United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
For Sherry Mooneyham, Plaintiff: James H. Lawson, LEAD ATTORNEY, Lawson at Law, PLLC, Louisville, KY.
For Equifax Information Services, LLC, Defendant: John Michael Williams, LEAD ATTORNEY, Lexington, KY; Meryl W. Roper, LEAD ATTORNEY, King & Spalding LLP - Atlanta, Atlanta, GA; Todd C. Myers, LEAD ATTORNEY, Rajkovich, Williams, Kilpatrick & True, PLLC, Lexington, KY.
For Experian Information Solutions, Inc., Defendant: Aaron M. Healey, LEAD ATTORNEY, Jones Day - Columbus, Columbus, OH; Margaret Jane Brannon, LEAD ATTORNEY, Jackson Kelly, PLLC - Lexington, Lexington, KY.
For U.S. Department of Education, Defendant: Michael D. Ekman, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney Office - Louisville, Louisville, KY.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Greg N. Stivers, United States District Judge.
The United States Department of Education (" Department" ) filed a motion to dismiss (DN 23) for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiff was given the opportunity to respond; the matter is now ripe for adjudication. The motion to dismiss (DN 23) is DENIED.
I. SUMMARY OF FACTS AND CLAIMS
The current dispute began when Plaintiff applied for a home loan in 2013 and discovered inaccurate information in her credit history, which should have reflected repayment of a student loan she received in 1998. (Compl. 2, DN 1; Def.'s Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss 2-3, DN 23-1). Plaintiff alleges her credit report not only lacked this positive credit information but contained inaccurate, negative information. She sent dispute letters to the credit rating agencies and to entities she alleges provided inaccurate information requesting prompt correction of her credit report. (Compl. 4).
Included among these dispute letters was a letter sent to the Department. Plaintiff alleges that sometime after these letters were sent, both inaccurate negative and positive accurate credit information was deleted from her history. (Compl. 4). In July through September of 2014, Plaintiff applied for three additional homes loans and was denied each time (Compl. 5-6). Between each of these denials, she took further steps to correct her credit history (Compl. 5-6). Among these steps were agreements with other creditors that had supplied negative credit information. (Compl. 5). After the final denial, she filed the current action on September 30, 2014.
Plaintiff claims jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 15 U.S.C. § 1681p, and compensable damages under 15 U.S.C. § § 1681n, 1681o, and 1681s-2. The Department contests jurisdiction on sovereign immunity grounds. It further argues dismissal is warranted on the merits. Its motion to dismiss is unopposed.
The standards for dismissal under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) differ in the Sixth Circuit. RMI Titanium Co. v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 78 F.3d 1125, 1134 (6th Cir. 1996). Threshold challenges to subject matter jurisdiction under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) should generally be decided before any ruling on the merits under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). See Bell v. Hood, 327 U.S. 678, 682, 66 S.Ct. 773, 90 L.Ed. 939 (1946). In most circumstances, a ...