United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
C. WIMES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff Quinton Alame's Motion to Remand
(Doc. #26). The Court, being duly advised of the premises,
denies said motion.
April 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed this putative class action in
the Circuit Court of Clinton County, Missouri, alleging
claims against Defendant Mergers Marketing for violation of
the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1691, et
seq. (“FCRA”). Defendant timely removed
Plaintiff's claims to this Court on May 26, 2017,
asserting federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331. (Doc. #1). Plaintiff seeks remand to state court
on the basis that his claims, while alleged under a federal
statutory scheme, do not confer Article III standing to
proceed in federal court. The Court notes that Defendant
filed a motion to dismiss (Doc. #9) before Plaintiff's
motion to remand (Doc. #26); however, because Plaintiff's
motion is jurisdictional in nature, the Court first considers
Plaintiff's motion. Steel Co. v. Citizens for a
Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 94 (1998).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.”
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am. 511 U.S.
375, 377 (1994). A district court has federal question
subject matter jurisdiction when an action arises under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. 28
U.S.C. § 1331.
action filed in state court may be removed to federal court
on the basis of federal question jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441. However, if subject matter jurisdiction does not
exist, the matter must be remanded. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c);
see also Filla v. Norfolk & S. Ry. Co., 336 F.3d
806, 809 (8th Cir. 2003). The party seeking to “invoke
federal question jurisdiction through removal . . . bears the
burden of proving that jurisdictional threshold is
satisfied” by a preponderance of the evidence. Bell
v. Hershey Co., 557 F.3d 953, 956 (8th Cir. 2009)
(citation omitted); Knudson v. Sys. Painters, Inc.,
634 F.3d 968, 975 (8th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted). Any
doubt about whether removal is proper is resolved in favor of
remand. Wilkinson v. Shackelford, 478 F.3d 957, 963
(8th Cir. 2007) (citation omitted).
motion to remand argues that the allegations of the complaint
are inadequate to confer Article III standing. (Doc. #12). In
opposition, Defendant argues Plaintiff has standing to
proceed in federal court based on his FCRA claims because
Plaintiff alleges more than “a bare procedural
violation.” (Doc. #28).
III standing “is perhaps the most important doctrine of
justiciability.” Gambles v. Sterling Infosystems,
Inc., 234 F.Supp.3d 510, 516 (S.D.N.Y. 2017) (citing
Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 750-51 (1984)). To
establish Article III standing, a plaintiff must establish
the following: (1) injury in fact; (2) the injury is fairly
traceable to the defendant's conduct; and (3) the injury
is likely to be addressed by a favorable judicial decision.
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins 136. S.Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016)
(citing Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S.
555, 560-61 (1992)). For purposes of the instant motion, the
parties do not dispute that Plaintiff's claims are fairly
traceable to defendant, or that the alleged violations of the
FCRA are redressable by statutory damages. The Court's
discussion thus focuses on the injury in fact requirement.
establish injury in fact, a plaintiff must show he suffered
“an invasion of a legally protectable interest that is
concrete and particularized and actual or imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical.” Id. at 1548. In
this case, only the “concreteness element of
Plaintiff's alleged injuries are at issue . . . .”
(Doc. #28 at 3).
concrete injury “must be de facto; that is, it must
actually exist.” Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1548.
“Concrete means an injury falling within the usual
meaning of the term - real, and not abstract.”
Id. Though an injury must be concrete, however,
there exists no requirement that an injury be tangible.
Id. at 1549. Regardless, even if an intangible harm
might confer standing, the fact that “a statute grants
a person a statutory right and purports to authorize that
person to sue to vindicate that right, ” is inadequate;
“Article III standing requires a concrete injury even
in the context of a statutory violation.” Id.
“In other words, even when a statute has allegedly been
violated, Article III requires such violation to have caused
some real - as opposed to purely legal - harm to the
plaintiff.” Robins v. Spokeo, Inc., 867 F.3d
1108, 1112 (9th Cir. 2017).
case, Plaintiff alleges Defendant violated the FCRA by
preparing and producing a consumer report containing
inaccurate information to a third party. Specifically,
Plaintiff alleges Defendant prepared a report which falsely
indicated Plaintiff had resided in 22 different locations
since 2001, leading to “the misleading impression that
Plaintiff frequently moves from place to place.” (Doc.
#1-2 at 3).
FCRA requires that “[w]henever a consumer reporting
agency prepares a consumer report, it shall follow reasonable
procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the
information concerning the individual about whom the report
relates.” 15 U.S.C. § 1681b. “[A]lthough one
of the FCRA's purposes is to protect against inaccurate
credit reporting, not all inaccuracies cause harm or present
any risk of harm.” Davis v. D-W Tool, Inc.,
No. 2:16-cv-04297-NKL, 2017 WL 1036132, at *3 (W.D. Mo. Mar.
17, 2017) (citing Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1549,
Public Citizen v. Dep't of Justice, 491 U.S.
440, 449 (1989)).
as in this case, a plaintiff alleges an intangible harm, the
Court evaluates the “concreteness” ...