Tag Archives: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court Arguments in Carpenter Show that It May Be Time to Redefine the “Third-Party Doctrine”

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Carpenter v.  U. S., a case that involved the collection of 127 days of Petitioner Thomas Carpenter’s cell site location information as part of an investigation into several armed robberies.  We attended the argument to gain any insights into how the Supreme Court may resolve this … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds That Spokeo Plaintiff Has Standing to Proceed on Claim Over Inaccurate Information

The closely watched lawsuit alleging Spokeo, Inc., violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) may proceed, after a federal appeals court ruled — on remand from the Supreme Court — that publication of the inaccuracies alleged by the plaintiff would constitute a sufficiently “concrete” harm to give the plaintiff standing to sue in federal court.  … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Cert In VPPA Case

Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in In re Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, a case addressing whether static digital identifiers like internet protocol (IP) addresses qualify as personally identifiable information (PII) under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA).  As a result, the Third Circuit’s June 27, 2016 decision in the case—which held that IP addresses … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Issues Highly Anticipated Spokeo Decision

The Supreme Court released its highly anticipated decision yesterday in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, which addresses whether plaintiffs have standing to pursue statutory damages even in the absence of actual harm under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).  As we previously reported, the case was expected to have significant down-stream implications for standing in privacy … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Strikes Down Ordinance Authorizing Warrantless Searches of Hotel Records

On June 22, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Los Angeles v. Patel, striking down a Los Angeles city ordinance that allowed law enforcement to inspect hotel guest registers on demand as facially unconstitutional.  Writing for a 5-4 majority, Justice Sotomayor held that the ordinance violated the Fourth Amendment by failing to provide for … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Consider Whether Actual Harm is Required to Recover Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari and agreed to consider Robins v. Spokeo, Inc., in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that Thomas Robins had adequately alleged Article III standing to sue website operator Spokeo, Inc. (“Spokeo”) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 … Continue Reading

Solicitor General Urges Supreme Court To Leave Spokeo Ruling In Place

In the closely-watched case of Spokeo, Inc. v Robins, the Solicitor General recently filed an amicus brief urging the Court to deny certiorari and leave in place the 9th Circuit’s holding, which could encourage the rising tide of privacy class action litigation.  The Solicitor General’s brief—coauthored by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—argued that the dissemination … Continue Reading

Canada’s Highest Court Rules That Police Can Search Cell Phone Contents After Arrest

By Lala Qadir The Supreme Court of Canada recently issued a 4-3 decision that gave the police a green light in conducting warrantless searches of an arrestee’s cell phone as long as the search is directly related to the suspected crime and records are kept.  Over three dissenting judges that characterized mobile phones as “intensely … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Comcast; Class Improperly Certified

Last week, in Comcast Corp. et. al. v. Behrend et al., the United States Supreme Court reversed the Third Circuit’s decision to certify a class of Comcast subscribers allegedly harmed due to practices of Comcast in the Philadelphia “cluster” that supposedly lessened competition and resulted in supra-competitive prices.  A 5-4 majority of the Court held that … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rejects Plaintiffs’ Efforts to Stipulate Out of Federal Court

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Tuesday that plaintiffs bringing class actions cannot escape federal jurisdiction by stipulating to seek less than $5 million in damages.  In a nine-page opinion, the Court held that plaintiff Greg Knowles had no power to speak for the proposed class when he stipulated in a lawsuit against Standard … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Nixes FISA Surveillance Suit on Standing Grounds

This week, in a 5-4 decision in Clapper et al. v. Amnesty International USA et al., the United States Supreme Court rejected two theories of Article III standing presented by a group of attorneys, human rights, labor, legal, and media organizations who sought a declaration that surveillance under section 1881a of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act … Continue Reading

Government May be Immune to Suits Alleging Violations of FACTA

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the federal government does not always lose its sovereign immunity to damages lawsuits claiming that an agency violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”) by printing the expiration date of a credit card on a receipt issued to a consumer. In a unanimous decision, authored … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Dismisses Edwards

By Mali Friedman and Simon Frankel With all eyes on the Affordable Care Act today, the United States Supreme Court also quietly dismissed a case that could have had a profound impact on a wide range of citizens’ rights litigation—First American Financial Corp. v. Edwards.  Stating only that the writ of certiorari had been “improvidently … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Class Action Suit Stemming From Data Breach

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision that put an end to a proposed class action lawsuit stemming from a data breach.  The suit, Reilly v. Ceridian Corp., was brought by two individuals who were among approximately 27,000 employees at 1,900 companies whose personal and financial … Continue Reading

Supreme Court: Attaching GPS Tracker to Suspect’s Car Constitutes Search For Purposes of Fourth Amendment

The federal government conducted a search for purposes of the Fourth Amendment when it attached a GPS tracking device to a suspect’s car and used the device to track the suspect’s movements for 28 days, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday. All nine justices voted to uphold the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds That Private Plaintiffs May Bring TCPA Claims In Federal Court

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) allows private citizens to seek relief in federal (in addition to state) court.  Overturning an Eleventh Circuit decision that Congress had vested jurisdiction over private TCPA actions exclusively in state courts and disagreeing with numerous other Circuit courts that … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rules CROA Does Not Override Arbitration Clauses

On January 10, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in CompuCredit Corp. et al. v. Wanda Greenwood et al. that the Credit Repair Organizations Act (“CROA”) does not override arbitration clauses in agreements between consumers and credit repair organizations.  The CROA prohibits credit repair organizations (i.e., companies that seek to improve a consumer’s credit history or … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Considers Key Question Under the Privacy Act

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Federal Aviation Administration v. Cooper, a case that raises the question of whether a plaintiff who alleges only mental and emotional distress can establish “actual damages” within the meaning of the federal Privacy Act’s civil remedies provision.  The question is crucial to determining the scope of … Continue Reading

Courts Address Locational Privacy Issues

As we previously noted here and here, locational privacy continues to be an area of ongoing interest.  Yesterday, a New Jersey appeals court ruled that a husband’s privacy rights were not invaded when his wife put a GPS tracking device in his car.  In Villanova v. Innovative Investigations, Inc., A-0654-10T2 (N.J. Sup. Ct. App. Div. … Continue Reading

The Implications of The AT&T Mobility Decision for Web Publishers

In a decision with broad application, the Supreme Court held last Wednesday that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state law rules that classify class action waivers in consumer contracts as unconscionable and therefore unenforceable.  The holding in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, No. 09-893 (April 27, 2011) sweeps away a major barrier to enforcing arbitration agreements … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Justices Seem Skeptical of Vermont Law Restricting Use of Prescriber-Identifiable Data

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument last week in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc.  As described in our earlier post, the case involves a constitutional challenge to a Vermont law prohibiting the use or sale of doctors’ identifying information in prescription records—i.e., prescriber-identifiable data—without the doctor’s express consent. The key legal issue, as framed … Continue Reading

In Snyder v. Phelps, Victory for Funeral Picketers

The Supreme Court has issued its second decision touching on privacy issues in a short amount of time.  In Snyder v. Phelps, the Court held that the First Amendment prevents legal sanction against those who protest with offensive slogans on public property within close proximity to a private event.   The Westboro Baptist Church, a … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds Corporations’ Secrets Not Protected By Freedom of Information Act Exemption for “Personal Privacy”

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), citizens have a right to obtain documents from federal agencies.  However, agencies may withhold documents from request for several reasons, including to protect “personal privacy.”  Does the exemption for “personal privacy” protect the privacy of corporations in addition to that of individuals?  In its recent decision in Federal Communications … Continue Reading
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