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Caseman v. Silver State Schools Credit Union

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 30, 2018

JAMES MAN, Plaintiff,
v.
SILVER STATE SCHOOLS CREDIT UNION, Defendant.

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before this Court comes Plaintiff James Caseman (“Plaintiff”)'s Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 28) and Defendant Silver State Schools Credit Union (“Defendant” or “Silver State”)'s Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 32). For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff's Motion is denied, and Defendant's Motion is granted.

         II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On January 16, 2017, Plaintiff filed his original Complaint. (ECF No. 1). Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss on March 3, 2017. (ECF No. 11). Responses were due on March 17, 2017. On March 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint with Jury Demand. (ECF No. 12). Plaintiff alleges violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §1681 et seq., and requests declaratory relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2201. Defendant filed an Answer to the Amended Complaint on April 3, 2017. (ECF No. 17).

         The parties filed the instant Motions for Summary Judgment on November 30, 2017. (ECF Nos. 28, 32). Plaintiff filed his Response on December 20, 2017. (ECF No. 39). Defendant filed its Response on December 21, 2017 (ECF No. 43). Replies were filed on January 3 and 4, 2018. (ECF Nos. 44, 47). On July 27, 2018, the Court held a hearing on the Motions and took the matter under submission. This Order now follows.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Motion for Summary Judgment

         Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show “that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); accord Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). When considering the propriety of summary judgment, the court views all facts and draws all inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Gonzalez v. City of Anaheim, 747 F.3d 789, 793 (9th Cir. 2014).

         If the movant has carried its burden, the non-moving party “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts . . . . Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no genuine issue for trial.” Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007) (alteration in original) (quotation marks omitted).

         IV. FACTUAL FINDINGS

         A. Undisputed Facts

         The Court finds the following facts to be undisputed. Plaintiff is a resident of Nevada and a customer of Defendant. Defendant is a credit union and furnisher of credit information under the FCRA.

         On February 14, 2011, Plaintiff filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, including a second mortgage from Silver State in Schedule D of his bankruptcy petition, indicating that the mortgage was to be avoided. On April 13, 2011, the Bankruptcy Court entered an order “stripping off” the Silver State mortgage, which was to be avoided “upon completion and/or discharge of the Debtors' Chapter 13.” On June 15, 2016, after satisfying his obligations under the confirmed Chapter 13 plan of reorganization, Plaintiff earned a discharge in the bankruptcy court, which signified the termination of Silver State's debt.

         Shortly after the bankruptcy discharge, Silver State attempted to correct Plaintiff's account to display a zero balance in the Automated Universal Dataform (“AUD”), a system designed to send furnisher updates to consumer reporting agencies (“CRAs”). The AUD is hosted by a broader platform called “e-Oscar” used by furnishers and CRAs. There are notes in the file for Plaintiff's account which reflect actions taken on his account, including the attempted AUD update following Plaintiff's bankruptcy discharge. In a note dated July 6, 2016 at 12:53pm, an employee of Silver State, Tracy Meyer (“Meyer”) wrote: “SUBMITTED AUD THRU EOSCAR FOR BOTH MICHELE & JAMES TO REPORT BK13 DISC[HARGE], PAID/ZERO BAL[ANCE] . . . .” In the course of this litigation, non-party CRA Innovis confirmed that on July 6, 2016 it did receive an AUD via e-Oscar which updated Plaintiff's Silver State account to reflect that it was discharged/completed through bankruptcy Chapter 13 with a balance of $0 and a past due amount of $0.

         Plaintiff pulled a copy of his Equifax consumer disclosure on August 31, 2016, in order to determine if his reporting was accurate or if anyone was using his credit information. Despite the attempted updates Silver State made via e-Oscar in July 2016, Plaintiff discovered on the August 31, 2016 disclosure that Silver State reported that his account still showed a $52, 005 balance, which should have been $0 in light of the bankruptcy discharge. Therefore, on or about November 22, 2016, ...


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