Ramirez v. Trans Union, LLC

Filing 276

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denying 265 Motion for Leave to File a Motion for Reconsideration. (ahm, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/2/2017)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 SERGIO L. RAMIREZ, Plaintiff, 12 13 14 Case No.12-cv-00632-JSC v. TRANS UNION, LLC, Defendant. 15 ORDER RE: TRANS UNION’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION Re: Dkt. No. 265 16 17 This class action revolves around a service Defendant Trans Union, LLC provides to its 18 customers which identifies persons whose names match individuals (known as Specially 19 Designated Nationals or SDNs) on the United States government’s list of terrorists, drug 20 traffickers, and others with whom Americans are prohibited from doing business. The service is 21 known as an OFAC Name Screen Alert or OFAC Alert. At particular issue in this case are Trans 22 Union’s business practices with respect to this product during a six-month period from January to 23 July 2011. 24 Plaintiff contends that during this period Trans Union violated three Fair Credit Reporting 25 Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., requirements: (1) that credit reporting agencies establish 26 “reasonable procedures” to ensure the “maximum possible accuracy” of information provided 27 about consumers under 15 U.S.C. §1681e(b); (2) that credit reporting agencies “clearly and 28 accurately” disclose “all information in the consumers file at the time of [a] request” under § 1 1681g(a), and (3) that credit reporting agencies provide a statement of consumer rights with each 2 such disclosure under § 1681g(c). Plaintiff alleges that Trans Union’s name-only matching 3 protocol was not a reasonable procedure designed to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of 4 consumer information, and that Trans Union’s disclosure of OFAC information to consumers 5 violated Section 1681g by failing to disclose OFAC information to consumers simultaneously 6 with their consumer reports and by failing to provide a statement of consumer rights with the 7 separately furnished OFAC disclosure. 8 9 The Court previously denied Trans Union’s motion for summary judgment on each of Plaintiff’s claims and has repeatedly rejected Trans Union’s argument that Plaintiff lacks Article III standing and that this case is not maintainable as a class action. (Dkt. Nos. 140, 209, 233.) 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 Trans Union now moves for leave to file a motion for reconsideration of the Court’s summary 12 judgment ruling and the denial of Trans Union’s motion for decertification with respect to the 13 FCRA Section 1681g claim. (Dkt. Nos. 265.) For the reasons set forth below, Trans Union’s 14 motion is DENIED. 15 DISCUSSION 16 A party seeking leave to file a motion for reconsideration must show either: (1) “at the time 17 of the motion for leave, a material difference in fact or law exists from that which was presented to 18 the Court”; (2) “[t]he emergence of new material facts or a change of law occurring after the time 19 of such order;” or (3) a “manifest failure by the Court to consider material facts or dispositive 20 legal arguments” previously presented to the court. N.D. Cal. Civ. L. R. 7-9(b), “No motion for 21 leave to file a motion for reconsideration may repeat any oral or written argument made by the 22 applying party in support of or in opposition to the interlocutory order which the party...seeks to 23 have reconsidered.” N.D. Cal. Civ. L.R. 7-9(c). “A motion for reconsideration should not be 24 granted, absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is presented with newly 25 discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an intervening change in the controlling 26 law.” 389 Orange St. Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999). 27 28 Trans Union contends that a recent decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Dreher v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., No. 15-2119, 2017 WL 1948916 (4th Cir. May 11, 2017), 2 1 constitutes a material change in the law which warrants reconsideration of the Court’s rulings (1) 2 certifying a class for purposes of Plaintiff’s Section 1681g claims, and (2) denying summary 3 judgment on the 1681g claims. The Court disagrees. Dreher is non-binding authority. It is both out-of-circuit and addresses a different 5 subsection of 1681g. Dreher was under 1681g(a)(2) which requires consumer reporting agencies 6 to “clearly and accurately disclose to the consumer” “[t]he sources of the information; except that 7 the sources of information acquired solely for use in preparing an investigative consumer report 8 and actually used for no other purpose need not be disclosed...” The plaintiff in Dreher only 9 alleged an “informational injury” under this provision and the Fourth Circuit held that this injury 10 was not sufficiently concrete to confer constitutional standing because plaintiff “failed to show 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 4 how the knowledge that he was corresponding with a CardWorks employee, rather than an 12 Advanta employee, would have made any difference at all in the ‘fair[ness] or accura[cy]’ of his 13 credit report, or that it would have made the credit resolution process more efficient.” Dreher, 14 2017 WL 1948916, at *4, *5 (quoting Safeco Ins. Co. of Am. v. Burr, 551 U.S. 47 (2007); 15 15 U.S.C. § 1681(a)(1)). 16 Plaintiff’s Section 1681g claims here are brought under 1681g(a), which provides in part 17 that “[e]very consumer reporting agency shall, upon request, ... clearly and accurately disclose to 18 the consumer: (1) All information in the consumer’s file at the time of the request” and 19 1681g(c)(2) which requires consumer reporting agencies to provide a summary of consumer rights 20 “with each written disclosure by the agency to the consumer.” Plaintiff here has alleged a 21 concrete and particularized injury beyond a bare procedural violation; namely, that consumers 22 might not understand that they have an OFAC alert in their consumer file and might not know how 23 to challenge the OFAC alert because of the 1681g(a) and (c)(2) violations. Indeed, as the Court 24 held in denying Trans Union’s motion for decertification: 25 26 27 28 These alleged violations created a risk that Plaintiff would be harmed in precisely the way Congress was attempting to prevent when it mandated what disclosures consumer credit reporting agencies must make to consumers: a risk that the consumer is not made aware of material inaccurate information in the consumer’s file, nor aware of how to dispute the inclusion of the harmful 3 information. Thus, these omissions entailed a degree of risk sufficient to satisfy Article III’s concrete injury requirement. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 (Dkt. No. 209 at 6 (citing Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540, 1550 (2016), as revised (May 24, 2016).) Finally, notwithstanding Trans Union’s protestations to the contrary, the Ninth Circuit rule regarding standing in a class action is clear: “[i]n a class action, standing is satisfied if at least one named plaintiff meets the requirements.” Bates v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 511 F.3d 974, 985 (9th Cir. 2007) (en banc); see also Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 395 (1996) (“[Unnamed plaintiffs] need not make any individual showing of standing [in order to obtain relief], because the standing issue focuses on whether the plaintiff is properly before the court, not whether represented parties or absent class members are properly before the court.”) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Mr. Ramirez’s Article III standing is sufficient to establish standing for the class. For the reasons stated above, Trans Union’s motion for leave to file a motion for reconsideration is therefore DENIED. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: June 2, 2017 18 19 JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States Magistrate Judge 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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