United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
Kristine G. Baker United States District Judge
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.
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.
Factual And Procedural Background
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
Standard of Review
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).
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.
Truth In ...