United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
CYNTHIA M.RUFE, J.
se Plaintiff Charmaine Pressley brings this action by
way of a Complaint against Capital One. Pressley has also
filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. Because
it appears that she is unable to afford to pay the filing
fee, the Court will grant Pressley leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. For the following reasons, the Complaint
will be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), and Pressley will be granted leave
to file an amended complaint to attempt to cure the defects
noted by the Court.
uses the Court's preprinted form and identifies the Fair
Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") as the basis for her
claim. (ECF No. 2 at 2.) She alleges that the facts giving rise
to her claim occurred in 2018 and 2019. (Id. at 3.)
Instead of providing a narrative description of the factual
basis of her claim, she refers to a two-page attachment
consisting of conclusory allegations that parrot the language
of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA")
and the FCRA. (See Id. at 5-6.) Therein, Pressley
broadly alleges that Capital One reported false and
inaccurate information to the three major credit bureaus;
harassed, oppressed, and abused her in an effort to collect a
debt by mail; repeatedly and continuously called her; falsely
represented the character, amount, and legal status of the
debt in issue; falsely represented that it could arrest
Pressley as a result of the debt; used false or deceptive
means to collect the alleged debt or obtain information about
Pressley; and knowingly violated the FDCPA and FCRA.
(Id. at 5.) Additionally, Pressley alleges that the
three major credit reporting agencies conducted an
investigation and found that Capital One had reported false
and inaccurate information, yet Capital One continued to
harass Pressley through the mail. (Id. at 6.)
Pressley alleges that Capital One's conduct also
constituted an invasion of privacy. (Id.) She
alleges she has suffered "serious injuries, damages and
harm," and requests compensatory and punitive damages
and such other relief as is permitted. (Id.)
does not allege any facts describing the actions giving rise
to her claim. For example, Pressley does not (1) identify the
nature or amount of the debt at issue; (2) state whether she
disputed the debt; (3) identify the date, time and form of
communications she received from Capital One; or (4) identify
any accounts that reflect inaccurate information about her.
She does not describe the nature of her damages. (See
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court will grant Pressley leave to proceed in forma
pauperis because it appears that she is incapable of
paying the fees to commence this civil action. Accordingly,
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) applies, which requires
the Court to dismiss the complaint if it fails to state a
claim. Whether a complaint fails to state a claim under
§ l9l5(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 allegations do not suffice. Id. As
Pressley is proceeding pro se, the Court must
construe his allegations liberally. Higgs v. Att'y
Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir.2011).
a complaint may be dismissed for failing to comply with
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. Garrett v. Wexford
Health, 938 F.3d 69, 91 (3d Cir. 2019). To conform to
Rule 8, a pleading must contain a short and plain statement
showing that the plaintiff is entitled to relief. See
Travaline v. U.S. Supreme Court, 424 Fed.Appx. 78, 79
(3d Cir. 2011). The Third Circuit recently explained that in
determining whether a pleading meets Rule 8's
"plain" statement requirement, the Court should
"ask whether, liberally construed, a pleading
'identifies discrete defendants and the actions taken by
these defendants' in regard to the plaintiffs
claims." Garrett, 938 F.3d at 93 (citation
omitted). A pleading may still satisfy the "plain"
statement requirement "even if it is vague, repetitious,
or contains extraneous information" and "even if it
does not include every name, date, and location of the
incidents at issue." Id. at 93-94. The
important consideration for the Court is whether, "a pro
se complaint's language ... presents cognizable legal
claims to which a defendant can respond on the merits."
Id. at 94.
"a pleading that is so 'vague or ambiguous' that
a defendant cannot reasonably be expected to respond to it
will not satisfy Rule 8." Id. at 93; see
also Fabian v. St. Mary's Med. Ctr., Civ. A. No.
