United States District Court, D. Nevada
J. Dawson United States District Judge
before the Court is Defendant Experian Information Solutions,
Inc.'s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (#11).
Plaintiff Susan Harroff responded and alternatively moved for
Leave to File Amended Complaint (#19) to which Experian
Harroff's complaint arises from an Experian credit report
(“Experian Report”) dated May 8, 2018. The
Experian Report showed that Harroff's Bank of America
account had been “charged off” multiple times
from September 2016 through December 2016, and again from
January 2017 through August 2017. ECF No. 1, ¶ 9. A
“charge off” consists of a credit reporting
agency (“CRA”) treating an account receivable as
a loss or expense because payment is unlikely. CHARGE OFF,
Black's Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019).
about June 21, 2018, Harroff disputed Experian's
reporting of her Bank of America account in a “Dispute
Letter.” That letter claimed that the credit
information provided by Bank of America and featured in the
Experian Report was inaccurate. ECF No. 1, ¶ 10.
Specifically, Harroff disputed the multiple charge-off
notations listed on the Experian Report. Harroff also
requested that if Experian did not make the changes
identified in the Dispute Letter that Experian include a
notice on her credit report stating that the account was
disputed. Id. at ¶ 21. Upon receiving this
Dispute Letter, Experian timely notified Bank of America of
this dispute based on its mandated statutory duty pursuant to
Section 1681i(a)(2)(A). Id. at ¶ 11. Experian
was then required to investigate the disputed information on
Harroff's consumer report and report the results of that
investigation to the consumer reporting agency if the
investigation found the information to be incomplete or
inaccurate. 15 U.S.C. § 168li. Experian determined that
the multiple charge-off notations were accurate and decided
not to remove them from Harroff's report.
about July 11, 2018, Harroff received a
“reinvestigation” report from Experian, Report
No. 3422-7662-53 (“Experian Reinvestigation”).
ECF No. 1, ¶ 14. Experian indicated that Harroff's
disputed account had been researched and
“Updated.” Id. Harroff believes that
Experian's “reinvestigation” also qualified
as a purported disclosure of all information in the
consumer's file pursuant to Section 1681g. Regardless,
Experian did not remove the multiple charge off notations,
which all appeared in the Experian Reinvestigation. Nor did
Experian update Harroff's credit report to reflect her
November of 2018, Harroff brought this suit. She alleged that
Experian violated multiple sections of the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (FCRA) when it (1) failed to remove the
multiple charge-offs listed on her Experian Report, (2)
failed to conduct a reasonable reinvestigation of those
charge-offs, (3) failed to review all relevant information
Harroff provided in her Dispute Letter, and (4) failed to
verify the multiple charge-off notations in connection with
her credit reports. Harroff alleges that Experian's
continued reporting of the multiple charge off notations was
willful and inaccurate, entitling her to statutory damages
under 15 U.S.C. § 1681n. Finally, Harroff claims that
she suffered actual damages, including fear of credit
denials, transportation costs, lost time, stress, and
aggravation. See 15 U.S.C. § 1681o.
December 12, 2018, Experian moved for Judgment on the
Pleadings (#11) and to Stay Discovery (#12). Harroff objected
to Experian's motion and claims that she has adequately
pleaded facts to support each alleged FCRA violation.
Alternatively, Harroff requests leave to amend her complaint
“in the event the Court grants any part of
Experian's Motion.” (#19 at 1). The parties'
motions are fully briefed, and the Court now turns to their
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay
trial-a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). A motion for judgment on the pleadings
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) is
“functionally identical” to a Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim. Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine, Inc.,
867 F.2d 1188, 1192 (9th Cir. 1989). Judgment on the
pleadings is proper when, taking all the allegations in the
non-moving party's pleadings as true, the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Ventress v.
Japan Airlines, 486 F.3d 1111, 1114 (9th Cir. 2009).
However, the court is not required to accept legal
conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations if those
conclusions cannot reasonably be drawn from the facts
alleged. See Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18
F.3d 752, 754-55 (9th Cir. 1994).
properly pled complaint must provide “[a] short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While
Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it
demands “more than labels and conclusions” or a
“formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citation omitted). “Factual allegations must be
enough to rise above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Thus, to survive a motion
for judgment on the ...