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Cotapaxi Custom Design and Manufacturing, LLC v. Chase Bank USA, N.A.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

November 21, 2016

COTAPAXI CUSTOM DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
CHASE BANK USA, N.A., and JOHN DOES 1-100, Defendants.

          OPINION

          WILLIAM J. MARTINI, U.S.D.J.

         Plaintiff Cotapaxi Custom Design and Manufacturing, LLC (“Plaintiff”) brings this action against Chase Bank USA, N.A. (“Defendant”), alleging violations of the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1601, et seq., and various state law claims. This matter comes before the Court on Defendant's motion to dismiss Counts 2-6 under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). There was no oral argument. Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion to dismiss is GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Carlstadt, New Jersey. Decl. of C. Turcotte, Ex. A, Compl. ¶ 1, ECF No. 10-2 [hereinafter “Compl.”]. Defendant is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Wilmington Delaware. Id. at ¶ 2. Plaintiff engaged Defendant's credit card services in the form of a Chase United Mileage Plus business credit card account (the “Account”) from at least early 2013 through May 2016. See id. at ¶¶ 4, 6, 12. Plaintiff alleges damages of $643, 998.99 arising out of purported fraudulent charges made to the Account by a third-party entity, BP Promos, beginning on May 6, 2013, and ending in May 2016. See id. at ¶¶ 8-12. Plaintiff's Complaint alleges six causes of action against Defendant:

(1) Count 1: violation of TILA, see id. at ¶¶ 28-37;
(2) Count 2: breach of contract, see id. at ¶¶ 38-43;
(3) Count 3: violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, see id. at ¶¶ 44-49;
(4) Count 4: violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (“NJCFA”), N.J.S.A. 56:8-1, see id. at ¶¶ 50-64;
(5) Count 5: unjust enrichment, see id. at ¶¶ 65-70; and
(6) Count 6: fraud in the inducement, see id. at ¶¶ 71-79.

         Defendant moves to dismiss Counts 2-6, but does not contest the validity of Count 1 at this time. See Def.'s Mem. of Law in Supp. of Mot. (“Def.'s Mem.”) 1, ECF No. 10-1. Defendant argues that Counts 2 and 3 (the “contract claims”) should be dismissed because the Complaint fails to identify the contract and the specific provisions therein that were breached. See id. at 4-6. Defendant argues that Counts 4 and 6 (the “fraud claims”) should be dismissed because the Complaint fails to meet the heightened pleading standards of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b). See id. at 6-8. Finally, Defendant argues that Count 5 should be dismissed because Plaintiff's claim amounts to nothing more than a formulaic recitation of the elements for unjust enrichment. See id. at 8-9.

         Plaintiff responds by first suggesting that Defendant's 12(b)(6) motion is inappropriate because material questions of fact exist as to Defendant's conduct, which requires discovery by the parties. As part of this need for discovery, Plaintiff notes that it is not currently in possession of the contract which it claims Defendant breached. See Pl.'s Mem. of Law in Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. (“Pl.'s Opp'n”) 3-4, ECF No. 12. Plaintiff next claims that it satisfied Rule 9(b)'s heightened pleading standard by alleging that Defendant's employee conveyed false information to Plaintiff during a phone call on June 30, 2016. See id. at 4-6. Finally, Plaintiff submits that Defendant's conduct violates the covenant of good faith and fair dealing because it failed to investigate in good faith the fraudulent charges made to Plaintiff's Account. See id. at 6-9.

         In its reply, Defendant reiterates its argument regarding the contract claims and asserts that Plaintiff does not need discovery to access the contract in question because it is publicly available. See Def.'s Reply Mem. of Law in Supp. of Mot. (“Def.'s Reply”) 2- 3, ECF No. 14. Defendant further argues that the June 30 conversation between its employee and Plaintiff cannot form the basis for a cause of action under the NJCFA. See id. at 4-6. Defendant maintains that Plaintiff fails to meet Rule 9(b)'s heightened pleading standard concerning its fraudulent inducement claim. See id. at 6-7. Finally, Defendant contends that Plaintiff did not respond to its argument for dismissal of the unjust enrichment claim, which the Court should consider unopposed and dismiss with prejudice. See id. at 7.

         II. ...


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