United States District Court, D. Nevada
DAVID LEONI, and all similarly situated individuals, Plaintiffs,
EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS INC., Defendant.
RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
David Leoni (“Leoni” or “Plaintiff”)
sues Defendant Experian Information Solutions, Inc.
(“Experian” or “Defendant”) for
alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
(“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq. Before
the Court are several motions/appeals: Plaintiff’s
Appeal of the Magistrate Judge’s October 9, 2018 Order,
ECF No. 89, Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment,
ECF No. 90, Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment,
ECF No. 98, Plaintiff’s Motion for Class Certification,
ECF No. 94, Plaintiff’s Motions to Seal, ECF Nos. 92,
96, 117, Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike, ECF No. 119,
Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to File Supplemental
Evidence, ECF No. 125, and Defendant’s Motions to Seal,
ECF Nos. 100, 103, and 114. For the reasons stated below the
Court grants in part and denies in part Plaintiff’s and
Defendant’s respective motions for summary judgment,
denies Plaintiff’s Motion for class certification, and
grants all motions to seal. The remaining motions and appeals
are dismissed as moot.
Leoni sued Defendant Experian Information Solutions on May
18, 2017. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff filed his operative First
Amended Complaint on September 28, 2017. The original
complaint also named Military Star as a Defendant, however
Plaintiff’s amended complaint terminated Military
Star’s presence in this action. ECF No. 17. In the
amended complaint, Plaintiff asserts one cause of action for
violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) on behalf
of Leoni and a proposed class and a second cause of action as
to the named plaintiff only for Defendant Experian’s
alleged FCRA violations.
both parties move for summary judgment. ECF Nos. 90, 98. Both
parties have opposed and filed corresponding replies. ECF
Nos. 109, 110, 112, 115. Plaintiff has also filed an appeal
of the Honorable Cam Ferenbach’s prior order on October
10, 2018 denying Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel. ECF No.
89. Defendant has opposed that appeal. ECF No. 101. In
addition, Plaintiff has also filed three motions to seal or
redact portions of the record, a motion to strike or leave to
seek surreply to Defendant’s motion for summary
judgment, a motion for leave to submit supplemental evidence
regarding the appeal of the Court’s October 10, 2018
order, and a motion for class certification pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 that are also now before the Court. ECF Nos.
92, 94, 96, 117, 119. Defendant has responded to both the
motion for class certification and two of the motions to
seal. ECF Nos. 104, 105, 106. Finally, Defendant has also
filed three motions to seal. ECF No. 100 103, 114.
Court finds the following facts to be undisputed.
about March 22, 2011, Plaintiff filed for Chapter 13
Bankruptcy in Nevada. Leoni’s debt obligation to
nonparty Military Star was scheduled in the bankruptcy. On
May 13, 2016, Leoni’s Chapter 13 Plan was confirmed,
and Leoni’s debt to Military Star was discharged on
August 1, 2016. On August 31, 2016, Leoni requested and
received a copy of his Experian consumer disclosure pursuant
to 15 U.S.C. §1681g(a). The initial Experian consumer
disclosure listed in its trade line for Military Star that
the recent balance was “$5, 932 as of 5/27/2013”
and listed the account’s status as: “Petition for
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy/Never late. $5932 written off.”
ECF No. 90, Ex. 4. Below the account history was a note that
the consumer: “filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy on Mar 31,
2011.” ECF No. 90, Ex. 4. Leoni sent a dispute letter
dated October 20, 2016 to the consumer reporting agency
Experian. The letter stated in part: “My credit report
shows you are inaccurately reporting balances owed for the
month of May 2013 on this account . . . .[t]his information
is incorrect because I owed a $0 balance at the time this was
reported . . . I performed all obligations required to
Military Star.” ECF No. 90, Ex. 4. On November 7, 2016,
Experian contacted Military Star and sent it an ACDV
(automated consumer dispute verification) form regarding
Plaintiff’s dispute. Military Star responded and sent
its ACDV response to Experian on or about November 8, 2016.
On November 24, 2016, Experian mailed Leoni the results of
reinvestigation. The Military Star tradeline correctly listed
the balance owed as $0, and correctly noted that the status
of the account was “[d]ischarged through Bankruptcy
Chapter 13.” However, the account history stated that
the debt had been “included in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy on
Nov 08, 2016, ” which was not the date on which
Plaintiff had actually filed his bankruptcy petition.
parties dispute the legal effect of the circumstances
judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with the affidavits, if any, show “that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.’ Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a); accord Celotex Corp. v. Catrett 477 U.S. 317,
322 (1986). When considering the propriety of summary
judgment, the court views all facts and draws all inferences
in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.
Gonzalez v. City of Anaheim, 747 F.3d 789, 793 (9th
movant has carried its burden, the non-moving party
“must do more than simply show that there is some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts . . . . Where the
record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of
fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no genuine
issue for trial.” Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S.
372, 380 (2007) (alteration in original) (quotation marks
omitted). It is improper for the Court to resolve genuine
factual disputes or make credibility determinations at the
summary judgment stage. Zetwick v. Cty. of Yolo, 850
F.3d 436, 441 (9th Cir. 2017) (citations omitted).
Class Certification Legal Standard
order to qualify for class certification, the proposed class
must meet all the requirements of Federal Rule of Procedure
23(a) and at least one of the requirements of Rule 23(b).
Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a), (b). The proponents of the class bear the
burden of demonstrating that all the prerequisites for class
designation are met. See Meyer v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs.,
LLC, 707 F.3d 1036, 1041 (9th Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 707
F.3d 1036, (2013). Although a court should not engage in a
trial on the merits at the class certification stage,
“[t]he class determination generally involves
considerations that are enmeshed in the factual and legal
issues comprising the plaintiffs cause of action.”
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338, 351, (2011)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted). The four
threshold requirements under Rule 23(a) are that:
(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is
(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are
typical of the claims or ...