendant is attempting to collect an alleged debt, of which Plaintiff lacks knowledge. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff reports that she was on the website of Ticor Title, on March 15, 2014, when she found Defendant "had filed a notice of default." ( Id. at 2.) According to Plaintiff, she served a "Notice of Validation of Debt pursuant to 15 USC §1692" on July 24, 2014, to require Defendant "to validate/verify their alleged debt." ( Id. ) Plaintiff reports that Defendant is "a stranger to the Plaintiff, " because she had no contractual relationship with Defendant and she "never applied for credit or services with the defendant." ( Id. at 8.)[1]

In addition, Plaintiff obtained her consumer credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and Transunion on July 28, 2104, which all indicated that Defendant had reported the debt to the credit reporting agencies. (Doc. 1 at 3.) Plaintiff asserts she "immediately filed disputes with the three credit reporting agencies pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681." ( Id. ) Plaintiff asserts Defendant "failed to maintain, and failed to follow, reasonable procedures to assure [the] maximum possible accuracy of Plaintiff's credit report." ( Id. at 5.) Accordingly, Plaintiff alleges Defendant is liable for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting ...

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