Nguyen et al v. Santander Bank et al
MEMORANDUM & ORDER: The Court grants Defendants' motions to dismiss, with prejudice, all of Plaintiffs' federal claims and dismisses, without prejudice, Plaintiffs' state law claim. The Court denies Plaintiffs' request for default judgments. The Clerk of the Court is directed to close these cases. SO ORDERED by Judge Margo K. Brodie, on 5/15/2015. C/mailed to pro se Plaintiffs. (Forwarded for Judgment.) (Latka-Mucha, Wieslawa)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
RIDGEWOOD SAVINGS BANK and PETER
CHASE BANK USA, N.A. and JAMES DIMON,
--------------------------------------------------------------THOMAS NGUYEN and TIFFANY NGUYEN,
SANTANDER BANK, N.A., ROMAN BLANCO,
CITIBANK, N.A., MICHAEL CORBAT,
EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC.,
DONALD ROBERT, TRANS UNION LLC, and
MARGO K. BRODIE, United States District Judge:
Plaintiffs Thomas Nguyen (“Mr. Nguyen”) and Tiffany Nguyen (“Ms. Nguyen”),
proceeding pro se, commenced the above-captioned actions against Defendants, alleging
violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (“FCRA”), Wall Street
Reform and Consumer Protection Act, 12 U.S.C. § 5301 et seq. (“CFPA”), particularly the
section relating to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, §§ 5481–5620, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1983 and 1985, and the New York State Fair Credit Reporting Act. The three Complaints
name different Defendants but raise overlapping claims.1
Currently before the Court are seven separate motions to dismiss filed by Defendants
Ridgewood Savings Bank and Peter Boger, (Ridgewood Mot. to Dismiss, No. 14-CV-1058
Docket Entry (“58DE”) No. 37), Chase Bank USA, N.A. and James Dimon, (Chase Mot. to
Dismiss, No. 14-CV-3464 Docket Entry (“64DE”) No. 19), Santander Bank, N.A. and Roman
Blanco, (Santander Mot. to Dismiss, No. 14-CV-3989, Docket Entry (“89DE”) No. 46),
Citibank, N.A. and Michael Corbat, (Citibank Mot. to Dismiss, 89DE No. 61), Experian
These actions are three of seven filed by Mr. Nguyen in the Eastern District of New
York in the last fifteen months, many of which have been dismissed. See Nguyen v. Bush, No.
15-CV-641 (E.D.N.Y. filed Feb. 6, 2015) (see Docket Entry No. 6 (dismissing complaint in full
without leave to amend)); Nguyen v. Milliken, No. 15-CV-587 (E.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 30, 2015)
(see Docket Entry No. 5 (dismissing complaint in full with leave to amend)); Nguyen v.
Santander Bank, No. 14-CV-3989 (E.D.N.Y. filed June 26, 2014) (dismissing complaint at
September 17, 2014 status conference, with leave to amend); Nguyen v. JPM Chase Bank, No.
14-CV-03464 (E.D.N.Y. filed June 2, 2014) (same); Nguyen v. China Nat’l Offshore Oil Corp.
(CNOOC), No. 14-CV-3327 (E.D.N.Y. filed May 29, 2014) (dismissing complaint at September
17, 2014 status conference, in full with prejudice as any amendment would be futile) appeal
dismissed No. 14-3871 (2d Cir. Mar. 6, 2015); Nguyen v. Bank of America, No. 14-CV-1243
(E.D.N.Y. filed Feb. 26, 2014) (see Docket Entry No. 22 (dismissing complaint in full with leave
to amend)); Nguyen v. Ridgewood Savings Bank, No. 14-CV-1058 (E.D.N.Y. filed Feb. 28,
2014) (see Docket Entry No. 22 (dismissing complaint in full with leave to amend)).
Information Solutions, Inc. and Donald Robert,2 (Experian Mot. to Dismiss, 89DE No. 54),
Trans Union LLC, (Trans Union Mot. to Dismiss, 89DE No. 50), and Equifax, Inc., (Equifax
Mot. to Dismiss, 89DE No. 58). Defendants move pursuant to Rules 8, 9, and 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Also before the Court is Mr. Nguyen’s requests for default
judgments against Ridgewood and Boger, (58DE Nos. 32–33), and against Experian and Robert.
(See Am. Compl. in No. 14-CV-3989 (“3989 Am. Compl.”) ¶ 17, 89DE No. 25; see also Letter
dated Nov. 18, 2014 from Mr. Nguyen seeking default judgments against Experian and Robert,
89DE No. 32.)
For the reasons discussed below, Defendants’ motions to dismiss are granted as to
Plaintiffs’ federal claims, and Mr. Nguyen’s motions for default judgments are denied. As
Plaintiffs have previously been given the opportunity to amend their complaints in each action,
and have failed to correct the deficiencies identified by the Court, the Amended Complaints are
dismissed with prejudice as to all of Plaintiffs’ federal claims.
Plaintiff Mr. Nguyen, proceeding pro se, filed the above-captioned actions challenging
various actions of Ridgewood Savings Bank (“Ridgewood”); Peter Boger, Chairman, President
and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Ridgewood; Chase Bank USA, N.A. (“Chase”),
Experian Information Solutions, Inc. submitted a single motion to dismiss, noting that
it was incorrectly identified in the Complaint as “Experian Inc.” and “CEO Don Robert.” (Cover
Letter dated January 12, 2015 at 1, 89DE No. 53.) Robert did not join Experian’s motion to
dismiss, (see generally Experian Mot. to Dismiss), though Experian’s counsel has entered an
appearance on Robert’s behalf, (89DE No. 69), and the memorandum of law in support of the
motion seeks dismissal as to Robert for failure to state a claim, (Experian Mem., 89 DE No. 55 at
incorrectly identified as JPMC Chase Bank in the initial Complaint; James Dimon, Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of JPMorgan Chase & Co., incorrectly identified as Jamie
Dimon; Santander Bank, N.A. (“Santander”); Roman Blanco, Chairman and CEO of Santander;
Citibank, N.A. (“Citibank”), incorrectly identified as Citibank (Citigroup); Michael Corbat, CEO
of Citigroup; Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (“Experian”), incorrectly identified as
Experian, Inc.; Donald Robert, Chairman of Experian plc;3 Trans Union LLC (“Trans Union”);
and Equifax, Inc. (“Equifax”). Mr. Nguyen’s daughter, Tiffany Nguyen, is also a Plaintiff in
action 14-CV-3989. The three Complaints name different Defendants but raise overlapping
claims and frequently contain overlapping allegations. Mr. Nguyen’s submissions often
reference all three actions, and the Amended Complaints filed in 14-CV-1058 and 14-CV-3989
include reference to the other actions in the captions. In addition, Mr. Nguyen submitted an
identical “addendum” to his Amended Complaints in actions 14-CV-3464 and 14-CV-3989.
On September 17, 2014, the Court dismissed the Complaints in 14-CV-3464 and 14-CV3989 in their entirety pursuant to Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for failure to
plead with specificity the violation Plaintiffs allege, and permitted Plaintiffs to file amended
complaints. (See Nos. 14-CV-3464 and 14-CV-3989, Minute Entry dated Sept. 17, 2014.) By
Memorandum and Order dated December 17, 2014, the Court dismissed the Complaint in 14CV-1058 for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Plaintiffs subsequently filed Amended Complaints, and Defendants now move to
dismiss the Amended Complaints in all of the above-captioned actions.
