On May 16, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Spokeo v. Robins, establishing important parameters for Article III federal jurisdiction in statutory damages litigation. Eleven days later, on May 27, 2016, with the generous assistance of our supporters, NCLC was able to launch a new webpage for consumer advocates and practitioners dedicated to critical analyses of the Spokeo decision and providing access to helpful briefs and model language, relevant court decisions and other useful practice aids. Since that time, we are to proud to have been able to post over 350 separate documents on the webpage which have provided valuable guidance and information regarding the quickly developing law and practice under Spokeo.
This service was considered to be vital because of the large number of cases stayed in the federal District Courts and Courts of Appeal pending the Spokeo outcome. Once the Spokeo opinion was issued there was a flood of new arguments, hearings and appeals that helped to define the application of the Supreme Court's ruling. Providing quick and easy access to the new decisions broken down by the consumer statutes to which they applied helped to inform and educate the consumer advocacy community.
Now, however, there is a wealth of newly published opinions applying Spokeo that generally are indexed and available through traditional research tools and services. Therefore, effective January 1, 2017, NCLC will no longer be posting published Spokeo decisions but, rather, will focus its efforts on Spokeo-related amicus briefs, litigation advice and assistance and the coordination of litigation arguments and strategies.
We appreciate the wonderful support and feedback NCLC has received for its Spokeo webpage and look forward to continuing to provide useful resources related to the Spokeo decision for the benefit of the consumer advocacy community.
- Plaintiff-Appellant Robins filed a supplemental brief in response to Spokeo’s January 3rd submission on January 7th, 2017
- Defendant-Appellee Spokeo filed a supplemental brief on January 3rd, 2017, calling the 9th Cir. Court of Appeals' attention to two new cases decided since oral argument (Meyers v. Nicolet Restaurant of De Pere, LLC, --- F.3d ----, 2016 WL 7217581 (7th Cir. Dec. 13, 2016 and Soehnlen v. Fleet Owners Insurance Fund, --- F.3d ----, 2016 WL 7383993 (6th Cir. Dec. 21, 2016)
- Plaintiff-Appellant Robins filed a supplemental brief in response to Spokeo’s submittal that the pertinent issue in this case is whether Robins suffered a “real-world” harm. Plaintiff-Appellant instead explains that because Spokeo concedes that the violation of a statutory right can be concrete without any further showing, the issue is whether Section 1681e(b) protects a concrete interest. Robins argues that it does.
- Defendant-Appellee Spokeo filed a supplemental brief arguing that Congress expressed no judgment as to whether the publication of false information in a consumer report automatically constitutes an injury-in-fact, and that Section 1681e(b) does not therefore protect a concrete interest.
- Upon remand to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Plaintiff-Appellant, Thomas Robins, filed a supplemental brief in response to the Court’s request for briefing on whether the particular procedural violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act alleged by Robins entail a degree of risk sufficient to meet the concreteness requirement for Article III standing.
- Defendant-Appellee, Spokeo Inc., also submitted a supplemental brief, arguing that neither the statutory violations alleged nor the factual allegations of the complaint demonstrate that Robins suffered the required concrete harm or faced a certainly impending risk of harm.
- The CFPB has filed an unopposed motion for leave to file a brief as amicus curiae in Robins v. Spokeo, Inc. The CFPB writes in support of Plaintiff-Appellant, arguing that Spokeo’s alleged dissemination of an inaccurate consumer report about Robins is a concrete injury under Article III.
- Experian has filed an unopposed motion for leave to file a brief as amicus curiae in Robins v. Spokeo, Inc.. In its brief, Experian argues that Plaintiff alleges a broad “type” of inaccuracy that cannot without more constitute a concrete harm sufficient to satisfy Article III.
Statute-Specific Spokeo Analyses Excerpted from Updated National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) Legal Treatises
Relevant Spokeo analyses are available below, along with links to the treatises from which they have been extracted.
