United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER AFFIRMING THE MAGISTRATE'S ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND HIS COMPLAINT AND DENYING THE PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE'S RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
S. THOMAS ANDERSON, District Judge.
Two matters are before the Court. The first is the United States Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim be granted, entered October 12, 2014. (ECF No. 13). The Plaintiff filed an Objection to the Magistrate's Report and Recommendation on October 28, 2014. (ECF No. 16). The Defendant filed a Reply to that Objection on November 12, 2014. (ECF No. 18). Meanwhile, on November 5, 2014, the Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 17). The Defendant opposed this Motion (ECF No. 19), and the Magistrate subsequently entered an order denying the Motion. (ECF No. 21). The second matter before the Court, then, is the Plaintiff's Appeal of the Magistrate's Order Denying the Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 22). For the reasons stated below, the Court ACCEPTS the Magistrate's Report and Recommendations to grant the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and DENIES Plaintiff's objections to the Magistrate's Order Denying the Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint. The Plaintiff's claims are DISMISSED.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
For dispositive motions, the district court has the authority to "designate a magistrate judge to conduct hearings... and to submit to a judge of the court proposed findings of fact and recommendations for the disposition, by a judge of the court, of any motion." After receiving objections to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, a district judge may "accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions." The district judge applies a de novo standard to "any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to." For nondispositive motions, the district judge "may designate a magistrate judge to hear and determine any pretrial matter pending before a court." The Court then "must consider timely objections and modify or set aside any part of the order [on a nondispositive matter] that is clearly erroneous or is contrary to law."
Here, the Magistrate's Order Granting Defendant's Motion to dismiss is dispositive. Therefore, any part of the order to which the Plaintiff has properly objected is entitled to de novo review. The Sixth Circuit has not addressed whether a motion to amend is a dispositive or nondispositive motion. Under either standard of review-de novo or clearly erroneous and contrary to law-the Court would not sustain Plaintiff's objections to the Magistrate's Order Denying his Motion to Amend. Plaintiff's objections to both the Report and Recommendation and the Order Denying his Motion for Leave to Amend give the Court no real notion as to which portions of the orders he objects to. At certain points, Plaintiff has lifted material from various briefs and opinions-unrelated to this case-and placed them into his memoranda. Interspersed between these recitations are brief, conclusory statements that rarely object to specific findings or legal conclusions of the Magistrate's opinions. Nevertheless, the Court reviewed every document submitted by Plaintiff in an attempt to decipher the objections and, in an abundance of caution, analyzes each claim below.
I. Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff Maurice Tyree filed a pro se Complaint against Defendant U.S. Bank, NA, and John Does 1-5. (ECF No. 1). The case was referred to the Magistrate Judge for management and for all pretrial matters for determination and/or report and recommendation as appropriate. (Admin. Order 2013-05, Apr. 29, 2013). On July 10, 2014, U.S. Bank filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(b)(6), and Tyree responded to that Motion. The Magistrate Judge applied the correct legal standard to the Motion to Dismiss and issued a Report and Recommendation to grant the Motion. (ECF No. 13).
A. The Magistrate's Report and Recommendation
The Magistrate explained that in Plaintiff's Complaint, he alleged that U.S. Bank violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") by "repeatedly harassing Plaintiff in attempts to collect alleged debt." (Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 3). This debt, although unknown, is allegedly a "household debt" as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(5) and "arises from a transaction in which money, property, insurance, or services that are the subject of the transaction were incurred primarily for personal, family, or household purposes." ( Id. ¶ 11). Plaintiff asserted that U.S. Bank is a "debt collector" as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6) and that the debt is "due to a creditor other than Defendants." ( Id. ¶ 11).
Tyree alleged that "Defendants sent written communications to Plaintiff on Dates June 24, 2013, November 7, 2013, January 17, 2013, and June 6, 2014" and that U.S. Bank provided Plaintiff "with the disclosures required pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(4) and 1692g(a)(5) in a confusing and improper manner." ( Id. ¶ 13, 15). Tyree "disputes the alleged debt Defendant claims, " ( Id. ¶ 14), "dispute[s]... the identity of the true owner (if any) of this alleged debt [and] the alleged amount due and owing, " ( Id. ¶ 16), and disputes "all signatures appearing on defendants [sic] unauthenticated hearsay documents and the defendants [sic] alleged authority and capacity to collect and or sue on behalf of the same." ( Id. ¶ 19).
The Magistrate correctly began her discussion by analyzing the statute under which Tyree attempted to make his claim. The Magistrate explained that
Congress enacted the FDCPA "to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors." 15 U.S.C. § 1692(e). When collecting a debt, a debt collector may not: (1) "harass, oppress, or abuse any person, " 15 U.S.C. § 1692d; (2) use any "false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of a debt, " 15 U.S.C. § 1692e; or (3) "use ...