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Schumacher v. S.C. Data Center, Inc.

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

September 3, 2019

RIA SCHUMACHER, Individually And On Behalf Of All Others, Plaintiffs,


          NANETTE K. LAUGHREY, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Ria Schumacher moves pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59 and 60 for reconsideration of the portions of the Court's order dismissing two of her three claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. For the reasons discussed below, the motion is granted.

         I. Standard

         “Rule 59(e) motions serve the limited function of correcting manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.” United States v. Metro. St. Louis Sewer Dist., 440 F.3d 930, 933 (8th Cir. 2006) (quotation marks and citation omitted). Similarly, Rule 60(b) permits the Court, on motion, to relieve a party from a final judgment or order for mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect, although the “extraordinary relief” for which Rule 60(b) provides “may be granted only upon an adequate showing of exceptional circumstances.” Williams v. York, 891 F.3d 701, 706 (8th Cir. 2018) (quotation marks and citation omitted). In short, “[w]here the district court believes that an earlier decision was reached in error, it may revisit the decision ‘to avoid later reversal.'” Conrod v. Davis, 120 F.3d 92, 95 (8th Cir. 1997) (citation omitted). The Court has “broad discretion in determining whether to grant a motion to alter or amend judgment . . . .” Glob. Network Techs., Inc. v. Reg'l Airport Auth. of Louisville & Jefferson Cty., 122 F.3d 661, 665 (8th Cir. 1997).

         Moreover, where, as here, not all claims are resolved and the district court does not direct the entry of a final judgment as to one or more claims or parties, the decision “‘is subject to revision at any time before the entry of [final] judgment.” K.C.1986 Ltd. P'ship v. Reade Mfg., 472 F.3d 1009, 1017 (8th Cir. 2007) (quoting Fed R. Civ. P. 54(b); see Fed. R. Civ. P 54(b) (“When an action presents more than one claim for relief . . ., the court may direct entry of a final judgment as to one or more, but fewer than all, claims or parties only if the court expressly determines that there is no just reason for delay. Otherwise, any order or other decision, however designated, that adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties does not end the action as to any of the claims or parties and may be revised at any time before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the parties' rights and liabilities.”). “The district court has the inherent power to reconsider and modify an interlocutory order any time prior to the entry of judgment.” K.C.1986, 472 F.3d at 1017 (citation omitted).

         II. Analysis

         Schumacher argues that the Court erred when it dismissed Count III (the failure-to-authorize claim) and Count II (the improper-disclosure claim).

         a. Count III - Failure-to-Authorize Claim

          Ms. Schumacher has alleged that S.C. obtained more information about her than she authorized S.C. to obtain, in violation of 15 U.S.C. Section 1681b(b)(2)(A)(ii). That section provides, in relevant part, that, “a person may not procure a consumer report, or cause a consumer report to be procured, for employment purposes with respect to any consumer, unless . . . the consumer has authorized in writing . . . the procurement of the report by that person.”

         The Court previously concluded that the alleged violation of Section 1681b(b)(2)(A)(ii) “is the type of harm that Congress intended to prevent in enacting the FCRA and is also akin to a traditional common law claim.” Doc. 102, p. 12. The Court reasoned as follows:

“[T]o determine whether an intangible harm counts as an injury in fact, [the Court] must consider Congress' judgment and whether the alleged intangible harm has a close relationship to a harm that traditionally provided a basis for suit in the Anglo-American legal system.” Heglund v. Aitkin County, 871 F.3d 572, 577 (8th Cir. 2017); see also Spokeo[, Inc. v. Robins], 136 U.S. [1540,] 1549 [(2016)].
Congress enacted the FCRA to, among other things “protect consumer privacy.” Safeco Ins. Co. of Am. v. Burr, 551 U.S. 47, 52, 127 S.Ct. 2201, 2205 (2007). The Eighth Circuit has likened an FCRA claim to a common law claim for invasion of privacy. See Auer v. Trans Union, LLC, 902 F.3d 873, 877 (8th Cir. 2018) (noting that “invasion of privacy did provide a basis for suit at common law”) (citing Braitberg v. Charter Commc'ns, Inc., 836 F.3d 925, 930 (8th Cir. 2016)).

Doc. 102, p. 11. “‘[T]he unlawful disclosure of legally protected information'” causes “‘a clear de facto injury'” and “concrete” harm. Long v. Se. Pennsylvania Transportation Auth., 903 F.3d 312, 322 (3d Cir. 2018) (quotation marks and citation omitted)). Thus, the Court concluded that “[i]f Ms. Schumacher were able to support her allegations with evidence, she could establish an intangible injury to her privacy sufficient to confer standing.” Doc. 102, p. 12.

         However, the Court previously found that “[t]he evidence in the record . . . indicates that S.C. received from its third-party provider nothing more than a criminal background check, and Ms. Schumacher plainly authorized the third party's performance of a criminal background search.” Doc. 102, p. 13. Schumacher argues that this finding was in error ...

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