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Braun v. Bank of America

United States District Court, D. Montana, Butte Division

November 30, 2017

DAVID STEVEN BRAUN, Plaintiff,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

          JEREMIAH C. LYNCH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Pro se Plaintiff David Braun brings this action against Defendant Bank of America, N.A.[1] alleging a long history of wrongful conduct. Bank of America has moved under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Because Braun's Complaint is barred by res judicata and otherwise fails to state a claim for relief, Bank of America's motion should be granted.

         I. Background

         In the opening section of his Complaint, Braun alleges he has been a Bank of America credit card customer for several years and his account has been “plagued with large amounts of fraud, ” including unauthorized charges and two unspecified “fraud events” that caused him to be hospitalized under “questionable circumstances.” (Doc. 1, at 2). Braun claims that Bank of America called him “uncontrollably” for several months and eventually brought a lawsuit against him in state court to collect on his unpaid credit card debt. Braun explains that he asserted a counterclaim against Bank of America, which was later dismissed by the court. Braun alleges Bank of America's collection action ended in “a working Judgment in District Court, ” and he has yet to be compensated “for the Damage to [his] health and life.” (Doc. 1, at 3).

         Following these initial allegations, the Complaint contains a section of “Facts” describing events and conduct that Braun alleges took place both before and during the collection action in state court. In support of these allegations, Braun attaches as exhibits several filings, orders, and other materials from the state court case. In the next section of his Complaint, Braun provides a list of “Accusations” in which he claims that his counterclaim in the debt collection case was improperly dismissed and accuses Bank of America of failing to respond to discovery during that litigation.

         In his statement of requested relief, Braun demands 3, 000, 000 share of Bank of America Corporation common stock in order “[t]o insure future quality off [sic] life, provide to security medical care, housing and livening [sic] expenses, and compensate for the harm done up to this point.” (Doc. 1, at 8).

         The final section of the Complaint is titled “Background on Plaintiffs [sic] previous Military Service and Executed Contractual Agreements.” Braun claims the issues raised in his Complaint have “been around me and what's left off [sic] my family for many years” and states that he has made several prior complaints with various government agencies, including the FBI, NSA, and CIA. The rest of Braun's allegations are largely incomprehensible, and he ends his Complaint by asking defense counsel to produce “an actual contract or record off [sic] the events that you believe make it impossible for this court to render a Judgment for the Plaintiff.” (Doc. 1, at 8-9).

         II. Legal Standard

         A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a complaint. Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). The Court's standard of review under Rule 12(b)(6) is informed by the provision of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) which requires that a pleading contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009) (quoting Rule 8).

         To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the 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 678-79 (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A complaint will survive a motion to dismiss if it alleges facts that allow “the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. But if the complaint “lacks a cognizable legal theory or sufficient facts to support a cognizable legal theory, ” then dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate. Mendiondo v. Centinela Hosp. Med. Ctr., 521 F.3d 1097, 1104 (9th Cir. 2008).

         Where, as here, the plaintiff is appearing pro se, the court liberally construes the allegations in the complaint. See e.g. Karim-Panahi v. Los Angeles Police Dept., 839 F.2d 621, 623 (9th Cir. 1988); Ortez v. Washington County Oregon, 88 F.3d 804, 807 (9th Cir. 1996). But even where the plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the complaint should be dismissed if it appears “beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim.” See Pena v. Gardner, 976 F.2d 469, 471 (9th Cir. 1997).

         As a general rule, the court may not consider any materials outside the pleadings on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Lee v. City Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 688 (9th Cir. 2001). The court may, however, consider documents attached to the complaint, matters that are subject to judicial notice, and documents necessarily relied on by the complaint and whose authenticity no party questions. See Swartz v. KPMG LLP, 476 F.3d 756, 763 (9th Cir. 2007); Lee, 250 F.3d at 688-89 (9th Cir. 2001). Thus, review of Bank of America's motion is informed by the state court orders, filings, and other materials attached to Braun's complaint.

         III. Discussion

         A. ...


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