Bonner v. Washington et al
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING GIS's 73 Motion for Summary Judgment, and the Clerk is DIRECTED to enter final judgment in favor of the defendant. Signed by Judge Robert L Miller, Jr on 3/29/2017. (Copy mailed to pro se party)(jss)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
GENERAL INFORMATION SERVICES,
CIVIL NO. 2:14-CV-318 RLM
OPINION AND ORDER
Vernon Bonner, a former bus driver for Illinois Central School Bus LLC
(ICSB), was terminated after a criminal background check showed that he hadn’t
disclosed prior felony convictions on his employment application. Mr. Bonner
brought suit against General Information Services (GIS), the consumer reporting
agency that conducted the criminal background check, alleging that GIS failed
to maintain reasonable procedures as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act,
15 U.S.C. §1681e, and improperly disclosed documents to Illinois Central School
Bus.1 The defendant’s motion for summary judgment on that claim currently
pends before the court. For the following reasons, the court grants the is granted.
The complaint also asserted claims against Illinois Central School Bus and Jamal
Washington, Mr. Bonner’s former supervisor. Those claims were dismissed on
September 30, 2015. [Doc. No. 41].
Summary judgment is appropriate when the record demonstrates that
there are no genuine issues of material fact and that the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Protective Life Ins. Co. v. Hansen, 632 F.3d 388, 392 (7th
Cir. 2011). The court construes the evidence, and all inferences that reasonably
can be drawn from the evidence, in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). The moving
party bears the burden of informing the court of the basis for its motion and
identifying the parts of the record that demonstrate the absence of any genuine
issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. V. Catrett, 477 U.S. at 323. It can meet that
burden by showing that there’s no evidence to support the non-moving party’s
case. Id. at 325. Once the moving party has met its burden, the opposing party
can’t rest upon the allegations in the pleadings, but must “point to evidence that
can be put in an admissible form at trial, and that, if believed by the fact-finder,
could support judgment in his favor.” Marr v. Bank of America, N.A., 662 F.3d
963, 966 (7th Cir. 2011); see also Hastings Mut. Ins. Co. v. LaFollette, No. 1:07cv-1085, 2009 WL 348769, at *2 (S.D. Ind. Feb. 6, 2009)(“It is not the duty of
the court to scour the record in search of evidence to defeat a motion for
summary judgment; rather, the nonmoving party bears the responsibility of
identifying the evidence upon which he relies.”); Hammel v. Eau Galle Cheese
Factory, 407 F.3d 852, 859 (7th Cir. 2005)(quoting Hammel v. Eau Galle Cheese
Factory, No. 02-C-0405-C, 2003 WL 21665133, at *7 (W.D. Wis. June 26, 2003)
(“Summary judgment is not a dress rehearsal or practice run; it ‘is the ‘put up
or shut up’ moment in a lawsuit, when a party must show what evidence it has
that would convince a trier of fact to accept its version of events’”).
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires reporting agencies to “maintain
reasonable procedures designed…to limit the furnishing of consumer reports to
the purposes listed under section 1681b.” 15 U.S.C. § 1681e.
The actionable harm the [Fair Credit Reporting Act] envisions is
improper disclosure, not the mere risk of improper disclosure that
arises when “reasonable procedures” are not followed and
disclosures are made. Washington v. CSC Credit Services, Inc., 199
F.3d 263, 266 (5th Cir. 2000). Accordingly, a plaintiff bringing a
claim that a reporting agency violated the “reasonable procedures”
requirement of 1681e must first show that the reporting agency
released the report in violation of 1681b.
Washington v. CSC Credit Services, Inc., 199 F.3d 263, 267 (5th Cir. 2000). Mr.
Bonner hasn’t met that burden.
It’s undisputed that GIS provided the consumer report to Illinois Central
School Bus for employment purposes – a permissible purpose under 15 U.S.C.
§1681b(3)(B). See [Doc. No. 41]. When the report was disclosed for a permissible
purpose, no further investigation into the reasonableness of the reporting
agency’s procedures is required. Id. at 266-267; see also Andrews v. Trans Union
Corp., 7 F.Supp.2d 1056, 1067 (C.D. Cal. 1998); Middlebrooks v. Retail Credit
Co., 416 F. Supp. 1013, 1016 (N.D Ga. 1976) (“[O]nce it is shown that the
information was relevant and for a permissible purpose, this court need not
inquire into the reasonableness of the underlying procedures adopted by the
agency to assure that the information will be furnished for purposed defined as
permissible under the Act.”).
No reasonable trier of this case could decide for Mr. Bonner, so GIS’s
motion for summary judgment [Doc. No. 73] is GRANTED, and the Clerk is
directed to enter final judgment in favor of the defendant.
ENTERED: March 29, 2017
/s/ Robert L. Miller, Jr.
United States District Court
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