United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO
DISMISS DEFENDANTS' AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES AND
COUNTERCLAIMS UNDER THE EQUAL CREDIT OPPORTUNITY ACT
D. SMITH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SENIOR JUDGE.
is Plaintiff Arvest Bank's Motion to Dismiss
Defendants' Affirmative Defenses and Counterclaims. Doc.
#8. Arvest Bank's motion is granted.
to the Complaint, in exchange for loans, Defendant Midway
Motors/Asbury, LLC (“Midway”) executed and
delivered to Arvest Bank a promissory note and an SBA Note
wherein Midway promised to repay the loans. Doc. #1,
¶¶ 6, 8. To ensure repayment of the notes,
Defendants Gayle Dietz (“Gayle”) and Raelene
Dietz (“Raelene”) executed personal guaranties.
Id., ¶¶ 7, 9.
default in payment and performance of Midway's
obligations under the SBA note, the trustee under a deed of
trust securing the SBA Note foreclosed on real property in
Jasper County, Missouri. Id., ¶ 13. Arvest Bank
has demanded full payment of the balance remaining on the SBA
note, but according to Arvest Bank, Defendants have refused
to pay the debt. Id., ¶¶ 14-16. Arvest
Bank filed this lawsuit alleging claims of breach of
promissory note against Midway, and breach of guaranties
against Gayle and Raelene. Id., ¶¶ 17-35.
their Answer, Defendants alleged affirmative defenses and
counterclaims against Arvest Bank claiming, among other
things, the guaranties executed by Gayle and Raelene violated
the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), 12
C.F.R. § 1002 et seq., in that Midway
discriminated against the marital status of the company's
members and their spouses. Doc. #6, ¶¶ 28, 37,
42-50. Arvest Bank moves to dismiss Defendants'
affirmative defenses and counterclaims under the ECOA because
Defendants failed to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted in that Defendants lack standing or the affirmative
defenses and counterclaims are barred by the state of
their affirmative defenses and counterclaims, Defendants
contend Arvest Bank violated the ECOA. Arvest Bank argues
Gayle and Raelene do not have standing to bring defenses or
claims under the ECOA, and therefore, those affirmative
defenses and counterclaims should be dismissed.
is one of several doctrines that reflects and enforces the
fundamental limitations on the judiciary's role by
insuring a party has a sufficient stake in the outcome to
warrant his, her, or its invocation of the federal
courts' jurisdiction. Summers v. Earth Island
Inst., 555 U.S. 488, 493 (2009). “[S]tanding is a
jurisdictional prerequisite that must be resolved before
reaching the merits of a suit.” City of Clarkson
Valley v. Mineta, 495 F.3d 567, 569 (8th Cir. 2007)
(citation omitted). When considering a motion to dismiss for
want of standing, this Court must accept as true all material
allegations of the complaint, and must construe the complaint
in favor of the complaining party. Clayton v. White Hall
Sch. Dist., 778 F.2d 457, 458 (8th Cir. 1985) (citation
omitted). For a party to have standing, she must establish
“she has suffered an injury in fact that is concrete
and particularized and actual or imminent, not conjectural or
hypothetical.” Sabri v. Whittier Alliance,
2016 WL 4409350, at *2 (8th Cir. Aug. 19, 2016) (citations
and internal quotations omitted).
both parties addressed the standing argument under the
standard for failure to state a claim and did not address the
factors this Court must consider when examining a motion to
dismiss for want of standing. Accordingly, the Court is
unable to determine whether Gayle and Raelene have standing
to bring their ECOA affirmative defenses and counterclaims.
Failure to State A Claim
Bank also contends Gayle and Raelene fail to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. The liberal pleading
standard created by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
requires “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per
curiam) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). “Specific facts
are not necessary; the statement need only ‘give the
defendant fair notice of what the…claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” Id. (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court
“must accept as true all of the complaint's factual
allegations and view them in the light most favorable to the
Plaintiff[ ].” Stodghill v. Wellston Sch.
Dist., 512 F.3d 472, 476 (8th Cir. 2008).
To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face. A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. The
plausibility standard is not akin to a probability
requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer possibility
that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint
pleads facts that are merely ...