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Martinez v. Triple S Properties

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Southern Division

April 16, 2019

ELIZABETH MARTINEZ, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
TRIPLE S PROPERTIES, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING CLASS CERTIFICATION

          ROSEANN A. KETCHMARK, JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification. (Doc. 91.) The motion has been fully briefed, and the Court has heard oral argument. (Doc. 92; Doc. 99; Doc. 125; Doc. 149.) After careful consideration and for the reasons below, the motion is DENIED.

         Background

         Plaintiffs allege that Defendant, an owner of residential rental properties, failed to give Plaintiffs certain disclosures after it took adverse action against them based on consumer reports in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681m(a) (“FCRA”). (Doc. 1-1 ¶¶ 54-61; Doc. 92 at 6.) Specifically, Plaintiffs claim that Defendant took adverse actions based on their consumer reports but never gave them the required “post-adverse-action” disclosures. Plaintiffs claim they were harmed without these notices because they lost the opportunity to respond. Defendant admits it did not have a practice of sending out adverse-action notices prior to receiving notice of this lawsuit. (Doc. 102 at 19.) Plaintiffs seek to certify the following class:

All persons residing in Missouri who, within the five years preceding the filing of this petition who [sic],
(a) submitted a lease application to Defendant, and
(b) Defendant obtained a consumer credit report[, ] and
(c) Defendant took adverse action as to their lease application based upon typthe contents of their consumer credit report[, ] and
(d) who did not receive any FCRA adverse action notice from Defendant.
Excluded from the above class definition are Defendants, any entity in which any Defendants has [sic] a controlling interest, any of the officers, directors, or employees of Defendants, the legal representatives, heirs, successors, and assigns of Defendants, or their immediate family and Plaintiffs' counsel.

(Doc. 91 at 1.)

         Standing

         Standing is a threshold jurisdictional issue that the Court must address first even though the parties did not address it. See Schumacher v. S.C. Data Ctr., Inc., 912 F.3d 1104, 1105 (8th Cir. 2019). Under Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, “a plaintiff must show that he or she suffered an invasion of a legally protected interest that is concrete and particularized and actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.” 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1548 (2016) (quotation marks and citation omitted). In the FCRA context, a plaintiff must allege more than a “bare procedural violation, divorced from any concrete harm.” Id. at 1549.

         Here, the three named plaintiffs have demonstrated an Article III injury by submitting affidavits stating that they would have corrected errors in their consumer reports and reapplied for a lease if they had received proper FCRA notices.[1] (Doc. 107-1 ¶¶ 9-11; Doc. 107-2 ¶¶ 9-11; Doc. 107-3 ...


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