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Camacho v. J.P. Morgan Chase

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

June 23, 2015

MICHAEL CAMACHO, Plaintiff,
v.
J.P. MORGAN CHASE, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER REGARDING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT (Dkt. No. 39)

MARK G. MASTROIANNI, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

On March 10, 2014, Michael Camacho ("Plaintiff") filed a complaint against J.P. Morgan Chase ("Defendant") (Dkt. No. 1), which was then amended several times with the court's permission. (See, e.g., Dkt. No. 29.) In his third amended complaint currently before the court (hereinafter "Complaint"), Plaintiff brings claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), and the Fair Credit Billing Act ("FCBA"), as well as claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract. (Dkt. No. 37, Third Amended Complaint ("Compl.").) Plaintiff proceeds without the assistance of counsel.

After Plaintiff filed his third amended complaint, Defendant moved to dismiss this complaint for a failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (Dkt. No. 39), [1] which the court deems Plaintiff to have opposed.[2] The court grants Defendant's motion in part.

II. STANDARD

To survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must allege facts that "raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Thus, the factual allegations in the complaint must "nudge[] [the] claims across the line from conceivable to plausible." Id. at 570. 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. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663 (2009). "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.

Courts are not required to accept as true allegations in a complaint that are legal conclusions. Id. at 678. However, "[w]hen there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Id. at 679. Therefore, in assessing a claim's plausibility, the court must construe the complaint in the plaintiff's favor, accept all non-conclusory allegations as true, and draw any reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.[3] See San Gerónimo Caribe Project, Inc. v. Acevedo-Vilá, 687 F.3d 465, 471 (1st Cir. 2012).

III. PLAINTIFF'S FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

While Plaintiff was visiting Greece and Eastern Europe in the summer of 2011, Plaintiff's credit card, registered with the Defendant, was wrongfully charged. (Compl. 1.) A total of eleven purchases were wrongfully charged to his account on various dates in May, June, July, August, September, and October of 2011.[4] (Id.) Plaintiff reported approximately half of these charges to Defendant between June 12, 2011 and July 1, 2011. (Id.) Plaintiff reported the second group of these disputes between September 19, 2011 and September 28, 2011. (Id. at 1-2.) Plaintiff did not receive findings from Defendant's investigation, so he submitted a written disclaimer of liability for the disputed charges on November 7, 2011. (Id. at 2.)

On June 13, 2012, Plaintiff requested that Defendant send documentary evidence of the allegedly unauthorized charges to him. (Id. at 2.) In response, Defendant notified Plaintiff it had not finished investigating one of the charges, valued at $1, 900.65, but informed him it found the other charges to be unauthorized, and that it therefore would credit Plaintiff's account accordingly. (Id. at 2.) At this time, Plaintiff notified Defendant he could no longer receive mail at his previously-listed address in Massachusetts. (Id. at 2.)

On September 5, 2012, "Plaintiff paid [Defendant] the undisputed debt of $6, 895.37 and $1, 570.43 in interest, providing that [Defendant] would finish investigating [the still-outstanding charge]." (Id. at 2.) On March 1, Defendant notified Plaintiff that it finished investigating the charge in question, and that Defendant found it to be valid. (Id.) In response, "Plaintiff notified [Defendant] he would pay the disputed debt to stop interest from accruing but that he was still disputing the charge." (Id.).

On March 22, 2013, Plaintiff filed a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB"), asserting that Defendant's "investigation of the disputed $1, 900.65 charge was unreasonable because the vendor erroneously claimed he used the service." (Id.) On April 2, 2013, Defendant "retaliated against Plaintiff by reversing all of the other disputed charges that it previously promised to credit to him." (Id.) Defendant then informed Plaintiff that "it actually never completed the investigations for the disputed amounts and so it previously misled him again on [June 13, 2012] by claiming otherwise." (Id.)

Defendant and Plaintiff engaged in settlement negotiations for the year that ensued, but they did not agree upon a resolution. (Id.) On August 27, 2013, Defendant informed Plaintiff that it was, again, investigating the disputed charges. (Id.) On November 1, 2013, Plaintiff requested that Defendant "send him the findings of the investigations and the bases of those findings, " to which Defendant agreed. (Id. at 3.)

Defendant, however, did not send Plaintiff these findings or the bases therefor. (Id.) Defendant "reported the disputed charges as being delinquent" to certain credit reporting agencies ("CRA's"), specifically Transunion, Equifax, and Experian, as well as the Internal Revenue Service. (Id.) On December 7, 2013, Plaintiff again filed a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, "alleging that [Defendant] falsely reported to these entities that his disputed debt was delinquent even though [Defendant] had not completed an investigation." (Id.) The ...


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