United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. Stivers, Chief Judge United States District Court
matter comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss (DN 16). This motion is ripe for adjudication. For
the reasons set forth below, the motion is GRANTED.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
Carol Coleman (“Plaintiff”) is an
African-American woman, pastor, and resident of Louisville,
Kentucky. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 1, 10, DN 15). Plaintiff
was a customer of Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
(“Chase”), which operates branches in Louisville.
(Am. Compl. ¶ 15).
series of incidents leading to this action began when
Plaintiff went to a Chase branch to deposit a $30, 000 check
from one of her parishioners named Morra Henriksen
(“Henriksen”). (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 10, 16).
Henriksen at some point in the past donated a house to
Plaintiff, but Henriksen still resides there. (Am. Compl.
¶¶ 10-11). The house needed repairs, and Henriksen
wrote the check to Plaintiff to fund the work. (Am. Compl.
Plaintiff attempted to deposit the check, she noticed the
back had been marked “void.” (Am. Compl. ¶
16). According to Plaintiff, the bank teller told her that
“this sort of thing had happened before, ” and
the teller said she would find someone to help Plaintiff.
(Am. Compl. ¶ 17). Jeanie Sharp Ramey
(“Ramey”), a white female, instructed Plaintiff
to call Henriksen to bring down another check, or Ramey
offered to print one if she did not have another check. (Am.
Compl. ¶¶ 18-19). Henriksen came to the bank and
drew a $30, 000 bank check which was deposited into
Plaintiff's account. (Am. Compl. ¶ 21).
this deposit was made, Plaintiff attempted to use her bank
account to pay for a cruise. (Am. Compl. ¶ 23).
Plaintiff had previously collected money from Henriksen and
other parishioners for other group cruises and then paid the
full amount from her account. (Am. Compl. ¶ 22). This
time, however, the payment was declined. (Am. Compl. ¶
23). When Plaintiff visited a Chase branch to determine why
the payment was declined, a manager informed her that a
global freeze had been placed on her account, and that
someone would contact her about the matter. (Am. Compl.
that day, Chase employee Lisa Peterson
(“Peterson”) contacted Plaintiff. (Am. Compl.
¶ 26). Peterson informed Plaintiff her account had been
frozen because the bank was conducting an investigation. (Am.
Compl. ¶ 26). Peterson then asked Plaintiff a series of
questions that Plaintiff describes as “essentially
accus[ing] her of taking advantage of Ms. Henriksen by
getting her to fund everything Ms. Coleman did, financing her
cruises, and paying her bills.” (Am. Compl. ¶ 27).
Peterson stated she noticed Henriksen had been giving checks
regularly to Plaintiff. (Am. Compl. ¶ 28). Plaintiff
acknowledges this “was true since Ms. Henriksen had
been tithing to her Pastor, i.e., Plaintiff.” (Am.
Compl. ¶ 28).
grew weary of what she viewed as Peterson's accusations
and decided to contact her attorney and Henriksen. (Am.
Compl. ¶¶ 30-31). Subsequently, Henriksen went to
Chase and spoke to Peterson. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 32,
34). Peterson asked Henriksen questions regarding matters
such as how long Henriksen had known Plaintiff and the name
of Plaintiff's church. (Am. Compl. ¶ 35). Henriksen asked
why she had to answer these questions, stating she was free
to do whatever she wished with her money. (Am. Compl. ¶
37). Peterson replied that her job was to protect Chase
customers from fraud, and Henriksen advised that she needed
no such protection. (Am. Compl. ¶ 38). Plaintiff's
attorney subsequently sent a letter to Chase seeking an
explanation of why her account was frozen. (Am. Compl. ¶
40). Chase never responded but sent Plaintiff a letter
informing her that her account had been closed. (Am. Compl.
lawsuit, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant discriminated
against her because of her race in violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1981 and KRS 344.120. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 48-51).
Plaintiff further asserts claims for breach of contract,
conversion of personal property, intentional infliction of
emotional distress, and slander per se. (Am. Compl.
¶¶ 52-53, 57-59, 60-66).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8, a complaint 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). Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is an affirmative defense that
permits a defendant to seek dismissal of a case for a
plaintiff's failure to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court must
determine whether a plaintiff's complaint asserts
adequate factual matter to “state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In
reviewing a motion to dismiss, the Court “must construe
the complaint in the light most favorable to plaintiffs,
” but need not accept the complaint's legal
conclusions as true. League of United Latin Am.
Citizens v. Bredesen, 500 F.3d 523, 527 (6th Cir. 2007)
(citation omitted); Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. To
satisfy the pleading requirements, a plaintiff must assert
“more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation, ” or
“a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556). In ruling on the motion, the Court may consider
the complaint and any exhibits attached thereto, public
records, items appearing in the record of the case, and
exhibits attached to the defendant's motion to dismiss
provided such are referenced in the complaint and central to
the claims therein. See Bassett v. Nat'l Collegiate
Athletic Ass'n, 528 F.3d 426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008);
see also Stringfield v. Graham, 212
Fed.Appx. 530, 535 (6th Cir. 2007) (stating that documents
“attached to and cited by [the] complaint . . . are
considered parts thereof under Federal Rule of Civil
Unlawful Discrimination in Violation of 42 U.S.C. § ...