United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
REBECCA COURTRIGHT and RAPHAEL SAYE, Individually and on Behalf of All Others, Plaintiffs,
O'REILLY AUTOMOTIVE STORES, INC., et al., Defendants.
ORDER DISMISSING CASE AND REMANDING TO THE CIRCUIT
COURT OF JACKSON COUNTY, MISSOURI
KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
case is a putative class action brought under the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681(b).
Plaintiffs allege Defendants failed to comply with various
federal and state mandates for obtaining and using consumer
reports and investigative consumer reports for employment
before the Court are Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment Based on Lack of Standing (Doc. 124); Plaintiffs'
Motion for Class Certification (Doc. 129); Plaintiffs'
Motion for Remand (Doc. 131); and Plaintiffs' Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment (Doc. 153).
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(h)(3) provides that “[i]f
the Court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.” If a
litigant lacks Article III standing, then a federal court
lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the lawsuit. Iowa
League of Cities v. EPA, 711 F.3d 844, 869 (8th Cir.
III standing requires the plaintiff to have “(1)
suffered an injury in fact, (2) that is fairly traceable to
the challenged conduct of the defendant, and (3) that is
likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial
decision.” Spokeo v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540,
1547 (2016) (citing Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife,
504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992)). To establish an injury in fact,
a plaintiff must have suffered “‘an invasion of a
legally protected interest' that is ‘concrete and
particularized' and ‘actual or imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical.'” Id. at 1548
(citing Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560). “[A] concrete
injury is required even in the context of a statutory
violation.” Id. (citing Summers v. Earth
Island Inst., 555 U.S. 488, 496 (2009)).
March 4, 2014, Plaintiffs filed this case in the Circuit
Court of Jackson County, Missouri. On April 10, 2014,
Defendants removed this case to federal court. On July 14,
2014, Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint (Doc.
March 25, 2015, this case was consolidated with a similar
case, Estrada v. CSK Auto Inc., No. 4:15-cv-0134,
originally filed in the Southern District of California. The
consolidated case was reassigned to this Court on April 23,
First Amended Complaint alleges Defendants violated
Plaintiffs' statutory rights under the FCRA, the
California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act, and
the California Business & Professions Code. First. Am.
Compl. at ¶¶ 80-85, 89-94, 102-06, 109-12, 115-18.
It alleges that as a result of Defendants' wrongful acts,
Plaintiffs “have been injured, including, without
limitation, by having their privacy and statutory rights
invaded in violation of the FCRA and ICRAA.”
Id. at ¶ 14. It seeks statutory damages,
including punitive damages and attorneys' fees, but no
actual damages. Id. at ¶¶ 84-86, 93-95,
107, 111-13, 119.
their initial briefing on this subject, Plaintiffs argued
that they had suffered two concrete injuries in fact, namely
an “invasion of privacy” and an “actionable
informational injury.” Suggestions in Opp'n to
Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J. at 11-15 (Doc. 133). In their
subsequent briefing, however, Plaintiffs did not assert that
they had suffered an injury in fact. See Reply for
Pls.' Mot. for Remand (Doc. 143).
the parties now agree that Plaintiff has not suffered any
injury in fact, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over this dispute. The question then becomes, should the
Court dismiss the case or remand it back to the Circuit Court
of Jackson County, Missouri? There has been some confusion
among district courts whether dismissal or remand is
appropriate where a defendant removes a case to federal court
and the plaintiff lacks standing. See, e.g.,
Woods v. Caremark, No. 15-cv-0535-SRB, 2016 WL
6908108 (W.D. Mo. July 28, 2016) (noting the Eighth Circuit
dismissed a case for lack of standing in Hargis v. Access
Capital Funding, LLC, 674 F.3d 783, 793 (8th Cir. 2012),
but remanded a case back to state court in Wallace v.
ConAgra Foods, Inc., 747 F.3d 1025, 1033 (8th Cir.
2014), in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c)). The
Eighth Circuit has recently reaffirmed that such cases should
be remanded. Hughes v. City of ...