CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, on Dec. 13, ordered a lower court to dismiss a case that centered on a receipt that plaintiff Jeremy Meyers received after dining at Nicolet Restaurant of De Pere LLC.
The receipt did
not abbreviate the expiration date on his credit card, which is a violation of
the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, or FACTA.
Representing himself and a class of persons that were given a non-compliant
receipt at Nicolet Restaurant, Meyers’ proposed class action lawsuit only sought statutory
damages. Meyers said through the FACTA amendment, Congress granted him the
legal right to receive a receipt that truncates the expiration date on his
credit card, according to court documents.
“The Seventh Circuit held that Meyers did not have standing to bring his
claim because he could not establish that Nicolet Restaurant’s printing of the
expiration date on his receipt caused him any harm, nor did he show any
appreciable risk of harm such as identity theft,” Anthony Sallah, lawyer at Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP, told
This is the first federal appellate decision involving FACTA following
the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, Sallah reported.
Sallah said the district court’s decision did not address Spokeo,
or standing, which is why the Seventh Circuit vacated and remanded the district
court’s order with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
the district court denied Meyers’ motion for class certification, the Seventh
Circuit held that it did not even have the authority to address Meyers’ case in
the first instance,” he said.
Failure to truncate a credit card’s expiration date, without more, does
not increase the risk of identity theft and is not enough to establish Article
III standing under FACTA, according to the court.
Meyers had argued FACTA grants a “substantive” right to receive a
compliant receipt, and, as such, Meyers possessed Article III standing.
Sallah said it is not likely that another court would have ruled
“Even if Nicolet Restaurant technically violated FACTA, the Seventh Circuit’s
ruling reinforced the Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo, which is
that a technical violation of a federal statute does not automatically
trigger a federal case,” he explained. “I doubt any other circuit would have
reached a different result. The Seventh Circuit noted that its decision was in
accord with other similar post-Spokeo appellate court decisions.”
Sallah said Congress previously noted in the Credit and Debit Card
Receipt Clarification Act that proper abbreviation of the credit card number,
even if the expiration date is exposed, sufficiently prevents identity theft or
credit card fraud.
“Going forward, it will be difficult for plaintiffs to bring FACTA
claims premised solely on inclusion of a credit card’s expiration date,
particularly where there is no evidence of identity theft or fraud,” he said. “Some district courts have held that
FACTA creates a ‘substantive’ right to have one’s financial information
protected through truncation on a receipt, and as such plaintiffs similar to
Meyers have standing.
“Meyers relied on the same argument, which the Seventh
Circuit debunked in an interesting footnote that said if FACTA grants a ‘substantive’
right to receive a compliant receipt, Meyers’ alleged violation must still have
been accompanied by an injury, and specifically an injury-in-fact.”