Ramirez v. Trans Union, LLC

Filing 184

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley granting 177 Motion to Stay (ahm, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/22/2015)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 SERGIO L. RAMIREZ, Case No. 12-cv-00632-JSC Plaintiff, 8 v. ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO STAY ACTION 9 10 TRANS UNION, LLC, Re: Dkt. No. 183 Defendant. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 In this certified class action, Defendant Trans Union, LLC (“Defendant”) moves to stay the 14 case pending the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins. (Dkt. No. 15 183.) Upon consideration of the parties’ submissions and the arguments of counsel at the hearing 16 held on June, 18 2015, Defendant’s motion to stay is GRANTED. 17 18 BACKGROUND On February 9, 2012, Plaintiff Sergio L. Ramirez filed this class action against Defendant 19 TransUnion, bringing three causes of action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., and three under its state counterpart, the California Consumer Credit 21 Reporting Agencies Act (“CCRAA”), Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1785.1 et seq. On July 24, 2014, the 22 Court granted in part and denied in part Plaintiff’s motion to certify class. (Dkt. No. 140.) The 23 Court certified a damages and injunctive relief class under FCRA, but only certified an injunctive 24 relief class under CCRAA. The Court declined to certify the CCRAA statutory damages class 25 because California law holds that CCRAA claims require a plaintiff to show actual harm. See 26 Trujillo v. First American Registry, Inc., 157 Cal. App. 4th 628, 637-38 (2008). In contrast, 27 certification under FCRA was appropriate because a FCRA “cause of action does not require proof 28 of actual damages, a plaintiff can suffer a violation of the statutory right without suffering actual 1 damages.” (Dkt. No. 140 at 16:8-10 (quoting Spokeo, 742 F.3d 409, 413 (9th Cir. 2014), cert. 2 granted, 82 U.S.L.W. 3689 (U.S. Apr. 27, 2015) (No. 13-1339)).) 3 Following distribution of notice to the class, the Supreme Court granted the petition for 4 writ of certiorari in Spokeo. Defendant now moves to stay the action pending the Supreme Court’s 5 decision in Spokeo, asserting that the orderly course of justice and balance of hardships favor the 6 imposition of a stay. 7 DISCUSSION 8 “[T]he power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent in every court to 9 control the disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants.” Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). In deciding whether 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 to grant a stay, a court may weigh the following: (1) the possible damage which may result from 12 the granting of a stay; (2) the hardship or inequity which a party may suffer in being required to go 13 forward; and (3) the orderly course of justice measured in terms of the simplifying or complicating 14 of issues, proof, and questions of law which could be expected to result from a stay.” CMAX, Inc. 15 v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir. 1962) (internal citations and quotation omitted). However, 16 “[o]nly in rare circumstances will a litigant in one case be compelled to stand aside while a litigant 17 in another settles the rule of law that will define the rights of both.” Landis, 299 U.S. at 255. A 18 district court’s decision to grant or deny a Landis stay is a matter of discretion. See Dependable 19 Highway Exp., Inc. v. Navigators Ins. Co., 498 F.3d 1059, 1066 (9th Cir. 2007). The proponent of 20 a stay has the burden of proving such a discretionary stay is justified. Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 21 681, 708 (1997). 22 Here, Defendant moves to stay the action pending the Supreme Court’s review of the Ninth 23 Circuit’s decision in Spokeo upon which the Court squarely relied in granting class certification of 24 the FCRA class. Given that the Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo may directly impact the 25 Court’s class certification ruling, the Landis factors weigh strongly in favor of staying this action 26 pending the Spokeo decision. The possible prejudice to Plaintiff that will result from a stay is 27 minimal, as the Spokeo decision will likely be issued within a year per the Supreme Court’s 28 customary practice. Further, as explained by Defendant, and not disputed by Plaintiff, Defendant 2 1 has modified the conduct about which Plaintiff complains so there is no need to proceed with trial 2 to obtain immediate injunctive relief and staunch the harm. Moreover, Defendant has agreed to 3 bear the cost of further notice to the class advising them of the stay. In contrast to the lack of 4 prejudice to Plaintiff and the class, in light of Spokeo’s potential impact on the class certification 5 order, Defendant faces the risk of unnecessary proceedings and expenses if the case is not stayed: 6 given the current schedule, absent a stay this case will be resolved through either trial or summary 7 judgment prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling. 8 CONCLUSION 9 Defendant’s motion to stay this action pending a decision in Spokeo is GRANTED. 10 Plaintiff shall file a motion to lift the stay once the Supreme Court issues its decision. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 This Order disposes of Docket No. 183. 12 IT IS SO ORDERED. 13 Dated: June 22, 2015 14 ________________________ JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States Magistrate Judge 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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