- Class Actions Spokeo analysis from Consumer Class Actions (760 pp.; in print and online)
Ch. 10.3.3: Typicality—Rule 23(a)(3) PDF || MS Word
- Fair Credit Reporting Act Spokeo analysis from Fair Credit Reporting (1136 pp. in two vol.; online update)
Ch. 18.104.22.168.9a PDF || MS Word
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Spokeo analysis from Fair Debt Collection (1416 pp. in two vol.; online update)
Ch. 4.5: Standing and Persons Protected by the FDCPA PDF || MS Word
Ch. 22.214.171.124: Article III Standing Issues in Cases Involving Contacts at Inconvenient Times or Places PDF || MS Word
Ch. 5.3.3: Establishing Injury in Fact under Spokeo for a Debt Collector’s Failure to Provide a Proper Debt Collection Notice PDF || MS Word
Ch. 126.96.36.199a: Article III Standing Issues in Cases Involving Third-Party Contacts and Other FDCPA Protections of Privacy PDF || MS Word
Ch. 5.4.8: Establishing Injury in Fact under Spokeo for Conduct Serving to Harass, Oppress, or Abuse PDF || MS Word
Ch. 188.8.131.52: Establishing Injury in Fact under Spokeo for a Debt Collector’s Violation of § 1692e(11) PDF || MS Word
Ch. 184.108.40.206 A Consumer Plaintiff Claiming Deception Must Plead Injury in Fact under Spokeo PDF || MS Word
Ch. 5.5.4: Establishing injury in fact under Spokeo for a debt collector’s overstatement of the amount of the debt PDF || MS Word
Ch. 5.6.9 Establishing Injury in Fact under Spokeo for Unfair or Unconscionable Collection Methods PDF || MS Word
Ch. 5.7: Establishing Injury in Fact under Spokeo for a Debt Collector’s Failure to Provide a Proper Debt Collection Notice PDF || MS Word
Ch. 5.9.4 Establishing Injury in Fact under Spokeo for Lawsuits in Distant Forums PDF || MS Word
Ch. 10.4.1.2A Standing PDF || MS Word
- Mortgage Lending
Ch. 7.4.5 PDF || MS Word
- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (mortgage servicing provisions)
Ch. 220.127.116.11: Spokeo analysis from Foreclosures and Mortgage Servicing PDF || MS Word
- Truth in Lending Spokeo analysis from Truth in Lending (1650 pp. in two vol.; online update)
Ch. 11: Standing PDF || MS Word
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act Spokeo analysis from Federal Deception Law (496 pp.; online update)
Ch. 6.9.2a: Article III Standing PDF || MS Word
The treatises are available in print and online. The online versions include additional pleadings and primary source material, and feature frequent updates, full text search, live links, and the ability to copy/paste excerpts, Subscriptions are available as print and online or online-only, and to individual titles or to the complete 20 treatise set. Visit: www.nclc.org/bookstore.
- The Supreme Court’s Spokeo Decision: Less Than Meets the Eye by NCLC attorney Charles Delbaum, May 23, 2016.
- In-depth overall analysis of Spokeo’s requirements prepared by Gupta-Wessler PLLC, May 2016. NACA members can access the analysis directly at http://www.consumeradvocates.org/spokeo-resources. Others can seek permission to download the analysis from the Gupta Wessler Law firm through their website.
- Storm v. Paytime, Inc. NACA Motion for Leave to File an Out of Time Spokeo Amicus Brief-3rd Circuit Court of Appeals
- Winehouse v. GC Services LP, FDCPA Class Action Complaint with Spokeo allegations filed in E.D.N.Y.
- Model TCPA Injury Allegations PDF || MS Word
- Perrill v. Equifax Amended FCRA Complaint with Spokeo Allegations (W.D. TX)
- Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins Supreme Court Decision, May 16, 2016.
- Still Standing After Spokeo, Stuart Rossman, Trial Magazine article, Feb. 2017