Experian plc is the parent company of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (Corporate
Disclosure Statement ¶ 1, No. 14-CV-3989, Docket Entry No. 36.)
The following facts are taken from Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaints, (Am. Compl. in No.
14-CV-1058 (“1058 Am. Compl.”), 58DE No. 23; Am. Compl. in No. 14-CV-3464 (“3464 Am.
Compl.”), 64DE No. 12; 3989 Am. Compl.), an identical Addendum to the Amended Complaint
submitted in actions 14-CV-3989 and 14-CV-3464 on October 24, 2014, (Am. Compl. Add.,
64DE No. 14 and 89DE No. 27), and a Supplemental Addendum to the Amended Complaint
filed in 14-CV-3989 on October 31, 2014, in which Mr. Nguyen “repeats and re-alleges . . . the
entire amended complaint in 14-[CV]-3464.” (Suppl. Am. Compl. Add. ¶ 22, 89DE No. 28).
In sum, Plaintiffs appear to allege that Santander, Chase, Citibank and Ridgewood
provided incorrect or inaccurate information about Mr. Nguyen’s accounts to Equifax, Experian
and Trans Union, which affected Mr. Nguyen’s credit score. Both Plaintiffs also experienced
difficulty obtaining credit from Defendant banks at various times.
Allegations against Santander, Blanco, Equifax, Experian and Trans
On or about February 19, 2007, Mr. Nguyen was approved for a “GoldOption” credit
account with Santander, with a credit line of $15,000, and another “GoldOption” credit account
with a credit line of $26,500 held by Bank of America, but serviced by FIA Card Services.
(3989 Am. Compl. ¶ 2.) Mr. Nguyen alleges that he attempted to pay down his two credit
accounts with his disposable income, but “[D]efendants were using unfair, deceptive, abusive
acts or practices . . . to drive [Mr. Nguyen] into destitution.” In or about June of 2007, Mr.
Nguyen went to a Bank of America branch to attempt to make a payment on his Santander credit
card account, and alleges that Santander never received his $1000 payment.4 (Id. ¶ 3.) Mr.
Nguyen contacted a manager at one of the banks, and was eventually informed that “they found
the money.” (Id.) Mr. Nguyen alleges that his “credit-performance” on the Santander account
“is considered AAA+++.” (Id.)
Mr. Nguyen alleges that from November 19, 2008 to the present, Santander, Bank of
America, and FIA Card Services, acting in conspiracy with one another, committed unfair,
deceptive, abusive acts or practices “against” his accounts, forcing him “eventually and gradually
into a life of hell for so many years until” September 1, 2013, when Mr. Nguyen sustained atrial
fibrillation and other heart conditions. (Id. ¶ 4.) At some point, Mr. Nguyen apparently
requested that someone examine the “GoldOption portfolio,” and “the office of President and
CEO represented by Tom Jordan” contacted Experian. (Id. ¶ 5.) Mr. Nguyen was also sent a
“suspicious, terrorizing, and threaten [sic] letter.” (Id.) Plaintiffs allege that from October 16,
2013 through the date the present actions were filed, Experian, Bank of America and Santander
“conspired in committed [sic] a fraudulent act, criminal deception, grossly abusive” practice by
“fabricating” the credit utilization ratio reported to Mr. Nguyen. (Id.) Mr. Nguyen recalculated
his own credit utilization ratio, based on a total credit limit of $71,0005 and reached a different
conclusion, placing him in the “top of .01% tail [sic] on normal distribution curve of favorable
credit rating and credit score.” (Id.)
In March or April of 2013, Mr. Nguyen alerted Janet Sanders, “Brooklyn Tech’s payroll
It is unclear from the allegations in the Amended Complaint what connection Mr.
Nguyen believes that Santander and Bank of America have beyond offering credit accounts with
the name “GoldOption.”
Plaintiffs allege that this reflects Mr. Nguyen’s total credit limit on all of his revolving
secretary,”6 “Beth Johnson’s UFT chapter leader” and Teresa Samuels, “UFT Brooklyn Rep.”
that something was wrong “inside.” (Id. ¶ 10.) In September of 2013, Mr. Nguyen spent one
week in Maimonides hospital in Brooklyn. (Id. ¶ 9.) Plaintiffs allege that Santander and Bank
of America’s actions with respect to Mr. Nguyen’s credit accounts caused financial and
psychological damage, and slowed Mr. Nguyen’s recovery time. (Id.)
In or about January 2014 through October 2014, Plaintiffs allege that Santander
committed a series of deceptive, unfair, and abusive acts or practices including various forms of
fraud against Mr. Nguyen’s checking account and a separate line of credit. (Id. ¶ 6.) Mr.
Nguyen alerted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and sent a letter to Blanco
regarding the issue, and received a letter in reply from a bank representative on February 24,
2014.7 (Id.) On March 29, 2014, Mr. Nguyen attempted to withdraw $20 from his account
ending in -1223 at Santander, and received a receipt regarding a different account, ending
in -3496, indicating that there was a larger balance in the account than he knew was in his -1223
account.8 (Id. ¶ 6c; Ex. SF 5.) Plaintiffs allege that this was a “set-up” and a scam. (3989 Am.
Compl. ¶ 6c.) Plaintiffs allege that Santander, acting in concert with Bank of America and FIA
Exhibits annexed to the Supplemental Addendum to the Amended Complaints in 14CV-3989 and 14-CV-3464 indicate that in 2012, and perhaps later, Mr. Nguyen was a math
teacher at Brooklyn Technical High School. (Letter dated March 1, 2012 from Randy J. Asher,
Principal of Brooklyn Technical High School to Mr. Nguyen, annexed to Supp. Am. Compl.
Add. at Ex. 2.)
Plaintiffs state that they have attached the letter to the Complaint, but the copy filed is
illegible. (See Ex. SF, annexed to 3989 Am. Compl.) Plaintiffs appear to object to computation
of balances on Mr. Nguyen’s account statements, alleging that the accounting is fraudulent.
(3989 Am. Compl. ¶ 6; Ex. SF 3–4.)
It is not clear from the Complaint what relationship there is between the two accounts,
and why Mr. Nguyen would receive a receipt for the account ending in -3496 when he attempted
to withdraw $20 from the account ending in -1223.
Card Services, deceptively and fraudulently violated the FCRA and engaged in unfair and
deceptive practices in relation to Mr. Nguyen’s credit accounts. (Id. ¶ 9.) Mr. Nguyen further
states that he “has suffered loss and damages including, but not limited to, financial loss,
financial injuries, expenditure of time and resources, emotional distress, A-Fib, mental anguish,
humiliation, and embarrassment, entitling him to actual immediate relief.” (Id.)
In January 2014 “and thereafter,” Mr. Nguyen contacted Experian, Trans Union and
Equifax to “personally address the issue and offer [an] amicable solution.” (Id. ¶ 16.) On
March 1, 2014, Plaintiffs allege that Experian committed unspecified fraud. (Id. ¶ 17.) Mr.
