The Seventh Circuit ordered a district court to dismiss a putative class action this month under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) for lack of jurisdiction. The case, Meyers v. Nicolet Restaurant of De Pere, LLC, No. 16-2075, centered on allegations that the defendant-restaurant failed to truncate the expiration date on credit card receipts, as required by FACTA. The plaintiff sued on behalf of a class of all customers who had been provided a non-compliant receipt, seeking statutory damages of US$100 to US$1,000 per violation. The district court denied the plaintiff's motion for class certification on the grounds that he failed to show that classwide issues would predominate over individual issues under Rule 23(b)(3), and the plaintiff appealed.
In a ten-page opinion, the Seventh Circuit did not reach the certification question. Instead, the court held that as a threshold matter, the plaintiff had not suffered an injury sufficient to confer Article III standing. The court reasoned that the Supreme Court's widely publicized ruling in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins "compels the conclusion that [the plaintiff's] allegations are insufficient to satisfy the injury-in-fact requirement for Article III standing. The allegations demonstrate that [the plaintiff] did not suffer any harm because of [the restaurant's] printing of the expiration date on his receipt."
Meyers, the first circuit-level case to address standing in FACTA cases after Spokeo, serves as an important reminder to evaluate all avenues for dismissing a case early on, before engaging in costly discovery and motion practice.