• Court Grants Furnisher’s Motion to Dismiss Consumer’s Lawsuit
  • September 3, 2010 | Author: Matthew Kasey Ratliff
  • Law Firm: Strasburger & Price, LLP - Dallas Office
  • Regus v. Citibank (South Dakota), N.A., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71575 (D. R. I. June 22, 2010)

    Facts: Pro se Plaintiff filed suit in state court against Home Depot and Citibank related to a disputed credit account. The state court action was dismissed after Plaintiff failed to appear at a hearing and the court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss. Plaintiff subsequently filed a second lawsuit against Citibank and Citibank filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) arguing that Plaintiff’s complaint was barred by the doctrine of res judicata, that Plaintiff’s claims were time barred and that Plaintiff failed to state a claim to support a cause of action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). The court granted Defendant’s motion.   

    • Res Judicata. Although Plaintiff has provided the court with little factual information, it appears that the causes of action pled in the instant complaint and in Plaintiff’s state court lawsuit derive from the same nucleus of operative facts. Further, although Home Depot is not named a defendant in Plaintiff’s current complaint, Citibank is named, as it was in Plaintiff’s prior action. Finally, the involuntary dismissal of Plaintiff’s earlier complaint in the state district court operated as a dismissal on the merits. Thus, Plaintiff’s current claims are barred by the doctrine of res judicata.
    • Statute of Limitations. By Plaintiff’s own admission, he discovered the violation on January 16, 2008. Thus, his complaint, filed on or about February 1, 2010, was filed more than two years after he discovered the alleged violation. It is time barred and should be dismissed on this basis.
    • Furnisher’s Duties.  Construing Plaintiff’s pro se complaint liberally, the court finds that Plaintiff intended to allege claims against Citibank as a furnisher of information. Plaintiff’s complaint is problematic for several reasons. First, there is no evidence that any person or entity other than Plaintiff alleged that information reported was inaccurate. Second, § 1681s-2(a) provides no private right of enforcement for its provisions. Third, Plaintiff has not alleged that a credit reporting agency (“CRA”) notified Citibank of any dispute, thereby triggering Citibank’s duty to investigate and take corrective measures. Accordingly, the court finds that Plaintiff’s complaint fails to state a claim under either § 1681s-2(a) or § 1681s-2(b) and therefore should be dismissed.