Nguyen “gave the evidence to expose Experian [sic] crime to the [Federal Trade Commission
(“FTC”)] and CFPB.” (Id.) Also in March 2014, Trans Union answered Mr. Nguyen’s letter
with an inaccurate credit report, in which Trans Union “deceptively sandbag[ged]” Mr. Nguyen’s
credit score by “suppress[ing] my payment’s info[rmation] and data with JPM Chase [and]
Ridgewood . . . .” (Id. ¶ 18.) Plaintiffs also allege that Equifax used unfair practices against Mr.
Nguyen for many years, apparently related to reporting a low credit utilization ratio and
otherwise using or misusing Mr. Nguyen’s FICO credit score. (Id.) Mr. Nguyen also apparently
received two calls from Equifax’s counsel in August, although he does not specify the year. (Id.)
Plaintiffs complain that one of the calls was unprofessional because it was received at 9:26 PM
on a Sunday evening, while Mr. Nguyen was serving food to his brother in a nursing home. (Id.)
On April 28, 2014, Santander “and/or” Experian “fraudulently” collected $16.30 “instead
of the usual one week prior to the 28th . . . .” (Id. ¶ 6d.) Plaintiffs allege that Mr. Nguyen
suffered “fears, financial and physical injuries, etc.” (Id.) Since September 17, 2014, Mr.
Nguyen has received more than one hundred “harass[ing] phone call[s]” from Santander. (Id.
¶ 6e.) On October 20, 2014, Mr. Nguyen received a telephone call asking him to verify his
social security number, and spoke with two different individuals. (Id. ¶ 6e.) Mr. Nguyen
“politely advised them to ask those [sic] Blanco and [Vice President, Manager of Customer
Relations JoAnn] Gruber and then hung up[.]” (Id. ¶ 6e.) On another occasion, Mr. Nguyen
received a call from “Jeff,” on behalf of Santander, at 8:00 AM on a Saturday. (Id.)
Allegations against Citibank and Michael Corbat
At the end of the 3989 Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs allege that Citibank and Corbat
“were contacted” and discussed the Plaintiffs’ allegations against them including conspiracy to
commit murder. (Id. ¶ 20.) Plaintiffs refer to the Addendum to the Amended Complaint. (Id.)
Therein, Plaintiffs allege that Citibank acted with non-party Expedia “et al” in a conspiracy with
“several ‘State Actors’ to committing [sic] murder or committing [sic] to terrorize us in the post
9/11 era, etc. in pursuant to FCRA” and several sections of the United States Code. (Am.
Compl. Add. 1.)
At or about the time Mr. Nguyen’s father passed away in January of 2014, Mr. Nguyen
called Citibank “at about 2~3 am” requesting an increase in his credit line, which was refused.
(Supp. Am. Compl. Add. ¶ 15.) Mr. Nguyen allegedly purchased flights from Expedia to
Vietnam to attend his father’s funeral. Mr. Nguyen alleges that Citibank acted in conjunction
with Expedia to commit unfair and deceptive acts against him, forcing him to extend his credit
account over the credit limit. (Id.)
At some unspecified time, Mr. Nguyen brought to Citibank’s attention an unauthorized
charge on his account. (Id.) Citibank removed the charge from his account initially, but later recharged the credit account. (Id.)
On April 23, 2014, Citibank refused Ms. Nguyen a credit card account “because of
terrorist activity,” but still sent her a credit card in the mail. (Id. ¶ 19.) Plaintiffs allege this
constitutes “discrimination, character defamation, abuse of power” and is “criminally fraud
iii. Allegations against Chase Bank and Dimon
Mr. Nguyen brought a separate action, not joined by Ms. Nguyen, against Chase Bank
and Dimon, in which he alleges similar claims for fraud, unfair and deceptive business practices,
violations of the FCPA and CFPA, and conspiracy pursuant to 42 U.S.C.§ 1985. (3464 Am.
Compl. ¶ III.) Mr. Nguyen alleges that Chase bank engaged in “illegal and deceptive practices”
between October 2005 and June 2012, and that on September 13, 2013, the CFPB ordered Chase
to pay more than $309 million in damages to credit card customers. (3464 Am. Compl. ¶¶ 1, 8.)
On September 13, 2013, Mr. Nguyen filed a claim in Small Claims Court, Kings County, for
“Chase’s violation” relating to Mr. Nguyen’s credit card account, seeking damages of $5000
(“Small Claims action”). (Id. ¶ 2.) In December 2013, Mr. Nguyen sent Dimon a letter
regarding his credit card account, because it “was illegally charged and billed with illegal and
deceptive practice products.” (Id. ¶ 3.)
Shortly after filing his Small Claims action, Mr. Nguyen received a telephone call
requesting his appearance on “People’s Court” with Dimon “or his representative.” (Id. ¶ 4.)
Mr. Nguyen alleges that he “smelled something fishy” and determined that the offer was related
to fraud and collusion, though he does not allege who colluded and for what end the collusion
occurred. (Id. ¶ 4.) On January 27, 2014, Mr. Nguyen received a letter from a lawyer stating,
inter alia, “please contact me to discuss the litigation and whether we can reach an amicable
resolution.” (Id. ¶ 5.) On March 3, 2014, Mr. Nguyen received another telephone call from the
“Judge Judy Show,” asking if he would appear on the show regarding the small claims case. (Id.
¶ 6.) Mr. Nguyen apparently did not appear on either television show, instead appearing before
Judge Harriet Thompson in April of 2014, where Mr. Nguyen indicated that he would bring the
action in the United States District Court after discontinuing his Small Claims action. (Id. ¶ 7.)
Mr. Nguyen alleges that he had a “good if not perfect record with Chase until” July of
2014. (Id. ¶ 8.) He states that “Chase broke the law and had been ordered to pay [P]laintiff, one
of the victims.” (Id.) He also refers to a “fabricated charge-off” and indicates that this was a
“false pretense” for Chase to conspire with Credit Reporting Agencies via “fraud-ridden
report(s).” (Id.) According to Mr. Nguyen, Chase “knowingly and willingly used false and
inaccurate credit information” to cut his credit line — on a different account — from $14,000 to
$6700, and to raise the interest rate on his account. (Id. ¶ 9.) Mr. Nguyen then stopped “dealing
with” Chase. (Id. ¶ 8.) He states that the conduct, including cutting his credit line, “changing
Court TV shows,” and “conspiring” with different lawyers and attorneys, were “unfair and
abusive practice[s]” and “pervert[ed] the course justice [sic].” (Id. ¶ 10.)
Mr. Nguyen spent a week at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn as a result of Defendants’
conduct. (Id. ¶¶ 10, 15.) He suffered from “financial loss, financial injuries, expenditure of time
and resources, emotional distress, A-Fib, mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment,”
which he argues entitles him to relief. (Id. ¶ 14.) At the end of his Complaint, Mr. Nguyen
repeats his allegations regarding his March or April 2013 contact with Janet Sanders, Beth
Johnson’s “UFT chapter leader” and Teresa Samuels. (Id. ¶ 15.)
iv. Allegations against Ridgewood and Boger
Mr. Nguyen brought a third action, not joined by Ms. Nguyen, against Ridgewood and
Boger, in which he alleges similar claims for fraud, unfair and deceptive business practices,
violations of the FCRA and CFPA, and conspiracy pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1985. (1058 Am.