16-4741, 2017 WL 3494219, at *3 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 11, 2017)
("Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 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.") (quotations omitted). Dismissals under Rule 8
are '"reserved for those cases in which the
complaint so confused, ambiguous, vague, or otherwise
unintelligible that its true substance, if any, is well
disguised.'" Garrett, 938 F.3d at 94
(quoting Salahuddin v. Cuomo, 861 F.2d 40, 42 (2d
reliance on the statutory language of the FDCPA and the FCRA
suggests that she seeks to bring claims under both statutes,
though she identifies only the FCRA on her preprinted form
Complaint. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from making
false, deceptive or misleading representations to collect a
debt. See 15 U.S.C. § 1692(e). "To state a
claim under the FDCPA, a plaintiff must establish that: (1)
he or she is a consumer who was harmed by violations of the
FDCPA; (2) that the 'debt' arose out of a transaction
entered into primarily for personal, family, or household
purposes; (3) that the defendant collecting the debt is a
'debt collector,' and (4) that the defendant
violated, by act or omission, a provision of the FDCPA."
Johns v. Northland Group, Inc., 76 F.Supp.3d 590,
597 (E.D. Pa. 2014) (citing Donohue v. Reg'l
Adjustment Bureau, Inc., Civ. A. No. 12-1460, 2013 WL
1285469, at *3 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 28, 2013) (citing 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692a-o)). "A claim under the FDCPA 'may be
brought... within one year from the date on which the
violation occurs.'" Glover v. F.D.I.C., 698
F.3d 139, 148 (3d Cir. 2012) (quoting 15 U.S.C. §
1692k(d)). In the context of FDCPA claims,
"communications from lenders to debtors [are analyzed]
from the perspective of the 'least sophisticated
debtor.'" Lesher v. Law Offices of Mitchell N.
Kay, PC, 650 F.3d 993, 997 (3d Cir. 2011). The purpose
of that standard is "to ensure that the FDCPA protects
all consumers, the gullibles as well as the shrewd."
Wilson v. Quadramed Corp., 225 F.3d 350, 354 (3d
Cir. 2000) (quoting United States v. Nat'l Fin
Servs., 98 F.3d 131, 136 (4th Cir. 1996)).
However, "although this standard protects naive
consumers, it also 'prevents liability for bizarre or
idiosyncratic interpretations of collection notices by
preserving a quotient of reasonableness and presuming a basic
level of understanding and willingness to red with
care.'" Id. at 354-55 (quoting
Nat'l Fin. Servs., 98 F.3d at 136).
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) (quoting Cortez v. Trans Union, LLC, 617 F.3d
688, 706 (3d Cir. 2010) ("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.'") "To state a claim under the FCRA
against a furnisher of credit information, as opposed to the
credit reporting agency itself, a plaintiff must allege that
'[s]he filed a notice of dispute with a consumer
reporting agency; the consumer reporting agency notified the
furnisher of information of the dispute; and the furnisher of
the information failed to investigate and modify the
inaccurate information.'" Prater v. Am. Heritage
Fed. Credit Union, 351 F.Supp.3d 912, 918 (E.D. Pa.
2019) (quoting Harris v. Pa. Higher Educ. Assistance
Agency, Civ. A. No. 16-693, 2016 WL 3473347, at *6 (E.D.
Pa. June 24, 2016); see also 15 U.S.C. §§
1681s-2(b), 1681n & 16810.
Complaint does not include sufficient factual allegations to
establish the elements of a cause of action under either the
FDCPA or the FCRA. Without specific facts, including but not
limited to: (1) the nature of the debt; (2) the amount of the
debt; (3) the dates and times Pressley was contacted
regarding the debt; and (4) the method and content of these
communications, Pressley has not stated a plausible claim
under the FDCPA. Similarly, with respect to Pressley's
FCRA claim, she has not (1) identified the accounts at issue,
(2) described the allegedly false and misleading information
that appears in the accounts, (3) stated that she filed a
dispute regarding the false and misleading information; or
(4) alleged that Capital One failed to investigate and modify
the inaccurate information. Pressley merely repeats the
language of the relevant statutes but does not provide facts
to establish her right to relief under them. Moreover, the
Complaint does not comply with Rule 8, because it does not
provide enough information to put Capital One on sufficient
notice to prepare a defense, nor does the Complaint
adequately inform the Court of the issues that need to be
determined in this matter. Accordingly, the Court will
dismiss the Complaint. However, Pressley will be granted
leave to file an amended complaint within thirty (30) days of
the date of this Memorandum and Order. Any amended complaint
should clearly describe the factual basis for Pressley's
claims against Capital One.