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Roberts v. Capital One N.A.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

May 4, 2017

TAWANNA M. ROBERTS, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
CAPITAL ONE, N.A., Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          LORNA G. SCHOFIELD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This putative class action arises from Defendant Capital One, N.A.'s (“Capital One”) allegedly improper assessment of overdraft fees. Plaintiff Tawanna M. Roberts asserts claims against Capital One for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, conversion, unjust enrichment and violation of New York General Business Law § 349. Capital One moves to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons below, the motion is granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The facts that follow are drawn from the Complaint and documents that are integral to the Complaint. They are construed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, as the non-moving party. See Doe v. Columbia Univ., 831 F.3d 46, 48 (2d Cir. 2016).

         A. The Agreement

         Plaintiff has a Capital One checking account and a corresponding debit card that draws on that account. A debit card enables a customer to make purchases, payments, withdrawals, and other electronic debit transactions.

         As relevant here, the parties' contract consists of Capital One's Rules Governing Deposit Accounts (the “Deposit Agreement”), and the Electronic Funds Transfer Agreement (the “EFT Agreement”) (together, the “Account Agreements”). The Deposit Agreement is appended as an exhibit to the Complaint and provides in part:

Withdrawals. . . . If you provide your ATM card or ATM/Debit card and personal access code to a third party, you have authorized the third party to withdraw funds from your account at an ATM machine or point of sale terminal. [Dep. Agmt. at 1.]
Processing Order of Credits and Debits. We process credits and debits to your account in a specific order. We refer to this as the processing order and it is how we decide what posts first and last each day. . . . Our processing order might not be the same as the order you make transactions and could result in overdraft transactions. You can avoid overdrafts on your account by always making sure you have enough available funds in your account to cover your transactions. . . . Debits . . . decrease your balance. We will process credits and debits as follows: . . . .
. After we have processed any credits to your account, we will process debits. First, we group any similar types of debits . . . together into separate categories. Then, we process those debits within each category in a specific order such as by dollar amount. For some debits, we will know the time you made the transaction. This allows us to post the debit closer to the time you actually made the debit transaction instead of by dollar amount. [The Deposit Agreement also includes a table that discloses the processing order for different types of transaction, and examples of each.]
Overdrafts. We may in our sole discretion, and without obligation, elect to pay checks and other items drawn on your deposit account or to permit automatic bill payments and withdrawals against your account for an amount in excess of your available balance (an “Overdraft”). . . . You have no right to overdraw your account at any time, for any reason, and our decision to pay Overdraft items is solely within our discretion. You understand and agree that if we elect to pay Overdraft items or to permit an Overdraft to exist in your account, you have no right to defer payment, and you must deposit additional funds into your account promptly in an amount sufficient to cover the Overdraft and to pay us Overdraft fees for each Overdraft item in accordance with our current Schedule of Fees and Charges. . . . You can avoid overdrafts on your account by always making sure that you have sufficient available funds in your account to cover all of the debits presented for payment against your account. [Dep. Agmt. at 3.]

         The EFT Agreement in § 3(D) provides:

If we authorize the transaction, the funds will be debited from your primary checking account immediately or a hold may be placed on your account for up to several days after the purchase transaction has occurred, depending upon the promptness with which the merchant processes your transaction.
Some purchases may result in a longer hold. Sometimes the preauthorization requests may be in amounts different from the total amount of the transaction. . . . You agree not to withdraw, write checks or make point of sale purchases against funds that are needed to pay ...

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