United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT EQUIFAX'S MOTION FOR
JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS WITH LEAVE TO AMEND [RE: ECF
LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge.
Monroe Dyson sues Equifax, Inc. (“Equifax”) for
violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
(“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.,
and the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act
(“CCRAA”), California Civil Code §
1785.25(a). Equifax moves for judgment on the pleadings
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). For the
reasons discussed below, the motion is GRANTED WITH LEAVE TO
filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection on October 30,
2014, and his plan was confirmed on February 23, 2015. Compl.
¶ 5, ECF 1. On February 21, 2016, Plaintiff
“ordered a three bureau report from Experian
Information Solutions, Inc. to ensure proper reporting by
Plaintiff's creditors.” Id. ¶ 6. He
alleges that this report (“February 2016 Credit
Report”) included “several tradelines all
reporting misleading and inaccurate account
information.” Id. ¶ 7. Plaintiff provides
specifics as to only one account, alleging that Nationstar
Mortgage, LLC (“Nationstar”) reported his account
as “in collections, charged off, with late payments,
with a balance in the amount of $45, 608, and a past due
balance in the amount of $45, 608.00.” Id.
¶ 8. Plaintiff does not allege how Nationstar's
reporting was inaccurate. See id.
disputed the inaccurate tradelines via certified mail sent to
three different credit reporting agencies
(“CRAs”), Equifax, Experian Information Solutions,
Inc., and TransUnion, LLC. Id. ¶ 9. Each CRA
received Plaintiff's dispute letter and in turn notified
the entities that had furnished the disputed information
(“furnishers”). Id. ¶ 10.
ordered a second three bureau report from Experian
Information Solutions, Inc. on May 14, 2016 (“May 2016
Credit Report”). Id. ¶ 14. Plaintiff
alleges that Equifax “failed to correct the misleading
and inaccurate statements on the account within the statutory
time frame or, alternatively, at all.” Id.
filed this action on June 15, 2016, asserting violations of
the FCRA and CCRAA against Equifax, TransUnion, and
Nationstar. See Compl., ECF 1. Plaintiff
subsequently dismissed TransUnion and Nationstar. The only
remaining defendant, Equifax, now moves for judgment on the
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) provides that “[a]fter
the pleadings are closed - but early enough not to delay
trial - a party may move for judgment on the
pleadings.” “Rule 12(c) is functionally identical
to Rule 12(b)(6), ” and the same legal standard applies
to determine whether a claim has been stated under either
motion. Cafasso v. Gen. Dynamics C4 Sys., Inc., 637
F.3d 1047, 1055 (9th Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). When determining whether a claim has been
stated, the Court accepts as true all well-pled factual
allegations and construes them in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff. Reese v. BP Exploration (Alaska)
Inc., 643 F.3d 681, 690 (9th Cir. 2011). However, the
Court need not “accept as true allegations that
contradict matters properly subject to judicial notice”
or “allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted
deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences.” In
re Gilead Scis. Sec. Litig., 536 F.3d 1049, 1055 (9th
Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
While a complaint need not contain detailed factual
allegations, it “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) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is
facially plausible when it “allows the court to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id.
Complaint contains two claims, one for violation of the FCRA
(Claim 1) and the other for violation of the CCRAA (Claim 2).
Although the label of the CCRAA claim indicates that it is
asserted against “Defendants, ” it is clear from
the body of the Complaint that the CCRAA claim is not
asserted against Equifax. Compl. ¶¶ 25-33.
Accordingly, this order addresses only the FCRA claim.
FCRA claim against Equifax is subheaded “Failure to
Reinvestigate Disputed Information.” Id.
¶¶ 18-19. Plaintiff alleges that after he
“disputed the accounts mentioned above” - which
the Court takes to mean the “several tradelines all
reporting misleading and inaccurate account
information” referenced earlier in the Complaint -
Equifax was required to conduct a reasonable investigation
and to delete any information that was not accurate.
Id. ¶¶ 7, 20. Plaintiff claims that
“Defendants were required to send all relevant
information to the furnishers which they did not do.”
Id. ¶ 20. Plaintiff alleges generally that
Equifax “failed to correct the misleading and or
inaccurate statements.” Id.
moves for judgment on the pleadings on three grounds. First,
Equifax points out that Plaintiff's FCRA claim against it
is asserted under 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(b), which is
applicable to furnishers, and not under 15 U.S.C. §
1681i, which is applicable to CRAs. Second, Equifax asserts
that Plaintiff has not alleged facts showing that
Equifax's credit reporting was ...