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Smith v. Lexisnexis

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

May 22, 2013

RODNEY SMITH, Plaintiff,
v.
LEXISNEXIS, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

ROBERT M. DOW, Jr., District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint [6]. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the motion and dismisses Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint within 28 days of the date of this order.

I. Background

A. Complaint

Pro se Plaintiff Rodney Smith sued Defendant LexisNexis for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq.

Plaintiff's concise complaint, which the Court construes liberally, see McCormick v. City of Chi., 230 F.3d 319, 325 (7th Cir. 2000), alleges that Defendant obtained his consumer credit report from Experian and Trans Union without permissible purpose on six occasions in 2010 and 2011. Specifically, the complaint alleges that:

§ On April 27, 2010, Defendant obtained Plaintiff's consumer credit report from Experian on behalf of State Farm Insurance, [1] § 12, and from Trans Union on behalf of Hartford Insurance, id. § 13, without permissible purpose.
§ On March 4, 2011, Defendant obtained Plaintiff's consumer credit report from Experian on behalf of Safeco Insurance, id. § 9, P&C Insurance, id. § 10, and Balboa Insurance, id. § 11, without permissible purpose.
§ On March 14, 2011, Defendant obtained Plaintiff's consumer credit report from Experian on behalf of State Farm Insurance without permissible purpose. Id. § 12.

The complaint alleges that each of these incidents constituted a negligent violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(f) and/or unspecified provisions of the FDCPA. Plaintiff demands damages in the amount of $1000 for each alleged violation, as well as attorneys' fees and costs.

B. Motion to Dismiss

Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint. See [6]. Defendant contends that Plaintiff's complaint fails to plead sufficient facts to sustain either an FCRA or FDCPA claim and that the complaint fails to identify any provision of the FDCPA that Defendant violated. See id.

C. Plaintiff's Response Briefs

Plaintiff filed two briefs opposing Defendant's motion to dismiss. See [10], [21]. These briefs contain the following additional facts and allegations. Plaintiff disputed the credit report entries at issue here with Experian in June 2012. [10] at 1; [21] at 1.[1] "Experian responded by conducting their own investigation and returned a new updated report to Plaintiff dated July 27, 2012 indicating those disputed inquiries as being removed." [21] at 1. On July 27, 2012, Plaintiff mailed a certified letter to Defendant, disputing the inquiries in compliance with Defendant's procedures. Id. at 2. Defendant responded on August 8, 2012, stating that written authorization is not required when a report is furnished for the purpose of underwriting insurance on a consumer. Id. Plaintiff contends that this response was unsatisfactory, as his "complaint was never properly investigated nor assigned to any LexisNexis customer service agent to perform at best a minimal investigation." Id. He further alleges that "Defendant never provided [him] with the specific company that initiated the inquiry into my credit profile despite several dispute letters being sent." Id. Defendant continued its alleged intransigence even after Plaintiff sent it another certified letter on October 9, 2012, initiated this lawsuit on November 6, 2012, and followed up with a third certified letter on November 7, 2012. See id. After Defendant moved to dismiss the suit, Plaintiff on January 7, 2013 sent Defendant a fourth certified letter in which he outlined "in detail" his ...


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