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Mayall v. Randall Firm, PLLC

United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division

August 9, 2017

JUSTIN MAYALL, Plaintiff,
v.
THE RANDALL FIRM, PLLC, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          TENA CAMPBELL U.S. District Court Judge

         Justin Mayall approached a doctor to cure his back pain. The doctor treated Mr. Mayall in his clinic and, in fact, relieved his pain. However, Mr. Mayall asserts that the clinic and the hospital in which it was located, Cache Valley Speciality Hospital, LLC (CVSH), failed to obtain preauthorization from Mr. Mayall's insurance, creating a cascade of problems with credit-reporting agencies and collectors. Along with the doctor, the clinic, collectors, and various credit-reporting agencies, Mr. Mayall sued CVSH, Mountain Division - CVH, LLC (Mountain Division), and David Geary-CVSH's Chief Financial Officer (collectively Hospital Defendants). Plaintiff claims CVSH and Mountain Division violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), the Utah Consumer Sales Practice Act (UCSPA), and committed fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and civil conspiracy. Mr. Mayall asserts only the civil-conspiracy claim against Mr. Geary.

         The Hospital Defendants moved for judgment on the pleadings, asking the court to dismiss all claims against them.

         ANALYSIS

         Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows parties to “move for judgment on the pleadings” after “the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay trial.” “A motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) is treated as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).” Atl. Richfield Co. v. Farm Credit Bank of Wichita, 226 F.3d 1138, 1160 (10th Cir. 2000). Under that standard a complaint must contain enough factual allegations, taken as true, “to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

         The Hospital Defendants filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, asking the court to dismiss all the claims against them. As a result, the court must analyze whether the claims against the Hospital Defendants state “claim[s] to relief that are plausible on their face.” Id.

         I. Mr. Mayall's Third and Fifth Causes of Action Against CVSH Fail as a Matter of Law.

         Mr. Mayall asserted his third and fifth causes of action against several parties, including CVSH. Those causes of action are based on violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). The Hospital Defendants contend that Mr. Mayall's third and fifth causes of action fail as they relate to CVSH. First, the Hospital Defendants argue that the FCRA does not allow for private rights of action against furnishers of information like CVSH. Second, the Hospital Defendants assert that the CFPA does not allow for private rights of action in general.

         That “a federal statute has been violated and some person harmed does not automatically give rise to a private cause of action in favor of that person.” Cannon v. Univ. of Chicago, 441 U.S. 677, 688 (1979). Instead, a court must ask “whether Congress, expressly or by implication, intended to create a private cause of action.” Sonnenfeld v. City & Cty. of Denver, 100 F.3d 744, 747 (10th Cir. 1996).

         The FCRA “imposes a duty on persons who provide information to credit reporting agencies (‘furnishers') to accurately report information.” Sanders v. Mountain Am. Fed. Credit Union, 689 F.3d 1138, 1147 (10th Cir. 2012) (citing 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(a)). While it also “gives consumers a private right of action against those who violate its provisions, . . . that right of action is limited to claims against the credit reporting agency; it does not extend to furnishers.” Id. (citing 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(c)). This is true even when the violations are willful. Id.

         The CFPA, on the other hand, grants enforcement authority to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (the Bureau) and to state attorneys general. See 12 U.S.C. §§ 5564(a), 5552(a). The CFPA contains no express authority for private rights of action.

         Here, Mr. Mayall asserts that CVSH violated the FCRA and the CFPA by reporting Mr. Mayall's “disputed debt to” various credit agencies even after it knew that the “disputed debt was not accurate.” (Am. Compl. Second ¶¶ 103-05, ECF No. 80.) But FCRA does not allow for private causes of action against furnishers of information like CVSH. And because the CFPA grants enforcement authority to the Bureau and to state attorneys general, the court finds, as other courts have, that the CFPA does not create any private rights of action. See e.g. Gingras v. Rosette, 2016 WL 2932163, at *22 (D. Vt. May 18, 2016) (“Defendants are correct in their claim that the [CFPA] . . . does not provide for a private cause of action.”); Cornwall v. Centerstate Bank of Fla., N.A., 2016 WL 3219725, at *1 (M.D. Fla. June 10, 2016) (holding that the CFPA “does not authorize a private cause of action”); Nguyen v. Ridgewood Sav. Bank, Nos., 2015 WL 2354308, at *11 (E.D.N.Y. May 15, 2015) (“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 outlines duties, authorities and enforcement powers of the CFPA.”).

         II. Mr. Mayall's Sixth and Seventh Causes of Action Are Time-Barred.

         Mr. Mayall alleges in his sixth and seventh causes of action that CVSH violated the Utah Consumer Sales Practice Act (UCSPA) and committed fraud. The Hospital Defendants ...


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