United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the court on Bank of America, N.A.'s
Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim (ECF No. 12)
and Joinder of Defendants Brian Moynihan and Gene E. Pulliam
in Defendant Bank of America, N.A.'s Motion to Dismiss
(ECF No. 26). This matter is fully briefed and ready for
Eddie Smith ("Smith") alleges that Bank of America,
N.A. ("BANA") and individual defendants
discriminated against him by denying him a loan to purchase a
property at 4253 Monsols, Florissant, Missouri 63034.
(Plaintiffs Complaint, ECF No. 7, ¶ll). Smith states
that race-based discrimination motivated BANA's decision
not to enter into a mortgage loan with Smith.
alleges four causes of action for "Racial Decrimitation
against Defendants Bank of America" (Count I), "No
[Uniform Residential Loan Application] URLA and Letter of
Action Taken and Refusal to Provide Community Reinvestment
Act Portfolio (CRA)" (Count II); "Racial
Decrimitation Coverup Defendant BOA [BANA] 06 Fraudulent URLA
and Letter of Action Take" (Count III); and
"Criminal Action" (Count IV).
Standard of Review
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.'"
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic
Corp., v. Twombly, 550 U.S 544, 570 (2007). A
"formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action" will not suffice. Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555. "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." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
contend that the factual allegations in the Complaint fail to
satisfy the pleading standards of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8. (ECF No. 13
at 3-4). Defendants assert that Smith's Complaint
contains only vague, conclusory allegations of misconduct
that fail to satisfy the requirements of Rule 8. As to his
claims of discrimination, Smith "merely alleges he was
discriminated against because he did not get the loan he
believed he would receive." (ECF No. 13 at 4). Smith
further alleges he saw a "racially motivated
discriminating expression." (ECF No. 13 at 4 (citing ECF
No. 7 at 6)). Smith also claims that his phone calls were not
returned as evidence of discrimination. (ECF No. 13 at 4
(citing ECF No. 7 at 6)). He also believes he was not
provided an Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA)
"due to racism". (ECF No. 13 at 4 (citing ECF No. 7
at 7)). Defendants claim that all of these allegations merely
assert discrimination in a conclusory manner, without
providing any substantive claims. Therefore, Defendants argue
that Smith's Complaint should be dismissed.
Smith filed a response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
for Failure to State a Claim (ECF No. 19) and an overlong
Memorandum in Support of a Response to Defendant's Motion
to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim (ECF No. 19-1). Under
the local rules of the Eastern District of Missouri, a party
can file an opposition memorandum "containing any
relevant argument and citations to authorities on which the
party relies." (E.D.Mo. L.R. 4.01(B)). Likewise, the
local rules provide that "[n]o party shall file any
motion, memorandum or brief which exceeds fifteen (15)
numbered pages, exclusive of the signature page and
attachments, without leave of Court." (E.D.Mo. L.R.
4.01(D)). Smith has essentially filed two opposition
memoranda. The Court typically would strike Smith's
overlong and improper filing. However, because Smith is pro
se and his memoranda are largely duplicative and do not
change the Court's decision, the Court considers both
filings for purposes of the Motion to Dismiss.
contends that he has alleged claims under Title VIII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1968. (ECF No. 19). Smith further states
that Defendants should have filed a motion for more definite
statement, not a motion to dismiss. Smith nevertheless states
that his Complaint states "facial material facts that
support each element of Plaintiffs claims and thus withstands
Defendants Counsel Gardner's Motion to Dismiss."
(ECF No. 19 at 7).
8(a) and (e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
specifies that a complaint must contain a "short and
plain statement" showing that the Plaintiff "is
entitled to relief." Fed.RCiv.P. 8; Miller/Perry v.
Norris, No. 1:10-CV-00033-BSM, 2010 WL 3199663, at *2
(E.D. Ark. July 28, 2010), report and recommendation
adopted, No. 1:10-CV-00033-BSM, 2010 WL 3199671 (E.D.
Ark. Aug. 12, 2010). The complaint must state enough to
"give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is
and the grounds upon which it rests." Erickson v.
Pardus,551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007)(per curiam)(quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Although this is the
early stage of the litigation and the Court construes
Smith's Complaint liberally, the Court holds that
Smith's Complaint is insufficient. See Stone v.
Harry,364 F.3d 912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004) (citing
Estelle v. Gamble,429 U.S. 97, 106, 97 S.Ct. 285,
50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976)) (construe pro se complaint
liberally)). Smith has identified several purported causes of
action. However, the only factual basis for these claims
seems to be that BANA denied Smith a loan. Otherwise, Smith
provides nothing but legal conclusions which are insufficient
to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 8. Smith's Complaint
"tenders 'naked assertion[s]' devoid of
'further factual enhancement." Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, ...