The opinion of the court was delivered by: GEORGE MAROVICH, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Melissa Garrett ("Garrett") filed a three-count
complaint against defendants RentGrow, Inc. ("RentGrow") and
Apartment Investment and Management Company ("AIMCO"). In Counts
I and II of her complaint, Garrett asserts that RentGrow violated
the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681, and the Illinois
Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act ("Illinois
Consumer Fraud Act" or "ICFA"), 815 ILCS § 505/2. In Count III,
Garrett asserts that AIMCO violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud
Act. Defendant AIMCO moves pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for an order dismissing
plaintiff's claim against it. For the reasons set forth below,
the Court grants AIMCO's motion to dismiss.
For purposes of this motion to dismiss, the Court takes as true
the allegations in the complaint. As alleged in the complaint,
the relevant facts are as follows. AIMCO, a corporation organized
as a real estate investment trust, is a substantial
owner/operator of apartment properties throughout the United
States. AIMCO managed, and may also have owned, a
federally-subsidized subsidized apartment complex commonly known as Continental Plaza
Apartments ("Continental"). Continental's management subscribed
to and utilized an information service provided by RentGrow, a
corporation engaged in tenant screening for owners and/or
managers of multifamily apartment buildings. RentGrow compiles
tenancy history data, including incidents, evictions, etc., on
individuals seeking apartments, at the request of owners and/or
managers of such apartments.
Garrett was interested in living in an apartment at the
Continental. It offered better living conditions, security and
maintenance than the apartment in which she was then living.
Also, because units at the Continental were federally subsidized,
living there would have reduced her rent and utility expenses.
Thus, in 2003, Garrett applied and was wait-listed for an
apartment at Continental.
In early August 2003, Continental's management pulled Garrett's
application from the waiting list and sent her a letter
indicating that she need only complete the application process at
Continental to secure an apartment. After Garrett completed her
application, Continental's management obtained a report from
RentGrow. The RentGrow report stated that an eviction judgment
had been entered against Garrett in Kankakee, Illinois in
December 2002. Continental's management then sent Garrett a
letter, dated August 20, 2003, rejecting her application for an
apartment in the building.
Garrett maintains that Continental's rejection of her
application was based solely on this RentGrow report. Garrett
alleges that Continental stated "previous landlord history" as
the cause for her denial in the August 20th letter, as well
as in a subsequent conversation she initiated with Continental's
management. According to Garrett, during this conversation, a
representative of Continental's management told her that the "previous landlord
history" consisted solely of the Kankakee eviction detailed in
the RentGrow report.
After receiving the August 20th rejection letter, Garrett
informed RentGrow that she never resided at the property listed
in the Kankakee case and was never sued for eviction from that
property. Garrett claims that she then provided RentGrow with
evidence supporting her position and contradicting the
information detailed in its report. This evidence indicated that
she resided in Chicago at the time in which she is claimed to
have been evicted from the Kankakee property. Garrett maintains
that RentGrow did not change its report on her and that
Continental's management continued to rely on the tenancy history
provided by RentGrow despite her objections to its accuracy.
Ultimately, Garrett was unable to obtain an apartment at the
Continental complex. Garrett asserts that AIMCO committed an
unfair practice, in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act,
by refusing to re-examine or reverse its denial of her
application after she had demonstrated that the basis for denial
II. Standard on a motion to dismiss
The Court may dismiss claims pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure where the plaintiff fails "to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). The purpose of a motion to dismiss under this Rule is
to test the sufficiency of the complaint, not to rule on its
merits. Gibson v. City of Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th
Cir. 1990). In considering a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts
as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and draws all
reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. McCullah v.
Gadert, 344 F.3d 655, 657 (7th Cir. 2003). On a motion to
dismiss, the "issue is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant is
entitled to offer evidence to support the claims." Cole v. U.S.
Capital, Inc., 389 F.3d 719, 724 (7th Cir. 2004) (quoting
Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)).
In support of its motion to dismiss, AIMCO first argues that
the plaintiff does not adequately plead an Illinois Consumer
Fraud Act claim in that she fails to allege an unfair practice.
Next, AIMCO argues that the plaintiff fails to allege intent.
The Illinois Consumer Fraud Act is a "regulatory and remedial
statute intended to protect consumers, borrowers, and business
persons against fraud, unfair methods of competition, and other
unfair and deceptive business practices." Robinson v. Toyota
Motor Credit Corp., 201 Ill. 2d 403, 416-417 (Ill. 2002).
Specifically, chapter two of the Act prohibits unfair methods of
competition and unfair or ...