United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT
WAREHOUSE HOME FURNISHINGS DISTRIBUTORS'S MOTION TO
GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
an action for negligent and willful violation of the Fair
Credit Reporting Act (the FCRA). The Court has jurisdiction
over this matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Pending before
the Court is Defendant Warehouse Home Furnishings
Distributors, Inc.'s (Warehouse) motion to dismiss.
Having carefully considered Warehouse's motion, the
response, the reply, the record, oral arguments made at the
hearing on this motion, and the applicable law, it is the
judgment of the Court Warehouse's motion to dismiss will
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
claim arose when Plaintiff Latisha Burns (Burns) received her
Trans Union credit disclosure on May 1, 2018. Amended
Complaint ¶11. According to Burns's amended
complaint, she noticed a monthly payment of $70.00 on her
credit disclosure after Warehouse had “closed and
charged off” her account. Id.
¶9-10. At oral argument on this motion, the
parties indicated “closed and charged off” means
the account has been closed, a monthly payment is no longer
due, but the total amount of the loan remains due and owing.
sent letters to Trans Union and Equifax disputing the $70.00
tradeline from Warehouse, and asked them to report the errant
tradeline with the monthly payment amount of $0.00.
Id. ¶ 12-14. Trans Union and Equifax forwarded
Burns's letters to Warehouse. Id. ¶15. On
August 29, 2018, and September 11, 2018, respectively, Burns
received investigation results from Trans Union and Equifax
detailing how Trans Union, Equifax, and “[Warehouse]
failed or refused to report the scheduled monthly payment as
$0.00 on the [Warehouse] Errant Tradeline.”
Id. ¶ 16-17. This lawsuit followed.
Burns filed her amended complaint, Warehouse filed its motion
to dismiss (Warehouse's motion). Burns then filed her
response to Warehouse's motion, and Warehouse replied.
The Court, having been fully briefed on the relevant issues,
held a hearing on August 8, 2019, and is now prepared to
discuss the merits of Warehouse's motion to dismiss.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Warehouse has moved to dismiss Burns's claims pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
“The purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is to test the
sufficiency of a complaint.” Edwards v. City of
Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir.1999). To survive
a motion to dismiss, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
require that a complaint contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although Rule 8(a)
does not require “detailed factual allegations, ”
it requires “more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation, ”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555(2007)), in order to “give the defendant fair notice
of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests, ” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. In other
words, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 678. A claim is facially plausible “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. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). A complaint alleging
facts that are “‘merely consistent with' a
defendant's liability . . . ‘stops short of the
line between possibility and plausibility of
‘entitlement to relief.'” Id.
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
considering a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff's well-pled
allegations are taken as true, and the complaint and all
reasonable inferences are liberally construed in the
plaintiff's favor. Mylan Laboratories, Inc. v.
Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130 (4th Cir. 1993). The court may
consider only the facts alleged in the complaint, which may
include any documents either attached to or incorporated in
the complaint, and matters of which the court may take
judicial notice. Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues &
Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007). Although the
court must accept the plaintiff's factual allegations as
true, any conclusory allegations are not entitled to an
assumption of truth, and even those allegations pled with
factual support need only be accepted to the extent that
“they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to
relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. The court
need not accept unsupported legal allegations, Revene v.
Charles Cnty. Comm'rs, 882 F.2d 870, 873 (4th
Cir.1989), legal conclusions couched as factual allegations,
Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986), or
conclusory factual allegations devoid of any reference to
specific acts, dates, or policies, United Black
Firefighters v. Hirst, 604 F.2d 844, 847 (4th Cir.1979).
In sum, factual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that
all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact). Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
asserts (1) Burns's boilerplate allegations regarding
damages do not establish she has suffered a cognizable
injury, or any injury at all, and therefore she does not have
standing under Article III and (2) Burns has failed to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted because she is
unable to show a reasonable investigation would have led to a
change in the information Warehouse reported to the credit
bureaus. The Court will address each argument in turn.
Whether Burns established injury in fact as required for
standing under Article III
determine if Burns has Article III standing, the Court must
decide whether Burns “(1) suffered an injury in fact,
(2) that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct of the
defendant, and (3) that is likely to be redressed by a
favorable judicial decision.” Dreher v. Experian
Info. Sols., Inc.,856 F.3d 337, 343 (4th Cir. 2017)
(citing Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins,136 S.Ct. 1540, 1547
(2016)). “The burden of establishing these elements