Compl. ¶ III.) The facts alleged in Mr. Nguyen’s Complaint are set forth in Nguyen v.
Ridgewood Savings Bank (Nguyen I), --- F. Supp. 3d ---, 2014 WL 7182812 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 17,
2014), which decision dismissed Mr. Nguyen’s initial Complaint, but permitted him to file the
instant Amended Complaint.
In or about November of 2005, Mr. Nguyen opened a Certificate of Deposit (“CD”)
account of $8000 with Ridgewood. (1058 Am. Compl. ¶ 1.) In connection with the account, Mr.
Nguyen received a television and a camcorder. (Id.) On or about October 2007, Mr. Nguyen
obtained a secured loan of about 90% of the CD value. (Id. ¶ 2.) Sometime between 2005 and
2010, Mr. Nguyen began making monthly payments on his loan at the Ridgewood branch in
Brooklyn, NY. (Id. ¶ 3.) In 2013, Mr. Nguyen contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation’s (“FDIC”) Consumer Response Center disputing the accuracy of Ridgewood’s
records as to the timeliness of twenty two of Mr. Nguyen’s payments on his loan. (Id. ¶¶ 4–5,
18.) A short time “before or after” December 16, 2013, Mr. Nguyen contacted Ridgewood
seeking an additional loan, and appears to allege that he was denied the loan in connection with
the gifts he received in 2005. (Id. ¶ 7a.) Mr. Nguyen attempted to resolve these issues in person
at the branch, but the persons with whom he had direct contact were no longer available. (Id.
¶ 7b.) Ridgewood then reported to Trans Union or Experian that Mr. Nguyen had missed
payments on his loan. (Id.)
Mr. Nguyen alleges that Equifax, Trans Union, Experian, Ridgewood, “and all
[D]efendants in all cases” were motivated by a discriminatory animus against him in a
conspiracy against him. (Id. ¶ 19.)
In the Supplemental Addendum to his Amended Complaint on October 31, 2014, Mr.
Nguyen includes a number of facts not related to any of the Defendants in the above-captioned
actions. He refers to actions surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York
City, Mr. Nguyen’s former employment at Brooklyn Technical High School, Mr. Nguyen’s
contact with the United States Embassy in the Republic of Singapore, alleged discrimination
perpetrated by Randy Asher,9 and the death of Mr. Nguyen’s father in January of 2014. (Supp.
Am. Compl. Add. ¶¶ 1–14, 20, 30–31.) Mr. Nguyen also alleges that he “saw the perpetrator
attempting or/ and conspiring to kill or/ and to terrorize” him on three separate airline flights,
though he does not indicate who “the perpetrator” is or include any other details about what
happened. (Id. ¶¶ 16–18.) Mr. Nguyen also attached documents relating to teaching evaluations
at Brooklyn Technical High School, (id. at 12–18), and airline itineraries, (id. at 19–21). He did
not indicate how any of these additional documents were relevant to the above-captioned cases.
Standard of review
In reviewing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, a court “must take all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true.” Pension
Ben. Guar. Corp. ex rel. St. Vincent Catholic Med. Centers Ret. Plan v. Morgan Stanley Inv.
Mgmt. Inc., 712 F.3d 705, 717 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009)); see also Lundy v. Catholic Health Sys. of Long Island Inc., 711 F.3d 106, 113 (2d Cir.
2013) (quoting Holmes v. Grubman, 568 F.3d 329, 335 (2d Cir. 2009)); Matson v. Bd. of Educ.,
631 F.3d 57, 63 (2d Cir. 2011) (quoting Connecticut v. Am. Elec. Power Co., 582 F.3d 309, 320
(2d Cir. 2009)). A complaint must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible
on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is plausible “when
Randy J. Asher appears to have been the principal at Brooklyn Technical High School
in 2012. (See Supp. Am. Compl. Add. 12.)
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Matson, 631 F.3d at 63 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678); see also Pension Ben. Guar. Corp., 712 F.3d at 717–18. A complaint need not contain
“detailed factual allegations,” but a plaintiff must do more than present “an unadorned, the
defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Matson, 631 F.3d at 63 (internal quotation marks
omitted) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the
court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged — but it
has not ‘show[n]’ — ‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.’” Pension Ben. Guar. Corp., 712 F.3d
at 718 (alteration in original) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679). Although all allegations
contained in the complaint are assumed true, this principle is “inapplicable to legal conclusions”
or “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements.”10 Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. In reviewing a pro se complaint, the court must be
mindful that the plaintiff’s pleadings should be held “to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980) (internal quotation marks
omitted); Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (noting that even after Twombly, the
court “remain[s] obligated to construe a pro se complaint liberally”). If a liberal reading of the
complaint “gives any indication that a valid claim might be stated,” the court must grant leave to
When deciding a motion to dismiss, a court’s review is limited to the four corners of
the complaint, as well as (1) documents attached to the complaint, (2) any documents
incorporated in the complaint by reference, (3) any documents deemed integral to the complaint,
and (4) public records. See Nielsen v. Rabin, 746 F.3d 58, 65 (2d Cir. 2014) (Jacobs, J.
dissenting) (documents attached to the complaint and those incorporated by reference); Global
Network Commc’ns, Inc. v. City of New York, 458 F.3d 150, 156 (2d Cir. 2006) (documents
integral to the complaint); Blue Tree Hotels Inv. (Canada), Ltd. v. Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide, Inc., 369 F.3d 212, 217 (2d Cir. 2004) (public records). For the purposes of this
Memorandum and Order, the Court deems Plaintiffs’ supplemental submissions in support of the
Amended Complaints as part of the Amended Complaints.
amend the complaint. Shabazz v. Bezio, 511 F. App’x 28, 31 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Branum v.
Clark, 927 F.2d 698, 705 (2d Cir. 1991)).
Fair Credit Reporting Act claims
As observed in Nguyen I, the FCRA regulates consumer credit reporting agencies to
ensure the confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy, and proper utilization of consumer credit
information. 15 U.S.C. § 1681(b); Nguyen I, --- F. Supp. 3d at ---, 2014 WL 7192812, at *2.
Under the statute, “consumer reporting agencies,” sometimes referred to as “credit reporting
agencies,” are defined as entities which, for a monetary fee, “regularly engage in whole or in
part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information
on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties.” 15 U.S.C.
§ 1681a(f). “The FCRA places distinct obligations on three types of entities: consumer reporting
agencies, users of consumer reports, and furnishers of information to consumer reporting
agencies.” Redhead v. Winston & Winston, P.C., No. 01-CV-11475, 2002 WL 31106934, at *3–
5 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 20, 2002) (citing 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq.; Aklagi v. Nationscredit Fin. Servs.
Corp., 196 F. Supp. 2d 1186, 1192 (D. Kan. 2002); Thomasson v. Bank One, La., N.A., 137 F.
Supp. 2d 721, 722 (E.D. La. 2001))).11
Plaintiffs have set forth no allegations as to Blanco, Dimon, Corbat, Robert or Boger
(“Individual Defendants”) that establish the FCRA applies to them. Plaintiffs’ FCRA claims are
therefore dismissed as to the Individual Defendants.
