United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER REVIEW PURSUANT TO 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)
C. NIVISON, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action, Plaintiff alleges Defendant sent Plaintiff bills for
medical services Plaintiff did not receive and did not
eliminate the debt after Plaintiff disputed the debt.
(Complaint, ECF No. 1.)
filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No.
4), which application the Court granted. (ECF No. 6.) In
accordance with the in forma pauperis statute, a preliminary
review of Plaintiff's complaint is appropriate. 28 U.S.C.
a review of the complaint, I recommend the Court dismiss
federal in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, is
designed to ensure meaningful access to the federal courts
for those persons unable to pay the costs of bringing an
action. When a party is proceeding in forma pauperis,
however, “the court shall dismiss the case at any time
if the court determines, ” inter alia, that the action
is “frivolous or malicious” or “fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted” or
“seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). “Dismissals [under § 1915] are
often made sua sponte prior to the issuance of process, so as
to spare prospective defendants the inconvenience and expense
of answering such complaints.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989).
considering whether a complaint states a claim for which
relief may be granted, courts must assume the truth of all
well-plead facts and give the plaintiff the benefit of all
reasonable inferences therefrom. Ocasio-Hernandez v.
Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011). A
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
a pro se plaintiff's complaint is subject to “less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,
” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972),
this is “not to say that pro se plaintiffs are not
required to plead basic facts sufficient to state a claim,
Ferranti v. Moran, 618 F.2d 888, 890 (1st Cir.
1980). To allege a civil action in federal court, it is not
enough for a plaintiff merely to allege that a defendant
acted unlawfully; a plaintiff must affirmatively allege facts
that identify the manner by which the defendant subjected the
plaintiff to a harm for which the law affords a remedy.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
to Plaintiff, Defendant sent three bills for podiatry
services Plaintiff did not receive. Plaintiff called
Defendant twice and mailed two dispute letters, but Defendant
did not eliminate the debt. Defendant threatened to send the
bills to collections, and Plaintiff is concerned the referral
to collections could damage Plaintiff's credit rating.
(Complaint at 5.)
cites four statutes as the bases for the claim: (1) Fair
Credit Billing Act; (2) Fair Credit Reporting Act; (3)
Americans with Disabilities Act; and (4) False Claims Act
(alleging Medicaid billing fraud). (Id. at 4.)
Fair Credit Billing Act
the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), Pub. L. No. 93-495, 88
Stat. 1511 (1974) (codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 1666 -
1666j), Congress amended the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to
“protect the consumer against inaccurate and unfair
credit billing and credit card practices.” 15 U.S.C.
§ 1601(a); Krieger v. Bank of Am.,
N.A., 890 F.3d 429, 433 (3d Cir. 2018). The FCBA
applies only to “open-end consumer credit plans.”
15 U.S.C. § 1666 (referencing TILA § 1637).
Lyon v. Chase Bank USA, N.A., 656 F.3d 877,
880 (9th Cir. 2011); Stroman v. Bank of Am. Corp.,
852 F.Supp.2d 1366, 1374 (N.D.Ga. 2012). Plaintiff ...