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Johnson v. Instant Auto Credit Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division

March 30, 2018

FRANCOIS JOHNSON PLAINTIFF
v.
INSTANT AUTO CREDIT CORPORATION DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          Kristine G. Baker United States District Judge.

         This Court has consolidated two related actions filed by plaintiff Francois Johnson: Johnson v. Instant Auto Credit Corp., No. 3:17-cv-00115 (Johnson I) and Johnson v. Abernathy Motor Co., No. 3:17-cv-00127 (Johnson II). The Court has consolidated both actions into Johnson I.

         Presently before the Court is a motion to dismiss filed by defendant Carl Oliver (Johnson II, Dkt. No. 9). Separate defendant Mr. Oliver moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss plaintiff Francois Johnson's complaint against him for failure to state claims upon which relief may be granted. Mr. Johnson, proceeding pro se, has timely opposed Mr. Oliver's motion (Johnson II, Dkt. No. 14). The Court grants Mr. Oliver's motion to dismiss (Johnson II, Dkt. No. 9). Furthermore, the Court sua sponte dismisses Mr. Johnson's claims against Instant Auto. Unless Mr. Johnson seeks leave of the Court to amend his complaint within 21 days from the entry of this Order to assert a claim over which this Court has federal jurisdiction, the Court is inclined to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over any surviving state law claims Mr. Johnson may allege in his complaint.

         I. Factual And Procedural Background

         The following facts are taken from Mr. Johnson's complaints filed in this action, unless otherwise noted (Johnson I, Dkt. No. 2; Johnson II, Dkt. No. 2). The Court treats Mr. Johnson's allegations as true for the purposes of this Order.

         Mr. Johnson purchased a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban (hereinafter, the “Vehicle”) from Abernathy Motor Company (“Abernathy”) on May 6, 2015 (Johnson II, Dkt. No. 2-2, at 1). Mr. Johnson entered into a Retail Installment Contract (the “Contract”) with Abernathy for the purchase of the Vehicle (Johnson II, Dkt. No. 2, ¶ 2). Abernathy's rights under the Contract were assigned to Instant Auto Credit Corporation (“Instant Auto”) (Johnson II, Dkt. No. 2-2, at 2).

         Mr. Johnson has brought two lawsuits in relation to this transaction. On May 17, 2017, he brought claims against Instant Auto under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), 82 Stat. 146, 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq., the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”), 113 Stat. 1436, 15 U.S.C. § 6801 et seq., the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, as amended by Section 1097 of the Dodd-Frank Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), 123 Stat. 524, 12 U.S.C. § 5481 et seq., and the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTCA”), 38 Stat. 717, 15 U.S.C. § 45. See Johnson v. Instant Auto Credit Corp., No. 3:17-cv-00115 (Johnson I, Dkt. No. 2). The next day, on May 18, 2017, Mr. Johnson brought the same claims against Mr. Oliver and Abernathy (Johnson II, Dkt. No. 2). The claims against Mr. Oliver and Abernathy under the Omnibus Act and the FTC Act have already been dismissed (Johnson II, Dkt. No. 5). Thus, all of Mr. Johnson's original claims against Instant Auto remain pending.

         Mr. Johnson's only remaining claims against Mr. Oliver and Abernathy are based upon TILA and GLBA. In general, Mr. Johnson contends that the defendants violated TILA because defendants did not provide him with TILA disclosure forms prior to the execution of the Contract (Johnson II, Dkt. No 2, ¶ 15). Mr. Johnson also alleges that defendants violated the GLBA by not providing him with a “Privacy Notice” (Johnson II, Dkt. No. 2, ¶ 1). Furthermore, Mr. Johnson alleges that defendants violated the GLBA by sharing his “nonpublic information” with the assignee of the Contract, Instant Auto (Johnson II, Dkt. No. 2, ¶ 9). Mr. Oliver filed the pending motion to dismiss the remaining claims against him on August 18, 2017 (Johnson II, Dkt. No. 9).

         On March 23, 2018, the Court ordered the consolidation of the present case and Johnson I. As Mr. Johnson was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this case as well as in Johnson I, the Court is required to dismiss the claims made against Abernathy and Instant Auto if they (1) are frivolous or malicious, (2) fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or (3) seek monetary relief from an individual immune to such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Therefore, the Court is required to screen Mr. Johnson's remaining claims against Abernathy and Instant Auto.

         II. Standard of Review

         Mr. Oliver moves to dismiss the claims against him alleging that Mr. Johnson's claims run afoul of Rule 12(b)(6). Per 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must also screen Mr. Johnson's remaining claims against Abernathy and Instant Auto. To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) or screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), “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 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible “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. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “While a complaint attacked by a [Federal] Rule [of Civil Procedure] 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, 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.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (alteration in original) (citations omitted). “[T]he complaint must contain facts which state a claim as a matter of law and must not be conclusory.” Briehl v. General Motors Corp., 172 F.3d 623, 627 (8th Cir. 1999). “When ruling on a motion to dismiss, the district court must accept the allegations contained in the complaint as true and all reasonable inferences from the complaint must be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party.” Young v. City of St. Charles, 244 F.3d 623, 627 (8th Cir. 2001).

         III. Discussion

         Mr. Oliver moves to dismiss all of the federal claims Mr. Johnson has made against him. Mr. Johnson's causes of action under the Omnibus Act and the FTC Act have already been dismissed. The Court agrees with Mr. Oliver that Mr. Johnson's remaining federal law claims, as currently pled, are insufficient to state a claim for relief. Furthermore, screening Mr. Johnson's claims against Abernathy and Instant Auto, the Court finds that the claims against Abernathy and Instant Auto are insufficiently pled to state claims for relief.

         A. Truth In ...


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