United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division
T. TREADWELL, JUDGE
Robins Financial Credit Union has moved to dismiss Plaintiff
Gerald Marshall's complaint. Doc. 14. Marshall, a
consumer, alleges that Robins, a credit union, “is
inaccurately reporting its tradeline (‘Errant
Tradeline') with an erroneous scheduled monthly payment
amount of $524.00 on Plaintiff's Trans
Union credit disclosure, ” even though he
“no longer has an obligation to make monthly payments
to Robins, ” in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting
Act. Doc. 1 ¶¶ 7, 8. On March 5, 2019, Marshall
first noticed the alleged inaccuracy on his Trans Union
credit disclosure. Id. ¶ 9. On April 12, he
wrote Trans Union disputing the tradeline, stating he was no
longer required to make monthly payments because the account
was paid and closed and requested that Trans Union revise the
credit report to reflect a $0.00 monthly payment.
Id. ¶¶ 10, 11. Trans Union then forwarded
the dispute to Robins, and Robins failed or refused to report
the scheduled monthly payment as $0.00. Id.
¶¶ 12, 13, 16. Marshall saw the same inaccuracy
again on his June 4 Trans Union credit disclosure.
Id. ¶ 16. In short, it appears Marshall
contends Trans Union's credit disclosures are inaccurate
because Robins submitted erroneous information, the
tradeline, to Trans Union.
contends the monthly payment amount is an “historical
term” for an account that has been paid and closed, and
it has thus not reported inaccurate or misleading
information. Doc. 14-2 at 2-3. In support of its motion,
Robins attached to its brief Marshall's “credit
report journal also known as ‘Tradeline'”
dated February 1, 2016. Id. at 2, 7. Presumably, but
only presumably, this is the report Robins sent to Trans
Union. Robins argues that “the report accurately sets
forth the historical payment terms while simultaneously
reflecting that the account has been paid in full and
closed.” Id. at 3. The motion to dismiss thus
turns on whether Robins reported an inaccurate tradeline to
Trans Union. 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(A)-(B) (stating
that a furnisher “shall not furnish any information
relating to a consumer to any consumer reporting agency . . .
that . . . is inaccurate” (emphasis added)).
response to the motion, Marshall argues that
“Robins' arguments are based upon factual bases,
and as such, will require discovery to resolve.” Doc.
16 at 1-2. Courts generally do not consider matters outside
the pleadings on a motion to dismiss. Grossman v.
Nationsbank, N.A., 225 F.3d 1228, 1231 (11th Cir. 2000).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
is not designed to strike inartistic pleadings or to provide
a more definite statement to answer an apparent ambiguity and
the analysis of a 12(b)(6) motion is limited primarily to the
face of the complaint and attachments thereto. However,
where the plaintiff refers to certain documents in the
complaint and those documents are central to the
plaintiff's claim, then the Court may consider
the documents part of the pleadings for purposes of Rule
12(b)(6) dismissal, and the defendant's attaching
such documents to the motion to dismiss will not require
conversion of the motion into a motion for summary judgment.
Brooks v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Fla.,
Inc., 116 F.3d 1364, 1368 (11th Cir. 1997) (internal
citations omitted) (emphasis added). In his complaint,
Marshall refers to Trans Union's credit disclosures,
which he allegedly has, and Robins' tradeline. Doc. 1
¶¶ 7, 15, 16. It is not clear if Marshall has the
tradeline, but clearly the Court cannot consider the
unauthenticated document Robins attaches to its brief (Doc.
14-2 at 7). Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d) (“If, on a motion under
Rule 12(b)(6) . . ., matters outside the pleadings are
presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion must
be treated as one for summary judgment under Rule
56.”); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e) (“A supporting or
opposing affidavit must be made on personal knowledge, set
out facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that
the affiant is competent to testify on the matters stated. If
a paper . . . is referred to in an affidavit, a sworn or
certified copy must be attached. . . .”); see
Burnett v. Stagner Hotel Courts, Inc., 821 F.Supp. 678,
683 (N.D.Ga. 1993) (Carnes, J.) (“In order for a
document to be considered in support of or in opposition to a
motion for summary judgment, it must be authenticated by and
attached to an affidavit that meets the requirements of Rule
56(e) and the affiant must be a person through whom the
exhibits could be admitted into evidence [at trial].”).
Robins' motion turns on the accuracy of the information
Robins provided to Trans Union. Documents referenced in the
complaint―namely the March 5 and June 4 Trans Union
credit disclosures and the tradeline―are necessary to
evaluate the validity of Marshall's claims.
Marshall SHALL submit true and correct
copies of the March 5, 2019 and June 4, 2019 Trans Union
credit disclosures and the allegedly inaccurate tradeline no
later than December 20, 2019. Because it is
possible that Marshall does not have Robins' tradeline,
Robins SHALL submit an admissible copy of
the tradeline submitted to Trans Union by December
20, 2019. A hearing on the motion to dismiss (Doc.
14) will be held January 13, 2020 at 2:30
p.m.. Before then, the Court should be able to
determine if it will be necessary to convert the motion to
dismiss to a motion for summary judgment.
 Trans Union was previously terminated
as a party pursuant to a stipulation of dismissal. Doc.
 Marshall's claim that Robins
failed to conduct a reasonable investigation or correct the
inaccurate tradeline fails without proof of an inaccuracy.
See Felts v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 893 F.3d 1305,
1313 (11th Cir. 2018) (“Regardless of the nature of the
investigation a furnisher conducted, a plaintiff asserting a
claim against a furnisher for failure to conduct a reasonable
investigation cannot prevail on the claim without
demonstrating had the furnisher conducted a
reasonable investigation, the result would have been
different; i.e., that the furnisher would have
discovered that the information it reported was inaccurate or
complete, triggering the furnisher's obligation to
correct the information.”); see also Leones v.
Rushmore Loan Mgmt. Servs., LLC, 749 Fed.Appx. 897, ...