United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
Frederick J. Kapala Judge.
application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
 is granted. The Court orders the trust fund officer at
Plaintiff's place of incarceration to deduct $3.75 from
Plaintiff's account for payment to the Clerk of Court as
an initial partial payment of the filing fee, and to continue
making monthly deductions in accordance with this order. The
Clerk of Court shall send a copy of this order to the trust
fund officer at the Dixon Correctional Center. Summons,
however, shall not issue. Plaintiff's complaint  is
dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a claim. His
motion to supplement his complaint  is denied. This
dismissal counts as one of Plaintiff's three allotted
dismissals under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Plaintiff's
motions for attorney representation  and for service of
process at government expense  are denied as moot. Final
judgment shall be entered. This case is closed. The Court
also notes that Plaintiff attached documents to his complaint
 and to his motion to supplement  containing unredacted
personal identifiers that should not be made part of the
public court file. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 5.2. The
Clerk is directed to seal the complaint and the motion.
Adekunle Razaq Adefeyinti, an Illinois prisoner, initiated
this pro se lawsuit against Experian Information
Solution, Inc., seeking $250, 000.00 because, he said,
Experian violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15
U.S.C. §§ 1681, et. seq., when it failed
to send him a copy of his credit report. Plaintiff
subsequently received his credit report from Experian but
still believes Experian violated the FCRA because he did not
receive his credit report quickly enough. Before the Court
are Plaintiff's application for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis and complaint for initial review.
has demonstrated that he cannot prepay the filing fee, and
thus, his application for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis is granted. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(1), (2), the Court orders: (1) Plaintiff to
immediately pay (and the facility having custody of him to
automatically remit) $3.75 to the Clerk of Court for payment
of the initial partial filing fee and (2) Plaintiff to pay
(and the facility having custody of him to automatically
remit) to the Clerk of Court twenty percent of the money he
receives for each calendar month during which he receives
$10.00 or more, until the $350 filing fee is paid in full.
The Court directs the trust fund officer to ensure that a
copy of this order is mailed to each facility where Plaintiff
is housed until the filing fee has been paid in full. All
payments shall be sent to the Clerk of Court, United States
District Court, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois
60604, attn: Cashier's Desk, 20th Floor, and should
clearly identify Plaintiff's name and the case number
assigned to this case.
Court next considers Plaintiff's complaint. Under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court may screen a complaint
and dismiss the complaint, or any claims therein, if the
Court determines that the complaint or claim is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against an immune
defendant. See Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 214
(2007); Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 649 (7th
Cir. 2013). Courts screen complaints in the same manner they
review motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). Maddox v. Love, 655 F.3d 709,
718 (7th Cir. 2011).
complaint must include “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The short and plain
statement must “give the defendant fair notice of what
the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(citation omitted). The statement also must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to “state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, ”
which means that the pleaded facts must show there is
“more than a sheer possibility that a defendant acted
unlawfully.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). When screening a pro se plaintiff's
complaint, courts construe the plaintiff's allegations
liberally. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007) (per curiam). Courts also must “accept all
well-pleaded facts as true and draw reasonable inference in
the plaintiff's favor.” Roberts v. City of
Chicago, 817 F.3d 561, 564 (7th Cir. 2016).
complaint concerns only Experian's purported failure to
provide him with a copy of his credit report and is composed
largely of language extracted from the FCRA followed by legal
conclusions. Indeed, the facts pleaded by Plaintiff show only
that (1) he requested a free annual credit report from
Experian by letter dated March 14, 2018; (2) he received a
letter from Experian on April 14, 2018, requesting additional
identifying information; (3) he returned documents to
Experian that, he believes, complied with Experian's
request; and (4) he received a second letter from Experian
requesting the same information it previously requested.
(Dkt. 1, pg. 4-5.) Plaintiff then concludes that
Experian's failure to fulfil his request for a copy of
his credit report demonstrates willful noncompliance with the
FCRA. (Id., pg. 6.)
subsequently submitted a “motion to supplement
complaint” in which he states that he received a copy
of his credit report from Experian. (Dkt. 7, pg. 1.) Rather
than voluntarily dismissing the complaint, Plaintiff advises
that he wants to proceed with this lawsuit because, he says,
Experian's conduct violates the “30 day rule”
of “15 U.S.C. § 1681g(e)(1) accordance with
paragraph (3).” (Dkt. 7, pg. 2.)
several reasons, the Court discerns no basis for a claim
stemming from Plaintiff's experience with Experian.
