United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Miguel Ruales brings this action pro se against
Spencer Savings Bank ("SSB" or "the
Bank"). According to the Amended Complaint,
Bank closed Mr. Ruales's checking account without
properly communicating to him the reasons for doing so.
Plaintiff claims that this conduct amounted to negligence and
a violation of his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Defendant moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim
pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and
12(b)(6). For the reasons explained in this opinion, I will
dismiss the Amended Complaint on Rule 12(b)(6) grounds.
SUMMARY OF ALLEGATIONS
purposes of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, die allegations of the
Amended Complaint are assumed to be true. See
Section II.A, infra.
Ruales is a citizen domiciled in New Jersey. (AC ¶ 13).
SSB is a mutual savings and loan association chartered
pursuant to die New Jersey Saving and Loan Act. (Id.
¶¶ 14-17). It operates in and has its principal
place of business in New Jersey. (Id. ¶¶
14-17). The Bank is alleged to be subject to the supervision
of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.
(Id.). Mr. Ruales had a noncommercial bank account
with SSB. (Id. ¶ 21).
August 9, 2017, the Bank mailed Mr. Ruales a one-page letter
informing him that it would be closing his SSB checking
account on September 9, 2017. (AC ¶ 2). That letter did
not include the reason his account was being closed, and the
Bank refused to tell Mr. Ruales why it closed his account.
(Id. ¶¶ 5, 23, 24, 33). The lack of any
explanation led "certain parties to speculate" that
Mr. Ruales had engaged in money-laundering activities.
(Id. ¶¶ 6, 10). Mr. Ruales alleges that he
did not engage in money-laundering activities and had
"an unblemished" relationship with the Bank.
(Id. ¶¶ 7, 9).
asserts that the Bank violated a duty in not providing him
with an explanation as to why his account was terminated.
(Id. ¶¶ 7, 9, 19, 20). The account closure
allegedly impaired his credit rating, jeopardized his ability
to obtain credit in the future, and caused him to bounce
checks. (Id. ¶ 12).
to the account closure, Mr. Ruales "was very satisfied
with the excellent services provided to him" by the
Bank. (Id. ¶ 21). During that time, no SSB
representative informed Mr. Ruales of any problems with his
account or banking practices, and he did not engage in any
criminal activity. (Id. ¶¶ 22, 26).
Consequently, according to Mr. Ruales, there was "no
need to generate any Suspicious Activity Reports
[(hereinafter, "SAR")] in connection with activity
in his account." (Id.).
filed the original complaint on May 14, 2018. (DE 1).
Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the original complaint on
June 11, 2018. (DE 5). On June 12, 2018, Plaintiff filed the
currently operative Amended Complaint, which contains two
counts. (DE 7). Count 1 of the Amended Complaint asserts a
claim of negligence; Count 2 asserts a civil rights claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
31, 2018, Plaintiff filed a request for default on the basis
that Defendant had not answered the Amended Complaint. (DE
9). On August 9, 2018, Defendant filed a motion to vacate
default and to dismiss the Amended Complaint. (DE 10).
Because the clerk had not entered default, the portion of
defendant's motion that seeks to vacate default was
terminated. (DE 19).
remains is Defendant's motion to dismiss the Amended
Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). (DE
10) For the reasons stated below, I will dismiss the Amended
Complaint without prejudice.