United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. Stivers, United States District Court Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for
Partial Judgment on the Pleadings (DN 47). For the reasons
set forth below, Defendant's motion is
events precipitating this litigation are as follows: In
August 2014, Plaintiff Jemicah Stephens
(“Plaintiff”) enrolled in law school and sought
federal loans to finance his education. (Am. Compl.
¶¶ 10-11, DN 44). In doing so, Plaintiff discovered
that the Department of Education (“DOE”) had
reported a federal loan that was disbursed to him to fund his
undergraduate studies-but that he contends he neither applied
for nor received-as being in default. (Am. Compl.
¶¶ 12-13). Around the same time, Plaintiff also
learned that the DOE had enlisted Defendant Premiere Credit
of North America, LLC (“Defendant”) to collect
the debt associated with his undergraduate loan, and
Plaintiff's mother contacted one of Defendant's
representatives to “resolve the issue.” (Am.
Compl. ¶¶ 12, 15). The representative told her that
Plaintiff's defaulted loan would be
“rehabilitated” if she made certain payments
toward it. (Am. Compl. ¶ 16). Despite her compliance
with the representative's suggested payment plan,
Plaintiff's loan remained in default, and Plaintiff began
receiving letters from Defendant advising him of his
defaulted loan and account balance. (Am. Compl. ¶¶
result, Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant claiming,
inter alia,  that Defendant violated Section 1692e(8)
of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”)-and committed defamation, invasion of
privacy, and intentional/negligent infliction of emotional
distress- when, “on information, [it] reported
false . . . information about” him-“namely, that
he defaulted on a federal loan”-“to third parties
. . . .” (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 14-16, 46
(emphasis added)). Plaintiff further alleged that his mother
was one of the third parties to whom Defendant divulged false
information. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 15-16). Among others,
Plaintiff listed punitive damages and injunctive relief as
remedies. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ A, C, D).
thereafter, Defendant moved for partial judgment on the
pleadings pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). (Def.'s Mot.
Partial J. Pleadings, DN 47). Essentially, Defendant argues
that the Court should dismiss Plaintiff's Section
1692e(8) claim, along with his defamation, invasion of
privacy, and intentional/negligent infliction of emotional
distress claims, because he failed to adequately support
those claims with factual allegations. (Def.'s Mot.
Partial J. Pleadings 4-13). In addition, Defendant claims
that the Court should not permit Plaintiff to pursue punitive
damages or injunctive relief because he failed to allege
facts sufficient to entitle him to those remedies.
(Def.'s Mot. Partial J. Pleadings 13-16).
response to Defendant's motion, Plaintiff acknowledges
that he did not plead an adequate factual basis to support
his claims for intentional/negligent infliction of emotional
distress, defamation, or injunctive relief; thus, he
“agree[d] to dismiss” those claims. (Pl.'s
Mem. Opp'n Def.'s Mot. Partial J. Pleadings 1, DN 48
[hereinafter Pl.'s Mem.]). Plaintiff contests
Defendant's other arguments, however, asserting that his
allegation that Defendant falsely told his mother that he
owed a debt states a claim under Section 1692e(8), a claim
for invasion of privacy, and a basis for obtaining punitive
damages. (Pl.'s Mem. 2-4).
then submitted a reply to Plaintiff's response in which
it largely reiterated the arguments raised in its initial
motion. (Def.'s Reply Supp. Mot. Partial J. Pleadings
1-6, DN 50). Thus, the parties have fully briefed the pending
motion, which is now ripe for adjudication.
action arises under the laws of the United States, and this
Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1331 and 1367.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Civ. P. 12(c) provides that “[a]fter the pleadings are
closed . . . a party may move for judgment on the
pleadings.” The Court “review[s] Rule 12(c)
motions under the same standard as Rule 12(b)(6)
motions.” Horen v. Bd. of Educ. of Toledo City Sch.
Dist., 594 F.Supp.2d 833, 840 (N.D. Ohio 2009) (citation
omitted). Accordingly, to survive a Rule 12(c) motion, a
complaint must contain “enough facts to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Traverse
Bay Area Intermediate Sch. Dist. v. Mich. Dep't of
Educ., 615 F.3d 622, 627 (6th Cir. 2010) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted). When assessing a
claim's plausibility, the Court must assume that all
factual allegations in the complaint are true and make all
reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party, but
need not assume the truth of legal conclusions. Total
Benefits Planning Agency, Inc. v. Anthem Blue Cross &
Blue Shield, 552 F.3d 430, 434 (6th Cir. 2008) (citation
omitted). Accordingly, a claim is plausible when the
complaint “contain[s] direct or inferential allegations
respecting all” of the claim's elements; on the
other hand, a claim is implausible when the complaint simply
recites the claim's elements or when the only factual
allegations supporting it are asserted “upon
information and belief.” See 16630 Southfield Ltd.
P'ship v. Flagstar Bank, F.S.B., 727 F.3d 502, 506
(6th Cir. 2013); Commercial Money Ctr., Inc. v. Ill.
Union Ins. Co., 508 F.3d 327, 336 (6th Cir. 2007).
noted, Defendant moves for judgment on the pleadings as to
Plaintiff's Section 1692e(8) claim, as well as his claims
for defamation, intentional/negligent infliction of emotional
distress, invasion of privacy, punitive damages, and
injunctive relief. (Def.'s Mot. Partial J. Pleadings
4-17). Because Plaintiff “agree[d] to dismiss”
his defamation, intentional/negligent infliction of emotional
distress, and injunctive relief claims in his responsive
memorandum, however, the Court will dismiss those claims
without “discussion of the substantive merits of
[Defendant's] arguments for dismissal . . . .”
(Pl.'s Mem. 1); see Walter v. Wells Fargo Bank,
NA, No. 2:11-CV-912, 2012 WL 641949, at *3 (S.D. Ohio
Feb. 28, 2012) (citation omitted) (dismissing claim when the
plaintiff agreed to dismiss it and noting that courts need
not address the defendant's arguments ...