United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
JOSE D. IRAHETA
EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES, LLC, ET AL.
ELIZABETH ERNY FOOTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jose Iraheta ("Iraheta") has sued the three credit
reporting agencies: Trans Union, LLC ("Trans
Union"), Equifax Information Services, LLC
("Equifax"), and Experian Information Solutions,
Inc. ("Experian"). [Record Document 109]. Because
Experian responded to Iraheta's third amended complaint
with a motion for partial dismissal rather than an answer,
Iraheta moved for partial default judgment or, alternatively,
partial judgment on the pleadings. Because the Court holds
that a motion to partially dismiss a complaint suspends the
time to answer the entire complaint, Iraheta's motion
[Record Document 126] is DENIED.
initiated this suit in the Middle District of Florida, naming
Experian, Equifax, Trans Union, and Pentagon Federal Credit
Union ("PFCU") as defendants. [Record Document 1].
The credit bureaus answered, and PFCU moved to dismiss.
[Record Documents 16, 20, 26, and 28]. To correct the
omissions justifying PFCU's motion, Iraheta amended his
complaint and added Navy Federal Credit Union
("NFCU") as a defendant. [Record Document 41].
Equifax and PFCU answered, NFCU moved to dismiss, and
Experian moved to dismiss all but one of Iraheta's
claims; Trans Union adopted Experian's motion. [Record
Documents 45, 47, 48, 49, and 52]. Iraheta then sought leave
for a second amendment to clarify his existing allegations,
add claims related to the May 2017 Equifax data breach, and
assert a right to injunctive relief. [Record Document 50].
Upon the parties' joint stipulation, NFCU and PFCU were
dismissed. [Record Documents 56, 62, 64, and 70].
the Middle District of Florida could resolve Experian and
Trans Union's motion to dismiss, Iraheta requested a
venue change. [Record Documents 58 and 60]. After the Florida
court granted Iraheta's motion to transfer, this Court
granted leave to amend, required that Iraheta remove his
proposed claims for injunctive relief, and denied
Experian's motion to dismiss as moot. [Record Documents
65, 82, and 90]. Defendants then answered Iraheta's
second amended complaint. [Record Documents 87, 91, 93, and
multi-district litigation ("MDL") related to the
May 2017 Equifax data breach had commenced in the Northern
District of Georgia, Equifax announced its intention to
include this case as a tag-along action in the MDL and moved
to sever Iraheta's data breach claim so that only that
claim would be transfered. [Record Document 94]. At the same
time, Iraheta moved to amend his complaint for a third time
to add claims related to data breaches at all three credit
bureaus; he also renewed his request for injunctive relief.
[Record Document 101]. The Court denied Equifax's motion
to sever and granted Iraheta's motion in part. [Record
Document 108] - When once again denying leave to add
claims for injunctive relief, the Magistrate Judge cautioned
Iraheta that the
[C]ourt has limited patience in dealing with repeated
attempts to bring claims which it has already determined are
futile or otherwise improper, that his pro se status
is not a carte blanche to bring legally insufficient
claims, and that any additional attempts to raise claims that
this [C]ourt has already deemed futile will give rise to
monetary or other sanctions.
[Id. at 6].
and Trans Union answered Iraheta's third amended
complaint. [Record Documents 109, 114, and
115]. Experian responded with a motion to
dismiss Iraheta's gross negligence claims arising from
Experian's alleged data breaches. [Record Document
112].Although Iraheta voluntarily dismissed two
of his three data breach claims against Experian, [Record
Documents 118 and 119], the motion to dismiss remains pending
as to Iraheta's claim regarding a September 2015 data
grounds that Experian did not timely answer his remaining
claims, Iraheta moved for default judgment or, alternatively,
partial judgment on his claim that Experian violated 15
U.S.C. § 1681c(f). [Record Document 126]. Experian
contends that its motion for a partial dismissal suspends the
time to answer Iraheta's other allegations. [Record
defendant must answer an amended complaint within fourteen
days of service unless another rule or statute extends this
time. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(3). Because Iraheta served his third
amended complaint on April 24, 2018, [Record Document 109],
Defendants' answers were due May 8, 2018. Equifax and
Trans Union timely answered, but Experian did not. [Record
Documents 114 and 115]. Instead, Experian moved to dismiss
Iraheta's gross negligence claim; this motion is pending.
[Record Document 112]. A Rule 12(b) motion extends a
defendant's time to file a responsive pleading to
fourteen days from the court's denial of the motion.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(a)(4). Because Experian has moved to dismiss
Iraheta's gross negligence claims pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6), Experian's window of time in which to answer
those claims has yet to begin.
Iraheta's remaining claims, a strict reading of Rule 15
would require the Court to find that the time to reply has
passed. Nevertheless, the Court sees no reason to depart from
the majority rule that "filing of a partial motion to
dismiss extends the defendant's time to answer the entire
complaint." Bertaut v. Par of Jefferson,
No.Civ. A. 02-2104, 2002 WL 31528468, at ...