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Rogers v. Bank of America

October 28, 2010

CHARLES F. ROGERS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

I. Introduction and Procedural Background

In May 2009, Charles Rogers filed suit in the Circuit Court of St. Clair County, Illinois, against Bank of America, N.A. ("the Bank"). The matter proceeds on Rogers' amended complaint, which alleges as follows.

Between November 9, 2005, and the present time, Rogers had a checking account with the Bank. Under the agreement between Rogers and the Bank, the Bank would properly credit deposits made to his account and would not withdraw money from his account except as authorized in writing and would not charge his account for services except as authorized under the agreement. In violation of the agreement and acting in bad faith, the Bank on numerous occasions failed to credit Rogers' checking account for direct deposits made to that account by the United States on the date of receipts and made unauthorized charges to Rogers' account which it termed "overdraft charges," when, in point of fact, the account was not overdrawn.

The overdraft charges had the effect of putting the account into a deficit status resulting in additional checks written by Rogers being returned to the payee. Despite numerous requests, the Bank failed and refused to rectify Rogers' account or to return the funds misappropriated and misapplied. As a result, Rogers was required to pay fees to the payees. Moreover, his credit status was severely damaged, and he is unable to obtain credit or loans, resulting in severe financial losses. His reputation has been damaged, and he has and will in the future suffer severe emotional distress. He has had to withdraw from school and has lost other valuable assets as a result of the loss of funds and credit.

Rogers' state court complaint contains claims for breach of contract, negligence, violation of the Uniform Commercial Code, violation of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. On May 20, 2010, the Bank removed the action to this United States District Court, which enjoys subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1441.

On June 23, 2010, the Bank moved to dismiss Rogers' amended complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)(Doc. 12). The Court now rules on the Bank's motion to dismiss, which is fully briefed.

II. Applicable Legal Standards

A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the complaint to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police of Chicago Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811 (7th Cir. 2009). Dismissal is warranted under Rule 12(b)(6) if the complaint fails to set forth "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007); EEOC v. Concentra Health Services, Inc., 496 F.3d 773, 776 (7th Cir. 2007).

In making this assessment, the District Court accepts as true all well-pled factual allegations and draws all reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favor. Rujawitz v. Martin, 561 F.3d 685, 688 (7th Cir. 2009); Tricontinental Industries, Inc., Ltd. v. PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP, 475 F.3d 824, 833 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 128 S.Ct. 357 (2007); Marshall v. Knight, 445 F.3d 965, 969 (7th Cir. 2006).

In Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1083 (7th Cir. 2008), the Seventh Circuit emphasized that even though Bell Atlantic"retooled federal pleading standards" and "retired the oft-quoted Conley formulation," notice pleading is still all that is required. "A plaintiff still must provide only enough detail to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests and, through his allegations, show that it is plausible, rather than merely speculative, that he is entitled to relief." Id. Accord Pugh v. Tribune Co., 521 F.3d 686, 699 (7th Cir. 2008)("surviving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion requires more than labels and conclusions;" the allegations "must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level").

III. Analysis

A. Count 1 - Breach of Contract

The Bank submits that all counts should be dismissed because the amended complaint fails to allege sufficient facts to satisfy pleading requirements. Rogers responds that the pleading standard is relative to the circumstances of the claims and that this action presents no complex theories ...


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