United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
seek leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action
under 28 U.S.C.§ 1915. Plaintiffs' motions to
proceed in forma pauperis will be granted. However,
plaintiffs will be required to file an amended complaint in
this action. Plaintiffs' failure to file an amended
pleading will result in a dismissal of this action, without
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a
complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. To state a claim for relief, a complaint must plead
more than "legal conclusions" and
"[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action [that are] supported by mere conclusory
statements." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). A plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim
for relief, which is more than a "mere possibility of
misconduct." Id. at 679. "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."
Id. at 678. Determining whether a complaint states a
plausible claim for relief is a context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense. Id. at 679.
reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the
Court accepts the well-pled facts as true. Furthermore, the
Court liberally construes the allegations.
James Stewart asserts that he is bringing this action against
Equifax, Inc., as well as its parent companies and
subsidiaries, on behalf of himself and his mother, Eileen
Stewart. Plaintiff states that he and his mother
Eileen Stewart are individual consumers residing in the St.
Louis, Missouri area.
James Stewart claims that Equifax, Inc. and the other
defendants acted in violation of Missouri state law, in
"negligence, " when the Company failed to protect
the Stewart's credit and personal information. Plaintiffs
seek "fair compensation" in "an amount that
will ensure that the plaintiffs who are consumers harmed by
its data breach" will be compensated.
are acting pro se, or without an attorney in this action.
Although plaintiffs seek to certify a class action against
Equifax, Inc., the motion to certify must be denied. Under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a)(4), a class
representative must "fairly and adequately protect the
interests of the class." Unfortunately, a pro se
litigant cannot fairly and adequately represent a class of
persons in Federal Court. A litigant may bring his own claims
to federal court without counsel, but not the claims of
others. See 28 U.S.C. § 1654; see also
7A Wright, Miller & Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure:
Civil 3d § 1769.1 ("class representatives cannot
appear pro se.").
plaintiffs' claim for state law negligence, as
currently stated, appears to be preempted by the
Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"). See 15
U.S.C. § 1681h(e).
Court will allow plaintiffs thirty (30) days to amend their
complaint in this action on a court-provided form. Plaintiffs
are warned that the filing of an amended complaint replaces
the original complaint, and so it must include all claims
plaintiffs wish to bring. E.g., In re Wireless Telephone
Federal Cost Recovery Fees Litigation, 396 F.3d 922, 928
(8th Cir. 2005). Plaintiffs must submit the amended complaint
on a court-provided form, and the amended complaint must
comply with Rules 8 and 10 of the Federal Rules of Civil
the Court will review plaintiffs' motion for appointment
of counsel. The Court notes plaintiffs have demonstrated, at
this point, that they can adequately present their claims to
the Court. Additionally, neither the factual nor the legal
issues in this case are complex. Therefore, the Court will
deny plaintiffs' request for counsel at this time.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs'
motion to proceed in forma ...