United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
GODBEY WOOD, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Wells Fargo Bank,
N.A.'s ("WFBNA") Motion for Summary Judgment
(Dkt. No. 27) . This Motion has been fully briefed and is now
ripe for review. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion
will be GRANTED.
Michael Boyd asserts that at various times in August 2009,
Defendant published false statements regarding
Plaintiff's indebtedness to various credit reporting
agencies. Dkt. No. 1-1, p. 127 51 3. Plaintiff asserts that
these statements adversely affected his ability to obtain a
loan. Id. SI 5. Plaintiff further asserts that he
notified the various credit reporting agencies that these
statements were false but that Defendant failed to correct
the faulty information. Id. 5 7.
case has a procedural history dating back to 2009. On
September 4, 2009, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Wells
Fargo Financial Bank, Inc. ("WFFBI") in the State
Court of Glynn County. Dkt. No. 1-1 p. 6; Dkt. Nos. 27-1,
30-1 fl 1. No other Defendants were named. Id. That
Complaint alleged that WFFBI falsely communicated material
information about Plaintiff to Equifax Information Services,
Experian, and Transunion, including a statement that
Plaintiff was indebted to WFFBI. Dkt. No. 1-1 p. 6; Dkt. Nos.
27-1, 30-1 1 2. In an attempt to serve WFFBI,
Plaintiff delivered the Complaint to Mary Glembin, an
employee of WFFBI in Minnehaha County, South Dakota. Dkt. No.
1-1, p. 9; Dkt. Nos. 27-1, 30-1 5 4. WFFBI never appeared in
the case, and the state court entered default judgment in
favor of Plaintiff on November 5, 2014. Dkt. No. 1-1, pp.
11-12; Dkt. Nos. 27-1, 30-1 1 5-6.
April 5, 2016, WFBNA moved to set aside the judgment on the
basis that WFFBI did not exist and that WFBNA was unaware of
the suit when default judgment was entered. Dkt. No. 1-1, pp.
90-91. The state court accordingly set aside the judgment on
August 12, 2016. Id. at 104; Dkt. Nos. 27-2, 30-1 5
7. On August 17, 2016, Plaintiff moved to add WFBNA as a
party in the state court action. Dkt. No. 1-1, p. 110. The
state court granted this request, without explaining its
reasoning. Id., p. 111. Defendant ultimately removed
the action to this Court on November 11, 2016, and this Court
denied Plaintiff's motion to remand. Dkt. No. 1; Dkt. No.
judgment is required where "the movant shows that 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). A fact is "material" if it
"might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law." FindWhat Inv' r Grp. v.
FindWhat.com, 658 F.3d 1282, 1307 (11th Cir. 2011)
(quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 248 (1986)). A dispute is "genuine" if the
"evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party." Id. In making
this determination, the court is to view all of the evidence
in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw
all reasonable inferences in that party's favor.
Johnson v. Booker T. Washington Broad. Serv., Inc.,
234 F.3d 501, 507 (11th Cir. 2000).
moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The movant
must show the court that there is an absence of evidence to
support the nonmoving party's case. Id. at 325.
If the moving party discharges this burden, the burden shifts
to the nonmovant to go beyond the pleadings and present
affirmative evidence to show that a genuine issue of fact
does exist. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 257.
nonmovant may satisfy this burden in two ways. First, the
nonmovant "may show that the record in fact contains
supporting evidence, sufficient to withstand a directed
verdict motion, which was 'overlooked or ignored' by
the moving party, who has thus failed to meet the initial
burden of showing an absence of evidence."
Fitzpatrick v. City of Atlanta, 2 F.3d 1112, 1116
(11th Cir. 1993) (quoting Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at
332 (Brennan, J., dissenting)). Second, the nonmovant
"may come forward with additional evidence sufficient to
withstand a directed verdict motion at trial based on the
alleged evidentiary deficiency." Id. at 1117.
Where the nonmovant attempts to carry this burden instead
with nothing more "than a repetition of his conclusional
allegations, summary judgment for the defendants [is] not
only proper but required." Morris v. Ross, 663
F.2d 1032, 1033-34 (11th Cir. 1981) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P.
moves for summary judgment, arguing that it was sued after
the statute of limitations had run and that the claims do not
relate back to those filed before the limitations period had
run. Dkt. No. 4. Plaintiff added WFBNA on August 17, 2016,
asserting claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
("FCRA"),  which has a two-year statute of
limitations, for actions that allegedly occurred in August
2009. 15 U.S.C. § 1681p(1); Dkt. Nos. 27-1, 30-1 M 3, 8.
Because the statute of limitations has run, Plaintiff can
only bring claims against WFBNA if they relate back to those
filed against WFFBI in August 2009 according to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 15(c).
federal court, claims asserted after the running of the
statute of limitations against a new defendant relate back to
those filed before its running against a different defendant
when (1) the claim arose out of the same transaction or
occurrence as that alleged in the original complaint; (2) the
new defendant received notice of the action within ninety
daysof the original complaint; and (3) the new
defendant knew within ninety days of the original complaint
that the action ...