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Hullinger v. Park Grove Inn, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee

June 19, 2018

SUSAN HULLINGER, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated. Plaintiff,
v.
PARK GROVE INN, INC., et al., Defendants.

          POPLIN, JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          REEVES, JUDGE

         Plaintiff brings this class action against Park Grove Inn, Inc., alleging defendant violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) by printing the first six and last four digits of her credit card number, as well as the expiration date, on her receipt.

         Defendant moves for dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, stating that plaintiff has not alleged an injury in fact and lacks standing to pursue her claim.

         This court will join the majority of federal courts holding that a complaint asserting a mere violation of FACTA without factual allegations of any actual or increased material risk of identity theft does not confer Article III standing. Accordingly, defendants' motion to dismiss is granted.

         I. Background

         On September 10, 2015, Hullinger made a purchase at Park Grove Inn using her credit card. The receipt for the purchase displayed the first six and the last four digits of the credit card account number as well as the expiration date of the credit card.

         On September 6, 2017, Hullinger filed suit alleging that Park Grove Inn violated FACTA which prohibits printing more than the last five digits of a credit card number or the expiration date on a receipt. Hullinger alleges she was subjected to a heightened risk of identity theft and that her private information was exposed as a result of this FACTA violation. Hullinger demands statutory damages, punitive damages, costs, and attorney fees.

         II. Standard of Review

         A motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) can attack either a plaintiff's jurisdictional claim on its face or the factual basis for the claim. Here, defendant makes a facial challenge to the Complaint's allegations. In facial challenges, the court will take all allegations made by the plaintiff as true, and determine whether the facts as stated provide a basis for federal jurisdiction. Fleming v. Brennan, 2015 WL 5174043 at *2 (W.D.Tenn. Sept. 3, 2015).

         Defendant also seeks dismissal of the Complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Faced with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court must (1) construe the complaint in the light most favorable to plaintiff, (2) accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint, and (3) determine if there is any set of facts plaintiff could prove which would entitle her to relief. Meador v. Cabinet for Human Resources, 902 F.2d 474, 475 (6th Cir. 990).

         III. Analysis

         A. Article III Standing

         Standing is “the threshold question in every federal case, and if the plaintiff lacks standing, the federal court lacks jurisdiction. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 498 (1975). In essence, the question of standing “is whether the litigant is entitled to have the court decide the merits of the dispute or of particular issues.” Id. Standing under Article III has three elements. First, the plaintiff must have suffered an “injury in fact” - an invasion of a legally protected interest that is “concrete and particularized, and actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.” Lujan v. Defs. Of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992). Second, the injury must be “fairly traceable to the challenged action of the defendant.” Id. at 561. The burden is on the party invoking federal jurisdiction to demonstrate Article III standing. Stalley v. ...


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