Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Smith v. Bank of America

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

May 11, 2017

EDDIE SMITH, Plaintiff,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          RONNIE L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This 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).[1] This matter is fully briefed and ready for disposition.

         BACKGROUND [2]

         Plaintiff 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.

         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).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Standard of Review

         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.'" 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).

         II. Discussion

         A. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8

         Defendants 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.

         Thereafter, 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.[3]

         Smith 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).

         Rule 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, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.