A District Court judge in Arizona has denied a motion to have a Fair Credit Reporting Act class-action case stayed against a law firm accused of accessing an individual’s credit report without a permissible purpose pending the outcome of a case before the Supreme Court.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Wolf v. Carpenter Hazlewood Delgado & Bolen can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff filed suit accusing the defendant of twice accessing her credit report before filing deciding whether to file a collection lawsuit against her. She claims that the law firm did not have a legitimate business need to access her credit report and that the firm files “hundreds, if not thousands” of lawsuits every year against individuals in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Texas. She sought to include anyone who had their credit report pulled by the defendant without a permissible purpose and against whom the defendant did not first obtain a judgment.
The defendant was asking to stay the case pending the outcome of TransUnion v. Ramirez, for which the Supreme Court will hear arguments next month. TransUnion was sued by Sergio Ramirez for not verifying the names of individuals who had alerts added to their credit reports that indicated they may be on a terrorist watch list and the Supreme Court has been asked to determine whether every member of a class must have Article III standing in order to recover damages, which could significantly impact the future of class actions across the country.
Judge Douglas Rayes of the District Court for the District of Arizona denied the defendant’s request for a stay, determining that the question being asked of the Supreme Court does not relate to a violation of Section 1681b(a) of the FCRA — under which the plaintiff in this case filed her suit.
“Even if the Supreme Court were to reverse the Ninth Circuit and hold that Ramirez’s injuries were atypical of those suffered by the class as a whole, here there is far less daylight between the injuries alleged by Plaintiff and those allegedly suffered by the putative class,” Judge Rayes wrote.