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Bassett v. ABM Parking Servs.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

December 5, 20171, Submitted, Seattle, Washington; February 21, 2018, Filed

No. 16-35933

Opinion

 [*777]  McKEOWN, Circuit Judge:

Today we answer a question that would certainly sound exotic to our nation's founders: Is receiving an overly revealing credit card receipt—unseen by others and unused by identity thieves—a sufficient injury to confer Article III standing?

In response to growing credit card fraud and identity theft, Congress enacted a series of protective laws. When Steven Bassett used his credit card at an ABM parking garage, he received a receipt displaying the card's full expiration date—a violation of the requirement that businesses redact certain credit card information on printed receipts. 15 U.S.C. § 1681c(g). Bassett sued but alleged only a statutory violation and a potential for exposure to actual injury. Like the district court, we conclude that Bassett failed to allege a concrete injury sufficient to give him standing. In doing so, we join the Second and Seventh Circuits in affirming dismissal under identical circumstances. See Crupar-Weinmann v. Paris Baguette Am., Inc., 861 F.3d 76 (2d Cir. 2017); Meyers v. Nicolet Rest. of De Pere, LLC, 843 F.3d 724 (7th Cir. 2016).

Background

The legislative backdrop for this case centers on FACTA and FCRA. ] The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 ("FACTA"), Pub. L. No. 108-159, 117 Stat. 1952, [**3]  amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") to limit the information printed on receipts: "[N]o person that accepts credit cards or debit cards for the  [*778]  transaction of business shall print more than the last 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of the sale or transaction."3 15 U.S.C. § 1681c(g). The statute provides that "[a]ny person who willfully fails to comply with [that requirement] with respect to any consumer is liable to that consumer" for statutory damages of between $100 and $1,000 per violation or "any actual damages sustained by the consumer," costs and attorney's fees, and potential punitive damages. Id. § 1681n.

Following the passage of FACTA, consumers filed a spate of lawsuits against merchants who printed receipts showing credit card expiration dates. In response, Congress enacted ] the Credit and Debit Card Receipt Clarification Act (the "Clarification Act"), Pub. L. No. 110-241, 122 Stat. 1565 (2008). The Clarification Act reiterated that the FCRA prohibits the printing of receipts bearing a card's expiration date. Id. at 1566. But the congressional findings also noted that "hundreds of lawsuits were filed alleging that the failure to remove the expiration date was a willful [**4]  violation of the [FCRA] even where the account number was properly truncated," and "[n]one of these lawsuits contained an allegation of harm to any consumer's identity." Id. at 1565. Congress went on to find that "[e]xperts in the field agree that proper truncation of the card number, by itself as required by the [FCRA], regardless of the inclusion of the expiration date, prevents a potential fraudster from perpetrating identity theft or credit card fraud." Id.

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883 F.3d 776 *; 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 4097 **; 2018 WL 987954

STEVEN BASSETT, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. ABM PARKING SERVICES, INC., DBA ABM Onsite Services - West, DBA AMPCO System Parking; ABM ONSITE SERVICES -WEST, INC.; ABM INDUSTRIES, INC., Defendants-Appellees.

Prior History:  [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. D.C. No. 2:16-cv-00947-TSZ. Thomas S. Zilly, Senior District Judge, Presiding.

Disposition: AFFIRMED.

CORE TERMS

concrete, expiration date, consumer, identity theft, credit card, printed, truncation, lawsuits, card's, procedural violation, injury in fact, risk of harm, card number, privacy, statutory violation, substantial rights, injury-in-fact, receipts, damages, credit card fraud, willful violation, statutory right, disclosure, violations, confer

Banking Law, Consumer Protection, Fair Credit Reporting, Identity Theft, Consumer Reports, Civil Procedure, Justiciability, Standing, Injury in Fact, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Elements, Burdens of Proof, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Preliminary Considerations, Standing, The Judiciary, Torts, Intentional Torts, Invasion of Privacy, Intrusions, Banking & Finance, Fair Credit Reporting