Hudson v. FedLoan Servicing, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER : IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant's Motion for More Definite Statement (ECF No. 5 ) is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file a Complaint containing a more definite statement of his claim(s) no later than September 1, 2017. IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall mail a copy of this Order via regular mail and UPS to Plaintiff, Cody J. Hudson, at his last known address. (Order mailed USPS and UPS). Signed by District Judge Ronnie L. White on 08/11/2017. (KCB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CODY J. HUDSON,
FEDLOAN SERVICING, and
PENNSYLVANIA HIGHER EDUCATION
No. 4:17CV1568 RLW
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Defendant' s Motion for More Definite Statement (ECF
o. 5). Plaintiff filed a prose Petition in Small Claims Court in the Circuit Court for St. Louis
City, Missouri. (ECF No. 3) Defendant, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency,
doing business as FedLoan Servicing, removed the action to federal court. Defendant filed its
motion on June 1, 2017. Pursuant to the Court' s Order to Show Cause dated July 11, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a copy of an email he sent to counsel for Defendant further detailing his claims
against Defendant. Plaintiff asserts that counsel indicated that a letter of further clarification
would suffice, as the parties were seeking a settlement. (ECF No. 9)
While the Court appreciates Plaintiffs letter of explanation and desire to settle the case
without Court intervention, the Court reminds Plaintiff that even as a pro se litigant, he must
comply with relevant procedural rules. See Schooley v. Kennedy, 712 F.2d 372, 373 (8th Cir.
1983) ("Although prose pleadings are to be construed liberally, prose litigants are not excused
from compliance with relevant rules of the procedural and substantive law."). Under Rule 8 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, " [a] pleading that states a claim for relief must contain ...
a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. " Fed. R.
Civ. P. 8(a)(2).
Plaintiffs Complaint and email to Defendant's counsel appear to allege a claim under the
Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") regarding negative marks on his credit score stemming
from unpaid student loans provided by Defendant. (ECF Nos. 3, 9) Plaintiff states that he
disputed these negative marks with Defendant and with the credit bureau, but the marks have not
been removed. (ECF No. 3) Defendant's motion asserts that the pleading is so vague that
Defendant cannot prepare a response. Specifically, the Defendant claims that the pleading fails
to allege when the Defendant allegedly violated the FCRA or what section(s) of the statute
Defendant violated. Further, Defendant contends Plaintiff failed to plead to whom he sent notice
of the dispute and what specific actions by Defendant violate the FCRA, such as whether
Defendant reported inaccurate information or failed to respond to a dispute from a credit
The Court agrees that lack of specificity hinders Defendant' s ability to file a response to
the Complaint. Under Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, "[a] party may move for
a more definite statement of a pleading to which a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so
vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a response." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e).
In the instant case, the Court will grant Defendant's motion. See Dill v. Comenity Bank/Sports
Auth., No. 13-1321-D, 2014 U.S . Dist. LEXIS 19087, at *2 (W.D. Okla. Feb. 13, 2014) (ordering
pro se plaintiff who originally filed a claim in state small claims court to file a complaint that
sufficiently stated plaintiffs claims). The Court advises Plaintiff that the website of the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, located at www.moed.uscourts.gov, has
an entire section dedicated to assisting prose litigants, including a program for preparing a civil
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant's Motion for More Definite Statement
(ECF No. 5) is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file a Complaint containing a more
definite statement of his claim(s) no later than September 1, 2017.
IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall mail a copy of this Order
via regular mail and UPS to Plaintiff, Cody J. Hudson, at his last known address: 1300 San
Jacinto Court, St. Louis, MO 63139.
Dated this 11th day of August, 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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