A “furnisher” is “an entity that furnishes information relating to consumers to one or
more consumer reporting agencies for inclusion in a consumer report.” 16 C.F.R. § 660.2.
Plaintiffs do not specifically allege which Defendants they consider to be furnishers, and which
they consider to be consumer reporting agencies.
Furnishers of information
Plaintiffs appear to bring claims against all Defendant banks as furnishers of information,
similar to those claims Mr. Nguyen brought against Ridgewood in Nguyen I, that is, that
Defendant banks improperly provided inaccurate information to consumer reporting agencies, or
failed to correct inaccurate information that was provided to the consumer reporting agencies.
“As part of [its] regulatory scheme, the [FCRA] imposes several duties on those who furnish
information to consumer reporting agencies.” Longman v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., 702 F.3d 148,
150–51 (2d Cir. 2012) (citing 15 U.S.C. § 1681s–2). Among those obligations are the duties to
provide accurate information to consumer reporting agencies, to correct inaccurate information,
and to correct inaccurate information after receiving notice of a credit dispute directly from a
consumer. 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(a); see Longman, 702 F.3d at 150 (“Among these are duties to
refrain from knowingly reporting inaccurate information, see § 1681s-2(a)(1), and to correct any
information they later discover to be inaccurate, see § 1681s-2(a)(2).”). Furthermore, furnishers
of information have a responsibility to conduct an investigation after receiving notice of a credit
dispute from a consumer reporting agency. § 1681s-2(b); see also Redhead, 2002 WL
31106934, at *4 (“The FCRA imposes two [general] duties on furnishers of information,
codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681s–2(a) and (b).”).
“[T]here is no private cause of action for violations of [Section] 1681s-2(a).” Longman,
702 F.3d at 151 (collecting cases); Barberan v. Nationpoint, 706 F. Supp. 2d 408, 427 (S.D.N.Y.
2010); Trikas v. Universal Card Servs. Corp., 351 F. Supp. 2d 37, 44 (E.D.N.Y. 2005).
Therefore, any claims Plaintiffs attempt to bring under Section 1681s-2(a) of the FCRA,
including those claims relating to Plaintiff’s complaints directly to Defendant banks, are
To state a claim under Section 1681s-2(b) of the statute, Plaintiffs must allege that a
furnisher of information received notice from a consumer reporting agency of Mr. Nguyen’s
credit dispute. See Markovskaya v. Am. Home Mortg. Servicing, Inc., 867 F. Supp. 2d 340, 344
(E.D.N.Y. 2012) (“Plaintiff’s only claim can be pursuant to Section 1681s-2(b). As noted, such
a claim is stated only when [p]laintiff can show that the furnisher received information regarding
a consumer’s credit directly from a credit reporting agency, and not only from the consumer.”);
Dickman v. Verizon Commc’ns, Inc., 876 F. Supp. 2d 166, 172–74 (E.D.N.Y. 2012) (“[U]nder
§ 1681s-2(b), [a] defendant ha[s] no duty to investigate [a] credit dispute unless defendant
received notice of the dispute from a consumer reporting agency.” (alterations in original)
(internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Prakash v. Homecomings Fin., No. 05-CV-2895,
2006 WL 2570900, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 5, 2006))); Kane v. Guar. Residential Lending, Inc.,
No. 04-CV-4847, 2005 WL 1153623, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. May 16, 2005) (“[T]he duty to investigate
in Subsection (b) is triggered only after a furnisher of information receives notice from a credit
reporting agency of a consumer’s dispute.”). “A plaintiff proceeding under [Section] 1681s-2(b)
is required to show that the furnisher was told by a credit reporting agency that the consumer’s
information was disputed, as opposed to being told by the consumer directly.” Mendy v. JP
Morgan Chase & Co., No. 12-CV-8252, 2014 WL 1224549, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 24, 2014)
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
The majority of Plaintiffs’ allegations are conclusory statements that Defendants
Santander, Chase, Citibank and Ridgewood engaged in unfair and abusive practices, providing
no indication of whether the alleged practice involved information reported to a consumer
reporting agency. Plaintiffs appear to allege that Defendant banks forced Mr. Nguyen into
destitution by refusing to extend him further credit or reducing his credit limits, which affected
his credit utilization ratio and credit score, making it difficult for him to obtain further credit and
leading to increased interest rates on his accounts. Plaintiffs also specifically allege certain
practices on the part of each Defendant bank: that Santander charged Mr. Nguyen approximately
sixteen dollars on the wrong date, and at an unspecified time; Citibank inappropriately dealt with
a charge which Mr. Nguyen reported was unauthorized; Citibank “refused” Ms. Nguyen a credit
card, though it eventually sent one to her in the mail; Chase billed Mr. Nguyen inappropriately;
and Ridgewood improperly reported to Trans Union that Mr. Nguyen had made late payments on
Plaintiffs allege that Mr. Nguyen notified the FTC, the CFPB and the FDIC Consumer
Response Center regarding his issues with the Defendant banks, and the Amended Complaints
allege that Experian, Trans Union and Equifax were involved in “conspiracy” with the Defendant
banks. Plaintiffs also allege that Experian may have acted in conjunction with Santander to
collect the sixteen dollars, although they are unclear and indeterminate on Experian’s
involvement, and allege that Mr. Nguyen contacted Experian, Trans Union and Equifax in
January 2014, although there is no indication in any of Complaints of what Mr. Nguyen reported
to them other than “address[ing] the issue12 and offer[ing an] amicable solution in the interest of
law and in the interest of our mother, America.” (3989 Am. Compl. ¶ 16.) Even affording the
Complaint a liberal reading, it is difficult to conclude from the allegations that Ridgewood,
Though it is not clear from the Complaints, Plaintiffs vaguely tie “the issue” to their
allegations that the consumer reporting agencies were engaged in fraud of some kind. (See 3989
Am. Compl. ¶ 16.)
Chase,13 Citibank or Santander received or ignored any notice of a dispute regarding the
completeness or accuracy of any information provided to a consumer reporting agency. See
Dickman, 876 F. Supp. 2d at 172 (“[U]nder § 1681s–2(b), [a] defendant ha[s] no duty to
investigate [a] credit dispute unless defendant received notice of the dispute from a consumer
reporting agency.” (alterations in original) (quoting Prakash, 2006 WL 2570900, at *3)). Absent
any allegation that (a) Plaintiffs notified a consumer reporting agency of a credit dispute or (b)
any of the Defendant banks, Ridgewood, Chase, Citibank or Santander, was notified by a
consumer reporting agency of a dispute as to the accuracy of the information furnished to a
consumer reporting agency, Plaintiffs fail to state a claim under the FCRA. Plaintiffs’ claims are
therefore dismissed with prejudice.
iii. Consumer reporting agencies
Plaintiffs allege generally that Equifax, Trans Union and Experian violated the FCRA.
“The FCRA creates a private right of action against credit reporting agencies for the negligent or
willful violation of any duty imposed under the statute.” Casella v. Equifax Credit Info. Servs.,
56 F.3d 469, 473 (2d Cir. 1995) (internal citations omitted).14 Based on their allegations,
Plaintiffs appear to invoke Sections 1681e and 1681i of the FCRA against the Defendant
consumer reporting agencies, which require consumer reporting agencies to insure that the
Chase also moves for dismissal of Mr. Nguyen’s FCRA claim on the ground that
claims more than two years old are barred by the statute of limitations. The Court declines to
address the statute of limitations, given that Mr. Nguyen has not plausibly identified a factual
basis for his claim, including failing to identify when the claim arose.
