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Pfountz v. Navient Solutions, LLC

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

January 24, 2018

AMANDA PFOUNTZ, Plaintiff,
v.
NAVIENT SOLUTIONS, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JEAN C. HAMILTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint filed by Defendant Navient Solutions, LLC. (EF 10). The matter is fully briefed and ready for disposition.

         LEGAL STANDARD FOR MOTION TO DISMISS

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Allegations are to be “simple, concise, and direct.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d)(1). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 10(b) provides that in his or her complaint:

A party must state its claims or defenses in numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances. . . . If doing so would promote clarity, each claim founded on a separate transaction or occurrence--and each defense other than a denial--must be stated in a separate count or defense.

         When a claim is so “vague or ambiguous that [a] party cannot reasonably prepare a response” a party can move for a more definite statement. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). Also, a court may strike, either pursuant to the motion of a party or on its own, “any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f).

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) provides for a motion to dismiss based on the “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” To survive a motion to dismiss a complaint must show that “‘the pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). See also Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007).

         “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice” to defeat a motion to dismiss. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “[O]nly a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss.” Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 679 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The pleading standard of Rule 8 “does not require ‘detailed factual allegations, ' but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

         Further, in regard to a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion, the Supreme Court holds:

While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, [citations omitted] a plaintiff's obligation to provide the “grounds” of his “entitle[ment] to relief” requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do, see Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286, 106 S.Ct. 2932, 92 L.Ed.2d 209 (1986) (on a motion to dismiss, courts “are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation”). Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, see 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure ' 1216, pp. 235-236 (3d ed. 2004).

Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. See also Gregory v. Dillard's, Inc., 565 F.3d 464, 473 (8th Cir. 2009) (en banc) (“[A] plaintiff ‘must assert facts that affirmatively and plausibly suggest that the pleader has the right he claims . . ., rather than facts that are merely consistent with such a right.'”) (quoting Stalley v. Catholic Health Initiative, 509 F.3d 517, 521 (8th Cir. 2007)).

         Additionally, “a well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of those facts is improbable.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556 (citation omitted). “The issue is not whether plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support [his or her] claims.” Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974) (abrogated on other grounds, Horlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800 (1982)).

         BACKGROUND and LEGAL FRAMEWORK OF THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTIONS PRACTICES ACT

         In the First Amended Complaint Plaintiff alleges that Defendant violated the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq. The FDCPA is designed to “eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors.” Dunham v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs.,663 F.3d 997, 1000 (8th Cir. 2011) (quoting Richmond v. Higgins,435 F.3d 825, 828 (8th Cir. 2006)). “[D]ebt collectors are liable for failure to comply with ‘any provision'” ...


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