Jeremy Meyers, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Nicolet Restaurant of De Pere, LLC, Defendant-Appellee.
November 3, 2016
from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Wisconsin. No. l:15-cv-00444 - William C.
Griesbach, Chief Judge.
Bauer, Manion, and Hamilton, Circuit Judges.
Manion, Circuit Judge.
Meyers appeals the district court's denial of class
certification in this case brought under the Fair and
Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA). This is Meyers'
second putative class action under the FACTA to reach this
court in a matter of months. In the prior appeal, we held
that sovereign immunity barred Meyers' claim against the
Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin. This time, we conclude that Meyers
lacks Article III standing. Therefore, we vacate the judgment
of the district court and remand the case with instructions
to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
FACTA was a 2003 amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act
(FRCA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. As we detailed
in Meyers v. Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wis., 836
F.3d 818, 819-20 (7th Cir. 2016) [Meyers T\,
Congress enacted the FACTA in response to what it considered
to be the increasing threat of identity theft. The provision
at issue here was intended to "reduce the amount of
potentially misappropriateable information produced in credit
and debit card receipts." Id. at 820. To that
end, it provides that "[n]o person that accepts credit
cards or debit cards for the 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." 15 U.S.C.
§ 1681c(g)(1). Each willful violation entitles consumers
to recover either "any actual damages sustained ... as a
result" of the violation or statutory damages of between
$100 and $1, 000. Id. § 1681n(a)(1)(A).
Meyers Z, the facts of this case are simple and
undisputed. On February 10, 2015, Meyers was given a copy of
his receipt after dining at Nicolet Restaurant of de Pere in
de Pere, Wisconsin. He noticed that Nicolet's receipt did
not truncate the expiration date, as the FACTA requires. Two
months later, Meyers filed a putative class action complaint
in district court, purportedly on behalf of everyone who had
been provided a non-compliant receipt at Nicolet. He sought
only statutory damages.
district court denied Meyers' motion for class
certification. Although the court held that Meyers had
satisfied Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a)'s four
prerequisites, it denied certification because he failed to
establish that class-wide issues would
"predominate" over issues affecting only individual
potential class members. Fed R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3); Meyers
v. Nicolet Rest, ofde Pere, LLC, No. 15-C-444, 2016 WL
1275046, at *7 (E.D. Wis. Apr. 1, 2016).
same time, Meyers was pursuing his appeal in Meyers
I. On September 8, 2016, we affirmed the dismissal of
that case on sovereign immunity grounds. Because we held that
the Tribe was immune from suit, we specifically declined to
address whether Meyers had suffered a sufficient injury for
Article III standing purposes. Meyers I, 836 F.3d at
821-22. We also had no occasion to determine the propriety of
class certification. This appeal presents both questions.
However, because we conclude that Meyers lacks standing, we
do not reach the certification question.
Supreme Court has consistently recognized that "[n]o
principle is more fundamental to the judiciary's proper
role in our system of government than the constitutional
limitation of federal-court jurisdiction to actual cases or
controversies." Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136
S.Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016) (quoting Raines v. Byrd, 521
U.S. 811, 818 (1997)). Standing to sue is an important
component of that limitation. Lujan v. Defenders of
Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992). The requirement that
litigants possess standing ensures "that courts do not
decide abstract principles of law but rather concrete cases
and controversies." Sierra Club v. Marita, 46
F.3d 606, 613 (7th Cir. 1995). In short, "[s]tanding is
a threshold question in every federal case because if the
litigants do not have standing to raise their claims the
court is without authority to consider the merits of the
action." Freedom From Religion Found., Inc. v.
Zielke, 845 F.2d 1463, 1467 (7th Cir. 1988).
establish standing, Meyers "must have suffered an injury
in fact-an invasion of a legally protected interest which is
(a) concrete and particularized, and (b) actual or imminent,
not conjectural or hypothetical." Lujan, 504
U.S. at 560 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
He says that Congress, through the FACTA amendment, has
granted him the legal right to receive a receipt that
truncates the expiration date on his credit card. Nicolet
responds that its violation has not caused Meyers any
parties dispute the application of the Supreme Court's
decision last Term in Spokeo. That case is indeed
highly relevant and worthy of close examination. The
plaintiff there alleged that Spokeo ("a Web site that
allows users to search for information about other
individuals by name, e-mail address, or phone number")
generated a profile of him that contained inaccurate
information. Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1546.
Particularly, the plaintiff alleged that his Spokeo profile
"states that he is married, has children, is in his
50's, has a ...