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King v. Equifax Information

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 26, 2014

MICHAEL KING, Plaintiff(s),
v.
EQUIFAX INFORMATION, Defendant(s)

ORDER

JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.

Presently before the court is defendant CitiMortgage, Inc.'s ("CMI") motion for summary judgment. (Doc. # 99). Plaintiff Michael King filed a response in opposition (doc. # 104), and CMI filed a reply (doc. # 105).

I. Background

This matter arises out of credit reporting regarding payment of a Freddie Mac loan serviced by CitiMortgage.

Plaintiff has alleged that defendant CMI incorrectly reported that the mortgage was settled for less than full balance to credit reporting agencies.

The property was sold in August of 2009, and CMI released the deed of trust securing the loan in February 2010. (Doc. # 99 at p. 2). Plaintiff then disputed CMI's reporting of the debt and sale to credit reporting agencies. (Doc. # 104 at p. 3).

Plaintiff brought claims against Experian, TransUnion, Equifax, and Freddie Mac in addition to the claims against CMI. (Doc. # 1). The claims against Experian and TransUnion have been settled. (Docs. # 79 and 95). Freddie Mac filed a motion to dismiss and the court granted it. (Doc. # 78).

The complaint alleges violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), credit defamation, and negligence by CMI.

II. Legal Standard

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for summary adjudication when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A principal purpose of summary judgment is "to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).

In determining summary judgment, a court applies a burden-shifting analysis. "When the party moving for summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial. In such a case, the moving party has the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of fact on each issue material to its case." C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted).

In contrast, when the nonmoving party bears the burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can meet its burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to negate an essential element of the nonmoving party's case; or (2) by demonstrating that the nonmoving party failed to make a showing sufficient to establish an element essential to that party's case on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323-24. If the moving party fails to meet its initial burden, summary judgment must be denied and the court need not consider the nonmoving party's evidence. See Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 159-60 (1970).

If the moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). To establish the existence of a factual dispute, the opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that "the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial." T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. P. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 631 (9th Cir. 1987).

In other words, the nonmoving party cannot avoid summary judgment by relying solely on conclusory allegations that are unsupported by factual data. See Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Instead, the opposition must go beyond the assertions and allegations of the pleadings and set forth specific facts by producing ...


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