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Trites v. 21st Mortg. Corp.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division

March 31, 2020, Decided; March 31, 2020, Filed

Civil Case No. 19-11387

Opinion

OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND DENYING AS MOOT DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE

Plaintiff initiated this putative class action lawsuit on May 9, 2019, claiming that Defendant violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA") when processing Plaintiff's loan application. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on August 7, 2019, in which she claims that Defendant discriminated against her because her income includes public assistance—that being, Social Security Administration disability payments. Plaintiff also claims that Defendant's practices have a disparate impact on loan applicants who derive income from a public assistance [*2]  program.

On July 3, 2019, Defendant filed a motion to change venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 144(a). (ECF No. 10.) The motion has been fully briefed. (ECF Nos. 15, 18.) On August 21, 2019, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (ECF No. 17), which also has been fully briefed. (ECF Nos. 19, 20.) Finding the facts and legal arguments sufficiently presented in the parties' briefs, the Court is dispensing with oral argument with respect to both motions pursuant to Eastern District of Michigan Rule 7.1(f). Because the Court concludes that Plaintiff fails to plead viable claims, it is granting Defendant's motion to dismiss. Defendant's request to transfer the matter to another jurisdiction is therefore moot.

I. Applicable Standard

A motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint. RMI Titanium Co. v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 78 F.3d 1125, 1134 (6th Cir. 1996). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading must contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint need not contain "detailed factual allegations," but it must contain more than "labels and conclusions" or "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action . . .." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007). A complaint does not "suffice if it tenders 'naked assertions' [*3]  devoid of 'further factual enhancement.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).

As the Supreme Court provided in Iqbal and Twombly, "[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. 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." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The plausibility standard "does not impose a probability requirement at the pleading stage; it simply calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of illegal [conduct]." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.

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2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56207 *

CRYSTAL KAYE TRITES, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. 21ST MORTGAGE CORPORATION, Defendant.

Subsequent History: Appeal filed, 04/30/2020

CORE TERMS

disability, benefits, documentation, regulations, three year, public assistance program, disability benefits, public assistance, defense motion, allegations, motion to dismiss, disparate impact, discriminatory, discriminated