First, Plaintiff explicitly brings this action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, but to state a claim for relief under
section 1983, a plaintiff must allege that he or she was
deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or the laws
of the United States and that the deprivation occurred at the
hands of a person acting under the color of state law.
Buchanan-Moore v. County of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824,
827 (7th Cir. 2009). Plaintiff alleged no facts suggesting
that his rights were violated by a state actor. Rather, he
brings this lawsuit against a private entity, but private
entities generally are not subject to section 1983 liability.
See Air Line Pilots Ass'n Int'l v. Dep't of
Aviation of City of Chi., 45 F.3d 1144, 1149 (7th Cir.
1995) (“[T]he conduct of private parties lies beyond
the Constitution's scope.”).
even though Plaintiff styled his complaint as an action under
section 1983, it is clear that he seeks redress for a
purported violation of the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA), 15
U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq., which allows
individuals to recover actual damages from a consumer
reporting agency if the agency willfully or negligently fails
to comply with the statute, 15 U.S.C. § 1681n(a); 15
U.S.C. § 1681o(a), as well as statutory and punitive
damages under some circumstances, 15 U.S.C. §
1681n(a)(1), (2). By itself, however, an allegation that an
entity violated the FCRA is insufficient to establish a right
to damages under the FCRA. See, e.g., Ruffin-Thompkins v.
Experian Info. Solutions, Inc., 422 F.3d 603, 608 (7th
Cir. 2005) (concluding that before a court need address the
merits of an allegation that a consumer reporting agency
violated the FCRA, the plaintiff must show that he or she
suffered actual damages as a result of the purported
violation); Sarver v. Experian Info, Solutions, 390
F.3d 969, 971 (7th Cir. 2004) (“[T]he FCRA is not a
strict liability statute.”).
bald allegation that Experian violated the FRCA also is
problematic because, to bring an action in federal court, a
plaintiff must first establish standing. Spokeo, Inc. v.
Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016). Standing requires,
among other things, an injury in fact that is fairly
traceable to the defendant. Id. (citing Lujan v.
Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992)).
“To establish an injury in fact, a plaintiff must show
that he or she suffered ‘an invasion of a legally
protected interest' that is ‘concrete and
particularized' and ‘actual or imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical.'” Id. at 1548
(quoting Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560). A “concrete
injury” is an injury that actually exists and is
required even in the context of a statutory violation.
Id. at 1548-50. Standing is a threshold issue that
must be established by the party invoking federal
jurisdiction. Id. at 1547 (citing FW/PBS, Inc.
v. Dallas, 493 U.S. 215, 231 (1990)). Thus, at the
pleading stage, the plaintiff must “clearly . . .
allege facts demonstrating each element” of standing.
Id. (citing Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490,
complaint contains no facts showing that he sustained an
injury as a result of Experian's conduct. Instead,
Plaintiff seeks $250, 000 merely because Experian did not
send him a copy of his credit report quickly enough, in his
estimation. But he cannot proceed against Experian absent a
concrete injury that is fairly traceable to Experian. See
Spokeo, Inc., 136 S.Ct. at 1549 (“Congress'
role in identifying and elevating intangible harms does not
mean that a plaintiff automatically satisfies the
injury-in-fact requirement whenever a statute grants a person
a statutory right and purports to authorize that person to
sue to vindicate that right.”); Meyers v. Nicolet
Restaurant of De Pere, LLC, 843 F.3d 724, 729 (7th Cir.
2016) (holding that “violation of a statute, completely
divorced from any potential real-world harm” is
insufficient to establish standing); see also
Ruffin-Thompkins, 422 F.3d at 610-11 (concluding that
neither statutory nor punitive damages are available absent
even if Plaintiff could establish standing, his claim suffers
from a fatal flaw: he received a copy of his credit report
from Experian. (See Dkt. 7.) Plaintiff seems to
intuit that this fact dooms his claim given his newly
asserted contention that Experian violated section
1681g(e)(1) of the FCRA when it took more than 30 days to
fulfil his ...