United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
H. SHARP, CHIEF JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant Diversified Adjustment Service,
Inc.'s (“Defendant”) Motion for Summary
Judgment (Docket No. 24), Memorandum (Docket No. 25) and
Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (Docket No. 26), in
support of same, and Motion for Entry of Order Granting
Summary Judgment (Docket No. 28) (collectively, the
“Motion”). For the reasons stated below, the
Motion will be GRANTED.
is a licensed debt collector in the state of Tennessee.
(Docket No. 24-2, ¶ 3.) Plaintiff had an account with
Verizon Wireless upon which he owed a balance. (Docket No.
26, ¶ 2.) On April 18, 2013, Verizon Wireless referred
Plaintiff's account to Defendant for collection.
(Id. at ¶ 3.) Defendant then requested
Plaintiff's “propensity to pay score” from
Trans Union, a credit reporting agency, in order to assist
Defendant in its collection efforts against Plaintiff on the
Verizon account. (Id. at ¶ 5.)
filed this pro se lawsuit on February 12, 2016,
alleging that Defendant violated the Fair Credit Reporting
Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681b, by
accessing his credit report with no permissible purpose.
(Id. at ¶¶ 1, 15.) Defendant claimed that
it legally obtained Plaintiff's credit report in an
attempt to collect on an account owed by Plaintiff, pursuant
to § 1681b(a)(3) of the FCRA (Docket No. 12, ¶ 15),
and moved for summary judgment on these grounds (Docket No.
24). Defendant also filed a Motion to Dismiss for
Plaintiff's failure to comply with the Court's order
resulting from the July 8, 2016 scheduling conference (Docket
No. 27, ¶ 9), because Plaintiff did not respond to
Defendant's Requests for Admission (Docket No. 27-1).
Finally, Defendant filed a Motion for Entry of Order Granting
Summary Judgment on the grounds that Plaintiff did not
respond to its Motion for Summary Judgment. (Docket No. 28.)
Standard of Review
judgment is rendered when “there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact and … the movant is entitled
to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
The moving party must demonstrate that the non-moving party
has failed to establish a necessary element of that
party's claim. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The movant has the initial burden of
informing the district court of the basis for the summary
judgment motion and identifying portions of the record that
lack a genuine issue of material fact. Id. at 323.
However, the non-moving party may not rest solely on the
allegations in the complaint, but must delineate specific
evidence that shows there is a genuine issue for trial.
Id. at 324. A “mere possibility” of a
factual dispute is not sufficient to withstand a properly
supported motion for summary judgment. Baird v. NHP Mill
Creek Apartments, 94 F. App'x 328, 330-31 (6th Cir.
2004) (quoting Gregg v. Allen-Bradley Co., 801 F.2d
859, 863 (6th Cir. 1986)). A dispute about a material fact is
genuine if a reasonable factfinder could find for the
non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A party asserting or denying that a
fact is genuinely disputed must support its position by (1)
citing to particular parts of materials in the record; (2)
showing that the materials cited by the opposing party do not
establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute; or
(3) showing that an adverse party cannot produce admissible
evidence to support a fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1).
prove that a defendant obtained a plaintiff's credit
report with no “permissible purpose, ” in
violation of the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et
seq., the plaintiff must show “(i) that there was
a ‘consumer report' within the meaning of the
statute; (ii) that the defendant used or obtained it; and
(iii) that the defendant did so without a permissible
statutory purpose.” Bickley v. Dish Network,
LLC, 751 F.3d 724, 728 (6th Cir. 2014). A plaintiff must
also prove “the defendant acted with the specified
level of culpability, ” but the court need not address
this if it finds “the presence of a ‘permissible
purpose[.]'” Bickley, 751 F.3d at 728,
n.3. If the plaintiff fails to demonstrate any of these
elements, the FCRA claim fails. Id. at 728.
Defendant admits that it obtained Plaintiff's
“propensity to pay” score. (Docket No. 12, p. 3,
¶ 3.) Therefore, the second element is undisputed and
the Court will confine its analysis to the first and third
the FCRA, a “consumer report” is:
[A]ny written, oral, or other communication of any
information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a
consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit
capacity, character, general reputation, personal
characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected
to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose
of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer's
(A) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal,
family, or ...