United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DEMETRIUS D. CALDWELL, et al., Plaintiffs,
REDSTONE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 
H. ENGLAND, III UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
28, 2017, Defendants Redstone Federal Credit Union
(“Redstone”) and the Law Office of C. Howard
Grisham (“Grisham”) moved to dismiss
Plaintiffs' First Amended Class Action Complaint, (doc.
48), under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a
claim, or, in the alternative, for a more definite statement
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). (Docs. 51 & 53). Plaintiffs
filed a response opposing both motions, (doc. 61), and both
Defendants replied, (docs. 62 & 63). The motions are
fully briefed and ripe for review. For the reasons stated
more fully below, the motions to dismiss are
DENIED and the alternative motions for a
more definite statement are GRANTED
I. Standard of Review
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading must
contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
“[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not
require ‘detailed factual allegations, ' but it
demands more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007)). Mere
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action” are
insufficient. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at
1949 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).
“Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancement.'” Id. (citing
Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S. at 557, 127 S.Ct. 1955).
Additionally, “[i]n alleging fraud or mistake, a party
must state with particularity the circumstances constituting
fraud or mistake.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 9(b).
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits dismissal when a
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (citations
and internal quotation marks omitted). A complaint states a
facially plausible claim for relief “when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. (citation omitted).
The complaint must establish “more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Id.; see also Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127
S.Ct. at 1965 (“Factual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level.”).
Ultimately, this inquiry is a “context-specific task
that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 679, 129 S.Ct. at 1950.
court accepts all factual allegations as true on a motion to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). See, e.g., Grossman
v. Nationsbank, N.A., 225 F.3d 1228, 1231 (11th Cir.
2000). However, legal conclusions unsupported by factual
allegations are not entitled to that assumption of truth.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1950.
October 29, 2015, Plaintiffs Demetrius and Sabrina Caldwell
(the “Caldwells”) initiated this action on behalf
of themselves and a purported class against Redstone and
Grisham, alleging five counts including a bankruptcy count of
contempt for violating discharge injunctions and a count for
violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”). (Doc. 1). Defendants moved to dismiss
the Caldwells' claims, (docs 7 & 10), and the
undersigned granted those motions in part and denied them in
part on October 17, 2016, dismissing all but the two claims
identified above. (Doc. 30).
14, 2017, Plaintiffs amended their complaint. (Doc. 48). In
addition to the Caldwells, the amended complaint added named
Plaintiffs Jane B. Locklin, Bart Reeves, Mitchell A. Davis,
Jeremy D. Holland, Jessalyn Hooper, and Lorondo Brazelton
(the “New Plaintiffs”). (Id. at
¶¶ 5-10). Each Plaintiff filed a Chapter 7
bankruptcy petition in the Northern District of Alabama.
(Id. at ¶ 13). Each owed money to Redstone
and/or Grisham. (Id. at ¶ 14). Each Plaintiff
received a discharge from the Bankruptcy Court. (Id.
at 17). Nevertheless, Redstone- which had been mailed a copy
of the discharge orders in each case-used Grisham to attempt
to collect the discharged debt. (Id. at ¶¶
with respect to the Caldwells, Redstone obtained a judgment
against Sabrina Caldwell for a debt on September 16, 2003.
(Id. at ¶ 20). The Caldwells jointly filed for
Chapter 7 bankruptcy on October 16, 2005, and received a
discharge of Redstone's debt on January 25, 2006.
(Id. at ¶¶ 21-22). See also In re
Caldwell, No. 05-13100-TBB7. Despite the discharge,
Redstone and Caldwell revived the judgment and recorded it
with the Madison County Probate Office on June 20, 2013;
afterwards, they attempted to collect the debt. (Id.
at ¶¶ 23-24).
obtained judgments against each of the other named Plaintiffs
as well, the dates of which are identified in the amended
complaint. (Id. at ¶¶ 25, 29, 33, 37, 41,
& 45). The amended complaint also notes the dates on
which each Plaintiff filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy,
(id. at ¶¶ 26, 30, 34, 38, 42, & 46),
and the dates on which each Plaintiff received a discharge of
Redstone's debt, (id. at ¶¶ 27, 31,
35, 39, 43, & 47). The amended complaint alleges as to
each of the New Plaintiffs that “[subsequent to the
discharge, Defendants have attempted and/or continue to
attempt to collect the discharged debt from Plaintiff.”
(Id. at ¶¶ 28, 32, 36, 40, 44, & 48).
Defendants seek dismissal (or, alternatively, a more definite
statement) of the claims asserted by the New Plaintiffs.
(Doc. 51 at 4; doc. 53 at 6-7). Defendants argue the
complaint lacks factual allegations to support that they
violated the discharge order as to any of these plaintiffs,
instead simply repeating the same conclusory allegation as to
each. (Doc. 51 at 2-3; doc. 53 at 5). Plaintiffs contend the
allegations, which they say are similar to those pled (and
unchallenged) in their original complaint, are sufficient to
raise the reasonable inference that Defendants are liable;
therefore, their burden under Iqbal and
Twombly is met. (Doc. 61 at 7-8). Plaintiffs also
contend the motions to dismiss should be stricken for failure
to comply with the undersigned's initial order, (doc.
16). (Doc. 61 at 3-4).