United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
MITCHELL S. GOLDBERG, J.
Regina Mercedes Guyton,  proceeding pro se, filed this
civil action against Equifax Information Services, LLC;
Experian Information Solutions, Inc.; and TransUnion, LLC,
alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
(“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et
seq. She also filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis. (ECF No. 1.) By Order entered on June
21, 2018, the Court denied her Motion without prejudice for
insufficient financial information. (ECF No. 4.) The Court
directed Guyton to, within thirty (30) days, either submit
$400.00 to the Clerk of Court or complete and submit a new
motion. (Id. at 2-3.) Guyton has returned with a new
Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. (ECF
No. 5.) For the following reasons, the Court will grant
Guyton leave to proceed in forma pauperis and
dismiss her Complaint with leave to amend.
Complaint, Guyton alleges that Equifax, Experian, and
TransUnion “have been reporting inaccurate and/or
derogatory information relating to [her] and [her] credit
history to third parties since on or about 8/2008.”
(Compl. at 2.) She claims that this inaccurate information
includes a judgment that “is in fact a judgment
in rem and not against [her]
personally.” (Id.) Guyton alludes to
“attached documents” to support her claim
(id.), but failed to attach any documents to her
claims that because of this inaccurate information, she has
“suffered actual damages in the form of lost credit
opportunities, harm to credit reputation and credit score and
emotional distress.” (Id. at 3.) She asserts
claims for negligent and willful noncompliance with the FCRA
against Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. (Id.) As
relief, she seeks statutory, actual, and punitive damages, as
well as costs and attorney's fees and “[a]ll other
relief that court deems just and proper.”
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court will grant Guyton leave to proceed in forma
pauperis because it appears that she is not capable of
paying the fees necessary to commence this action.
Accordingly, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) requires the
Court to dismiss the Complaint if it fails to state a claim.
Whether a complaint fails to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard applicable
to motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), see Tourscher v. McCullough, 184 F.3d 236,
240 (3d Cir. 1999), which requires the Court to determine
whether the complaint contains “sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted). Conclusory
statements and naked assertions will not suffice.
Id. As Guyton is proceeding pro se, the
Court construes her allegations liberally. Higgs v.
Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).
Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a
complaint to contain “a short a plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
A district court may sua sponte dismiss a complaint
that does not comply with Rule 8 if “the complaint is
so confused, ambiguous, vague, or otherwise unintelligible
that its true substance, if any, is well disguised.”
Simmons v. Abruzzo, 49 F.3d 83, 86 (2d Cir. 1995)
(quotations omitted). This Court has noted that Rule 8
“requires that pleadings provide enough information to
put a defendant on sufficient notice to prepare their defense
and also ensure that the Court is sufficiently informed to
determine the issue.” Fabian v. St. Mary's Med.
Ctr., No. Civ. A. 16-4741, 2017 WL 3494219, at *3 (E.D.
Pa. Aug. 11, 2017) (quotations omitted).
FCRA was enacted “to ensure fair and accurate credit
reporting, promote efficiency in the banking system, and
protect consumer privacy.” Safeco Ins. Co. of Am.
v. Burr, 551 U.S. 47, 52 (2007); see also
SimmsParris v. Countrywide Fin. Corp., 652 F.3d 355, 357
(3d Cir. 2011) (noting that the FCRA is intended “to
protect consumers from the transmission of inaccurate
information about them, and to establish credit reporting
practices that utilize accurate, relevant and current
information in a confidential and responsible manner”)
(quoting Cortez v. Trans Union, LLC, 617 F.3d 688,
706 (3d Cir. 2010))).
appears to take issue with the accuracy of her credit reports
as prepared by TransUnion LLC, Equifax, and Experian. Under
the FCRA, “[w]henever a consumer reporting agency
prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable
procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the
information concerning the individual about whom the report
relates.” 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b). In order to state
a claim for negligent noncompliance with § 1681e(b), a
plaintiff must allege that
(1) inaccurate information was included in a consumer's
credit report; (2) the inaccuracy was due to defendant's
failure to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum
possible accuracy; (3) the consumer suffered injury; and (4)
the consumer's injury was caused by the inclusion of the
Cortez, 617 F.3d at 708 (quoting Philbin v.
Trans Union Corp., 101 F.3d 957, 963 (3d Cir. 1996)). To
state a claim for willful noncompliance, a plaintiff must
allege that the defendant “knowingly and intentionally
committed an act in conscious disregard for the rights of
others, but need not show malice or evil motive.”
Cushman v. Trans Union Corp., 115 F.3d 220, 226 (3d
Cir. 1997) (quoting Philbin, 101 F.3d at 970).
Complaint contains hardly more than a “[t]hreadbare
recital of the elements of a cause of action” for
noncompliance with the FCRA. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
Guyton has failed to set forth facts regarding what
inaccurate information she believes was included in her
credit report. Instead, she simply relies upon insufficient
conclusory allegations. As pled, the Complaint does not
“provide enough information to put [Defendants] on
sufficient notice to prepare the defense and also ensure that
the Court is sufficiently informed to ...