Equifax argues that Equifax, Inc., the named Defendant in this action, is a holding
company for Equifax Information Services LLC and is not a credit reporting agency subject to
the FCRA. (Equifax Mot. to Dismiss 4 n.1.) Because the Court has determined that Plaintiffs
have failed to allege any facts that would support a claim against Equifax, the Court declines to
address this argument.
reported information is accurate, and to investigate disputes as to the accuracy of reported
Section 1681e(b) imposes a duty on consumer reporting agencies “to assure maximum
possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.”
15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b); Podell v. Citicorp Diners Club, Inc., 112 F.3d 98, 104 (2d Cir. 1997)
(same); Gorman v. Experian Info. Solutions, Inc., No. 07-CV-1846, 2008 WL 4934047, at *4
(S.D.N.Y. Nov. 19, 2008) (“[T]he FCRA requires that consumer reporting agencies, such as
Experian, ‘follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the
information’ contained in the consumer report.” (quoting 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b))). In order to
succeed on a claim under Section 1681e(b), a plaintiff must show that:
(1) the consumer reporting agency was negligent [or willful] in that
it failed to follow reasonable procedures to assure the accuracy of
its credit report; (2) the consumer reporting agency reported
inaccurate information about the plaintiff; (3) the plaintiff was
injured; and (4) the consumer reporting agency’s negligence
proximately caused the plaintiff’s injury.
Gorman, WL 4934047, at *4 (quoting Whelan v. Trans Union Credit Reporting Agency, 862 F.
Supp. 824, 829 (E.D.N.Y. 1994)) (internal quotation marks omitted) (alteration in original);
Selvam v. Experian Info. Solutions, Inc., No. 13-CV-6078, 2015 WL 1034891, at *3 (E.D.N.Y.
Plaintiffs also reference 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681o and 1681n, which permit civil liability for
consumer reporting agencies’ negligent or willful noncompliance with the statute. Under
Sections 1681o and 1681n, a plaintiff is entitled to actual damages as a result of defendants’
noncompliance with the statute. “To maintain a claim under the FCRA, Plaintiff bears the
burden of demonstrating ‘actual damages sustained’ as a result of the Defendants’ activities.”
Caltabiano v. BSB Bank & Trust Co., 387 F. Supp. 2d 135, 141 (E.D.N.Y. 2005) (citing Casella
v. Equifax Credit Info. Servs., 56 F.3d 469, 473 (2d. Cir. 1995)). Defendants argue that Plaintiffs
fail to adequately allege actual damages to support their claims under the statute. The Court
declines to address Defendants’ argument as to damages, as Plaintiff has failed to state a claim
for liability under the statute.
Mar. 10, 2015) (same); Agu v. Rhea, No. 09-CV-4732, 2010 WL 5186839, at *5 (E.D.N.Y. Dec.
15, 2010) (same) (quoting Gaft v. Mitsubishi Motor Credit of Am., No. 07-CV-527, 2009 WL
3148764, at *9 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 29, 2009)). Merely reporting inaccurate information is
insufficient to give rise to liability under the FCRA, as the Act is not a strict liability statute. See
15 U.S.C. §§ 1681o, 1681n; Ogbon v. Beneficial Credit Servs., Inc., No. 10-CV-3760, 2013 WL
1430467, at *6–7 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 8, 2013) (“[A] credit reporting agency is not held strictly liable
under the FCRA merely for reporting [inaccurate information]; rather, the consumer must show
that the agency failed to follow reasonable procedures in generating the inaccurate report.”
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted)), appeal dismissed (Sept. 23, 2013); Gaft, 2009
WL 3148764, at *9 (“However, an inaccurate entry of credit information, in and of itself, is not a
violation of the FCRA; rather . . . plaintiff must allege that the consumer reporting agencies
failed, through negligence or intention, to follow reasonable procedures to ensure the accuracy of
Section 1681i sets out procedures consumer reporting agencies must follow to investigate
disputes as to the accuracy of reported information. 15 U.S.C. § 1681i. These procedures
include reinvestigating a consumer’s record within a reasonable period of time after a consumer
“directly conveys” a dispute as to the “completeness or accuracy of an item on his credit report”
to the consumer reporting agency. Podell, 112 F.3d at 101 (citing id. § 1681i(a)); see also
Longman, 702 F.3d at 151 (“If a dispute is filed with the agency, both the agency and the
furnisher of that information have a duty to reasonably investigate and verify that the information
is accurate.” (citing §§ 1681i(a)(1)(A), 1681s–2(b))). Section 1681i states, in relevant part, that
if a consumer notifies a consumer reporting agency — either directly or indirectly — of a dispute
as to the accuracy of any item of information contained in his file, within thirty days of
notification the consumer reporting agency “shall, free of charge, conduct a reasonable
reinvestigation to determine whether the disputed information is inaccurate.”16 15 U.S.C.
§ 1681i(a)(1)(A); see Jones v. Experian Info. Solutions, Inc., 982 F. Supp. 2d 268, 272 (S.D.N.Y.
2013) (quoting same). What constitutes a “reasonable” reinvestigation depends on the
circumstances of the allegations. Id. (citing Cortez v. Trans Union, LLC, 617 F.3d 688, 713 (3d
Cir. 2010)). “Prior to being notified by a consumer, a credit reporting agency generally has no
duty to reinvestigate credit information.” Casella, 56 F.3d at 474.
Plaintiffs fail to state a claim
Plaintiffs allege that Trans Union, Equifax and Experian have issued credit reports
regarding Mr. Nguyen that contained fraudulent, inaccurate or “deceptive” information,
particularly as it relates to Mr. Nguyen’s credit utilization ratio and his “FICO” credit score.
(See 3989 Am. Compl. ¶¶ 5, 18.) Plaintiffs also allege that Mr. Nguyen complained to these
agencies about “the issue.” (Id. ¶ 16.) Plaintiffs fail, however, to make any allegations relating
to the procedures Trans Union, Equifax or Experian instituted to ensure the accuracy of the
information in Mr. Nguyen’s credit reports, to support a Section 1681e(b) claim. See Ogbon,
In full, the relevant section states:
[I]f the completeness or accuracy of any item of information
contained in a consumer’s file at a consumer reporting agency is
disputed by the consumer and the consumer notifies the agency
directly, or indirectly through a reseller, of such dispute, the
agency shall, free of charge, conduct a reasonable reinvestigation
to determine whether the disputed information is inaccurate and
record the current status of the disputed information, or delete the
item from the file in accordance with paragraph (5), before the end
of the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the agency
receives the notice of the dispute from the consumer . . . .
15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)(1)(A).
