The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Blanche M. Manning
Name of Assigned Judge Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge Blanche M. Manning than Assigned Judge
The court finds, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), that the complaint filed by pro se plaintiff Charles Lockett fails to state a claim for which relief may be granted. Accordingly, it is dismissed without prejudice and all pending motions are denied as moot.
# [ For further details see text below.]
Pro se plaintiff Charles Lockett has filed a complaint and motions for appointment of counsel and for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. This court has the power to screen complaints filed by all litigants prior to service, regardless of their fee status, and must dismiss a complaint if it fails to state a claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Rowe v. Shake, 196 F.3d 778, 783 (7th Cir. 1999). Because Mr. Lockett is proceeding pro se, the court has construed his filings liberally.
Mr. Lockett alleges that he received medical care from defendant Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital and ultimately received a charity care letter that covered all of his medical expenses. When he checked his credit report from TransUnion, however, the full amount of the medical bills was listed as a debt. According to Mr. Lockett, the incorrect information on his credit report is preventing him from renting an apartment, harming his credit rating, and negatively affecting his ability to obtain employment. Mr. Lockett does not indicate what steps, if any, he has taken to attempt to rectify the situation.
The complaint arises under the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"). The FCRA imposes certain duties on consumer reporting agencies. See 15 U.S.C. § 1681(b) (consumer reporting agencies must adopt reasonable procedures to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in a consumer's credit report).
It also imposes duties on entities that furnish information to those agencies. See 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2. Under the FCRA, a furnisher of information is an entity which transmits information about a particular debt owed by a particular consumer to a consumer reporting agency. Hukic v. Aurora Loan Services, 588 F.3d 420, 433-34 (7th Cir. 2009). The court will assume, for purposes of its review of Mr. Lockett's complaint, that the hospital is a "furnisher of information" for the purposes of the FCRA.
When a consumer reporting agency notifies the furnisher of information of a dispute with regard to the completeness or accuracy of information furnished by a provider, the provider has a duty to conduct an investigation with respect to the disputed information, review all relevant information provided to it by the consumer reporting ...