United States District Court, N.D. California
Latonya R. Finley, Plaintiff,
Capital One, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT CAPITAL ONE BANK (USA),
N.A.'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS RE: DKT. NO.
GONZALEZ ROGERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
LaTonya R. Finley brings the instant action against defendant
Capital One Bank (USA), N.A. Plaintiff's first count is
based upon the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act
(“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et
seq. Plaintiff alleges generally that Capital
One, as a furnisher of information to credit reporting
agencies (“CRAs”), refused to correct
“inaccurate, incomplete[, ] or unverifiable
information.” (Dkt. No. 1, “Complaint, ”
¶ 18.) Plaintiff also contends that Capital One
“failed to conduct a proper . . .
reinvestigation.” (Id. ¶ 36.) Plaintiffs
second through fourth counts are based on state-law claims of
invasion of privacy and negligence.
One now moves for judgment on the pleadings. Having carefully
considered the papers and for the reasons discussed below,
the Court concludes that plaintiff has failed to state a
claim under the FCRA. The Court further holds that
plaintiff's state law claims are preempted by the FCRA.
Accordingly, the Court Grants Capital One's motion for
judgment on the pleadings. Plaintiff's state law claims
are therefore Dismissed With Prejudice. Plaintiff's FCRA
claim, however, is Dismissed Without Prejudice. Plaintiff may
re-file her complaint if she can satisfy the FCRA's
pleading requirements as outlined herein.
claims arise from alleged violations of the FCRA and state
law, which purportedly undermined plaintiff's
“credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity
character[, ] and general reputation.” Plaintiff avers
that prior to November 2014, she spent time contacting
“the credit bureau and . . . creditors” to
“remove the inaccurate information” from her
credit file. (Complaint ¶¶ 9-11.) By November 2014,
plaintiff's credit scores among the three CRAs- Equifax,
Transunion, and Experian-were 612, 606, and 635,
respectively. (Id. ¶ 11.) But within one year,
plaintiff's credit scores dropped between 500 and 593,
despite “no new purchases, no lates [sic] and
[a] recently paid off vehicle.” (Id. ¶
12.) Plaintiff also claims that “her file was imported
with another debtor with a similar name, her daughter LaToya
R. Finley.” (Id. ¶ 14.) This is the
extent of the substantive factual allegations.
respect to plaintiff's FCRA claim, plaintiff states that
she notified the CRAs “of a dispute on . . . [her]
Capital One account's completeness and/or accuracy . . .
.” (Id. ¶ 33.) Additionally, plaintiff
asserts that Capital One “refuse[d] to correct
inaccurate, incomplete[, ] or unverifiable
information.” (Id. ¶ 18.) Plaintiff
alleges further that Capital One has “taken illegal . .
. actions . . . to collect the alleged debt against
[p]laintiff” and has “failed to properly
investigate the account in response to the disputes made by
[p]laintiff.” (Id. ¶¶ 20-21, 36.)
Finally, plaintiff contends that Capitol One acted
“maliciously, willfully, recklessly, wantonly[, ]
and/or negligently . . . .” (Id. ¶¶
also brings three separate state-law claims, namely invasion
of privacy; negligent, wanton, and/or intentional hiring and
supervision of incompetent employees; and negligent, wanton,
and intentional conduct. First, plaintiff asserts that
Capitol One “interfered . . . with the . . . private .
. . affairs of the [p]laintiff . . . by repeatedly and
unlawfully attempting to collect a debt and/or” falsely
reporting plaintiff's credit. (Id. ¶ 42.)
Second, plaintiff contends that Capital One knowingly
permitted incompetent employees to engage in false credit
reporting. (Id. ¶¶ 50-53.) Finally,
plaintiff claims that Capital One breached the duty of care
it owed to plaintiff. (Id. ¶¶ 55- 67.)
standard applied to a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the
pleadings is “substantially identical” to the
standard applied to a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).
Chavez v. United States, 683 F.3d 1102, 1108 (9th
Cir. 2012). “[U]nder both rules, ‘a court must
determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint, taken
as true, entitle the plaintiff to a legal remedy.'”
Id. (quoting Brooks v. Dunlop Mfg. Inc.,
No. C 10-04341 CRB, 2011 WL 6140912, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 9,
2011)). “If the complaint fails to articulate a legally
sufficient claim, the complaint should be dismissed or
judgment granted on the pleadings.” Brooks,
2011 WL 614912 at *3. Judgment on the pleadings is
appropriate “when there is no issue of material fact in
dispute, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fleming v. Pickard, 581 F.3d
922, 925 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing Heliotrope Gen., Inc. v.
Ford Motor Co., 189 F.3d 971, 979 (9th Cir. 1999)).
motion for judgment on the pleadings is granted, a
“court should freely give leave [to amend] when justice
so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). Still, leave to amend
is not automatic and is instead “within the Court's
discretion.” Guidiville Rancheria of California v.
United States, No. 12-CV-1326 YGR, 2014 WL 3749227, at
*3 (N.D. Cal. July 24, 2014) (citing In re W. States
Wholesale Nat. Gas Antitrust Litig., 715 F.3d 716, 739
(9th Cir. 2013)). “As with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss, a court granting judgment on the pleadings pursuant
to Rule 12(c) should grant leave to amend even if no request
for leave to amend has been made, unless it is clear that
amendment would be futile.” Kelly Moore Paint Co.,
Inc. v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA,
No. 14-CV-01797-MEJ, 2014 WL 2119996, at *3 (N.D. Cal. May
21, 2014) (citing Pac. W. Grp., Inc. v. Real Time Sols.,
Inc., 321 F.App'x 566, 569 (9th Cir. 2008)).
Plaintiff Fails to State a Claim Under the FCRA
One asserts that plaintiff fails to state a claim under the
FCRA. To state such a claim against a
“furnisher”-i.e., Capital One-a
plaintiff must plead, with enough facts, that (1) the
furnisher provided inaccurate information to a CRA; (2) a CRA
notified the furnisher of the dispute; and (3) the furnisher
failed to conduct a reasonable investigation into the
accuracy of the disputed information. Hernandez v. Wells Fargo
Home Mortg., No. 2:14-CV-1500 JCM VCF, 2015 WL 1204985,
at *2 (D. Nev. Mar. 16, 2015) (citing Middleton v. Plus
Four, Inc., No. 2:13-CV-01421-GMN-GW, 2014 WL 910351, at
*3 (D. Nev. Mar. 7, 2014)); see also Gorman v. Wolpoff
& Abramson, LLP, 584 F.3d 1147, 1154-61 (9th Cir.
2009). Finally, a plaintiff must allege facts that show that
the defendant furnisher acted either willfully or
negligently. See Gorman, 584 F.3d at 1154. The Court
addresses each of the four requirements below.
Furnisher Must Provide ...