2013 WL 1430467, at *7 (granting summary judgment on Section 1681e claim in favor of Trans
Union and Experian because the plaintiff “ha[d] adduced no evidence to suggest that either
defendant failed to follow reasonable procedures in preparing her credit report”); Gaft, 2009 WL
3148764 (dismissing FCRA claim, noting that the plaintiff’s amended complaint was “devoid of
any allegations concerning the reasonableness of the procedures used by the defendant consumer
Plaintiffs also fail to make any allegations regarding either the procedures followed or
investigations by Trans Union, Equifax or Experian in response to Mr. Nguyen’s complaints, in
order to support a Section 1681i claim. Plaintiffs’ conclusory and broad allegations of fraud and
deceptive practices, without explanation of how Defendants willfully or negligently violated the
FCRA, do not suffice to state a claim under the statute. See Selvam, 2015 WL 1034891, at *3–4
(dismissing FCRA claims against consumer reporting agency when plaintiff failed to explain
how defendant willfully or negligently violated the statute, and did not set forth how consumer
reporting agency acted unreasonably with respect to disputed information); Agu, 2010 WL
5186839, at *6 (dismissing FCRA claim against consumer reporting agencies because plaintiff
“rests his Section 1681e claim on a combination of nonspecific, conclusory allegations about
‘false’ or ‘derogatory’ statements, and repetition of his argument that Bank of America
incorrectly reported that he ‘owe[d] more than once’”). Plaintiff’s FCRA claims against Trans
Union, Equifax and Experian are dismissed, with prejudice.
Consumer Financial Protection Act claims
Plaintiffs bring claims pursuant to the CFPA, specifically enumerating Sections 5531,
5536(a), 5563 and 5565. As an initial matter, Plaintiffs provide no facts beyond conclusory
statements that Defendants engaged in unfair and abusive practices to support a finding that
Defendants may be in violation of the CFPA. Furthermore, Plaintiffs provide no statutory basis,
and the Court can find none, for finding a private right of action under these provisions of the
statute, which outline duties, authorities and enforcement powers of the CFPB. See Johnson v.
J.P. Morgan Chase Nat’l Corporate Servs., Inc., No. 13-CV-678, 2014 WL 4384023, at *5
(W.D.N.C. Aug. 5, 2014) (“[T]here is no private right of action under the CFPA.”) report and
recommendation adopted, 2014 WL 4384024 (W.D.N.C. Sept. 3, 2014); In re Capital One
Derivative S’holder Litig., No. 12-CV-1100, 2012 WL 6725613, at *7 (E.D. Va. Dec. 21, 2012)
(“[I]t is true that there are no private causes of action available under . . . the Consumer Financial
Protection Act.”); see also Bellikoff v. Eaton Vance Corp., 481 F.3d 110, 116 (2d Cir. 2007) (A
Court “cannot ordinarily conclude that Congress intended to create a right of action when none
was explicitly provided.” (citing Touche Ross & Co. v. Redington, 442 U.S. 560, 571 (1979))).
A related provision of the statute specifically provides that, “[i]f any person violates a Federal
consumer financial law, the Bureau may . . . commence a civil action against such person to
impose a civil penalty or to seek all appropriate legal and equitable relief including a permanent
or temporary injunction as permitted by law.” 15 U.S.C. § 5564(a) (emphasis added).
Therefore, Plaintiffs’ claims under the CFPA are dismissed, with prejudice, as to all Defendants.
Sections 1983 and 1985
Plaintiffs invoke 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985 in relation to vague allegations of
conspiracy. Plaintiffs’ claims are not cognizable under Section 1983 or 1985. In order to sustain
a claim for relief under Section 1983, a plaintiff must allege (1) that the challenged conduct was
“committed by a person acting under color of state law,” and (2) that such conduct “deprived
[the plaintiff] of rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the
United States.” Cornejo v. Bell, 592 F.3d 121, 127 (2d Cir. 2010) (quoting Pitchell v. Callan, 13
F.3d 545, 547 (2d Cir. 1994)); see Pangburn v. Culbertson, 200 F.3d 65, 72 (2d Cir. 1999) (“To
prove a § 1983 conspiracy, a plaintiff must show: (1) an agreement between two or more state
actors or between a state actor and a private entity; (2) to act in concert to inflict an
unconstitutional injury; and (3) an overt act done in furtherance of that goal causing damages.”);
Bartels v. Inc. Vill. of Lloyd, 751 F. Supp. 2d 387, 402 (E.D.N.Y. 2010). “[T]he under-color-ofstate-law element of § 1983 excludes from its reach merely private conduct, no matter how
discriminatory or wrongful.” American Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Sullivan, 526 U.S. 40, 50 (1999)
(citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Similarly, to bring a claim for conspiracy under
Section 1985(3), a plaintiff must allege:
(1) a conspiracy (2) for the purpose of depriving a person or class
of persons of the equal protection of the laws, or the equal
privileges and immunities under the laws; (3) an overt act in
furtherance of the conspiracy; and (4) an injury to the plaintiff's
person or property, or a deprivation of a right or privilege of a
citizen of the United States.
Finn v. Anderson, 592 F. App’x 16, 20 (2d Cir. 2014) (quoting Thomas v. Roach, 165 F.3d 137,
146 (2d Cir. 1999)) (internal quotation marks omitted).
Plaintiffs have not stated a claim under Section 1983 or 1985 against any Defendant.
Plaintiffs have acknowledged that the Defendants are either private corporations or private
individuals acting as corporate officers of the Defendant corporations. (1058 Am. Compl. ¶ II;
3464 Am. Compl. ¶ II; 3989 Am. Compl. ¶ II.) However, Plaintiffs have not alleged that any of
the Defendants were acting under color of state law, nor have they provided any facts which
would support such an allegation beyond the vague and conclusory statement that Defendants
conspired with “State Actors.” Furthermore, Plaintiffs allege no specific violation of
constitutional or federal rights, other than presenting vague and repeated references to
conspiracy. These general allegations are insufficient to state a claim under Section 1983 or
1985(3). See White v. Monarch Pharm., Inc., 346 F. App’x 739, 741 (2d Cir. 2009) (noting that
conclusory, vague, or general allegations are insufficient to state a claim for conspiracy pursuant
to Section 1985 (citing Sommer v. Dixon, 709 F.2d 173, 175 (2d Cir. 1983))); Tekiner v. Dep’t of
Corr., No. 14-CV-1293, 2014 WL 2440671, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. May 30, 2014) (“To state a civil
rights claim under § 1983, a complaint must contain ‘specific allegations of fact which indicate a
deprivation of constitutional rights; allegations which are nothing more than broad, simple, and
conclusory statements are insufficient to state a claim under [§] 1983.’” (alteration in original)
(quoting Alfaro Motors, Inc. v. Ward, 814 F.2d 883, 887 (2d Cir. 1987))); Houghton v. Cardone,
295 F. Supp. 2d 268, 273 (W.D.N.Y. 2003) (same); see also TADCO Const. Corp. v. Dormitory
Auth. of State of N.Y., 700 F. Supp. 2d 253, 262 (E.D.N.Y. 2010) (noting that § 1983 “does not,
however, itself create substantive rights, but ‘merely provides a method for vindicating federal
rights elsewhere conferred’” (quoting Rateau v. City of New York, No. 06-CV-4751, 2009 WL
3148765, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 29, 2009))). Plaintiffs’ claims pursuant to Sections 1983 and
1985 are dismissed, with prejudice, as to all Defendants.
Federal criminal statutes
Plaintiffs appear to assert that certain Defendants are in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111,
1113, 1117 and 1119, and have “possibl[y]” violated 18 U.S.C. §§ 2381 and 2382. These
statutes, prohibiting murder, attempt to commit murder or manslaughter, conspiracy to commit
murder, and foreign murder of United States nationals, and treason and misprision of treason,
respectively, do not provide a private right of action. See Shaughnessy v. New York, No. 13-CV271, 2014 WL 457947, at *7 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 4, 2014) (adopting report and recommendation
which concluded “even if the claim were not completely conclusory, plaintiff may not sue any of
the defendants for treason because there is no private right of action for the crime” (citations
omitted)), appeal dismissed (May 28, 2014); Patrick v. Butzbaugh, No. 08-CV-1075, 2009 WL
311073, at *2 (W.D. Mich. Feb. 6, 2009) (dismissing a claim brought pursuant to section 2381);
Estate of Musayelova v. Kataja, No.06-CV-881, 2006 WL 3246779, at *2 (D. Conn. Nov. 7,
2006) (denying reconsideration of dismissal of action including claims brought pursuant to 18
U.S.C. §§ 1111 and 1117, noting that there was no private cause of action); see also Delarosa v.
Serita, No. 14-CV-737, 2014 WL 1672557, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 28, 2014) (“Violations of the
Criminal Code do not provide a basis for a civil cause of action, unless the particular provision in
question includes an express or implied private right of action.” (quoting Weinstein v. City of
New York, No. 13-CV-06301, 2014 WL 1378129, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 8, 2014))). Accordingly,
Plaintiffs’ claims pursuant to these federal criminal statutes are dismissed with prejudice.
Because Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim under the FCRA, CFPA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983
and 1985, or the referenced federal criminal statutes, all of Plaintiffs’ federal claims are
dismissed for failure to state a claim, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
New York State Fair Credit Reporting Act claims
Plaintiffs also bring claims pursuant to the New York State Fair Credit Reporting Act,
specifically referring to N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law §§ 380-o, 380-l, 380-m.18 The Court declines to
Defendants also moved for dismissal pursuant to Rules 8 and 9(b) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure, arguing that Plaintiffs failed to sufficiently plead their claims, and Rule
12(b)(5) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, arguing that Plaintiffs failed to properly serve
certain Defendants, including Corbat, (see Citibank Mot. to Dismiss 1 n.1). Because the Court
finds that Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim against any of the Defendants, the Court will not
address the alternative grounds for dismissing the Complaints.
Defendants argue that Plaintiffs’ claims brought pursuant to the New York State Fair
Credit Reporting Act are preempted, as outlined in 15 U.S.C. § 1681t(b). While this may be the
case in some instances, see Galper v. JPMorgan Chase, N.A., No. 13-CV- 3449, 2014 WL
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ state law claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3)
(“District courts may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a claim if the district
court has dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction.”). Because Plaintiffs’
Complaints do not contain sufficient facts that may fairly be read to state a claim for any
violation of Plaintiffs’ federal rights, the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over Plaintiffs’ state law claims. Plaintiffs’ state law claims are dismissed without prejudice.
Mr. Nguyen’s request for default judgments
By letter dated November 18, 2014, Mr. Nguyen moved for default judgments against
Experian and Robert, alleging that Plaintiffs had not received Experian’s motion to dismiss or an
answer to his Complaint, and arguing that “Experian is the biggest criminal ever in the history of
[Mr. Nguyen’s] life.” (Letter dated Nov. 18, 2014 from Mr. Nguyen seeking default judgment
against Experian and Robert 1, 89DE No. 32.) On March 27, 2015, Mr. Nguyen filed a letter
renewing his request for default judgments on the grounds that Experian and Robert have failed
to defend the action.19 (Letter dated Mar. 24, 2015, 89DE No. 65.)
Mr. Nguyen has failed to show a basis for his motion. As an initial matter, it is not clear
that Experian and Robert have failed to defend this action. By Order of the Court dated
November 6, 2014, Defendants were granted until December 5, 2014 to serve their motions to
dismiss. On December 5, 2014, counsel for Experian electronically filed a letter indicating that
Experian had served its motion to dismiss on Plaintiffs. (89DE No. 37.) Experian’s counsel
1089061, at *3–6 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 17, 2014) (discussing scope of preemptive effect of Section
1681t(b)(1)(F)), the Court declines to address the issue of federal preemption.
By letters dated March 6, 2015 and March 11, 2015, Mr. Nguyen requested default
judgments against Ridgewood and Boger, which the Court denied. (See No. 14-CV-1058, Order
dated Mar. 10, 2015 and Order dated Mar. 17, 2015.)
entered her appearance on the same day. (89DE No. 35.) Experian timely filed a motion to
dismiss.20 (See 89DE No. 54.) Second, because Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim against
Experian and Robert, Mr. Nguyen cannot show that Experian and Robert are liable to him on the
grounds alleged, even if they had defaulted. See Lopez v. Yossi’s Heimishe Bakery Inc., No. 13CV-5050, 2015 WL 1469619, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 30, 2015) (adopting report and
recommendation, which noted that “[w]ith respect to liability, a defendant’s default does no
more than concede the complaint’s factual allegations; it remains the plaintiffs’ burden to
demonstrate that those uncontroverted allegations, without more, establish the defendant’s
liability on each asserted cause of action” (citing Finkel v. Romanowicz, 577 F.3d 79, 84 (2d Cir.
2009) and Greyhound Exhibitgroup, Inc. v. E.L.U.L. Realty Corp., 973 F.2d 155, 159 (2d Cir.
Plaintiffs will not be granted leave to amend
“Generally, ‘[a] pro se complaint should not be dismissed without the Court granting
leave to amend at least once when a liberal reading of the complaint gives any indication that a
valid claim might be stated.’” Obot v. Sallie Mae, --- F. App’x ---, 2015 WL 548202, at *2 (2d
Cir. Feb. 11, 2015) (alteration in original) (quoting Nielsen v. Rabin, 746 F.3d 58, 62 (2d Cir.
2014)). Plaintiffs have been granted leave to amend in all three of their actions, and Mr. Nguyen
has been granted leave to file supplemental addenda to the Amended Complaints in 14-CV-3464
and 14-CV-3989. Plaintiffs have failed to address the deficiencies in their Complaints in
accordance with the Court’s prior orders, and the Court therefore dismisses all of Plaintiffs’
federal claims with prejudice. See Shabtai v. Levande, 38 F. App’x 684, 686–87 (2d Cir. 2002)
As discussed infra n.2, Robert did not explicitly join Experian’s motion to dismiss, but
Experian and Robert are represented by counsel at the same law firm and Experian’s
memorandum of law in support of the motion to dismiss contains argument as to Robert.
(affirming dismissal of pro se complaint after failure to file amended complaint that complied
with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, in accordance with district court’s order).
Plaintiffs will not be granted leave to further amend the Complaints.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court grants Defendants’ motions to dismiss, with
prejudice, all of Plaintiffs’ federal claims and dismisses, without prejudice, Plaintiffs’ state law
claim. The Court denies Plaintiff’s request for default judgments. The Clerk of the Court is
directed to close these cases.
MARGO K. BRODIE
United States District Judge
Dated: May 15, 2015
Brooklyn, New York
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