Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Supreme Court Adopts Narrow Reading of the CFAA in Van Buren v. United States

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued a decision in Van Buren v. United States, No. 19-783, ruling that a police officer did not violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) when he obtained information from a law enforcement database that he was permitted to access, but did so for an improper purpose.  In so ruling, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Narrows Meaning of TCPA Autodialer Definition

Today, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Facebook v. Duguid, adopting a narrow interpretation of a key definitional term in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and resolving the circuit split we previously described here and here. In effect, the Supreme Court’s opinion means that to qualify as an “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) under the TCPA, a … Continue Reading

Hearing on Consumer Protection During the Pandemic Focuses on FTC’s Equitable Monetary Authority

On February 4, 2021, the House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce held a hearing entitled, “Safeguarding American Consumers: Fighting Scams and Fraud During the Pandemic.”  The hearing focused on the FTC’s ability to obtain equitable monetary relief under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act – an issue that is currently being … Continue Reading

FTC Remedial Power Under Scrutiny at U.S. Supreme Court

On Wednesday, January 13, the Supreme Court heard arguments in AMG Capital Management LLC v. Federal Trade Commission.  This case raises the question whether the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been properly using Section 13(b) of the FTC Act, the provision authorizing requests for preliminary and permanent injunctions where the FTC believes the defendant “is … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Invalidates TCPA Government-Debt Exception

Today, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, which addressed the constitutionality of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  Although the Court splintered in its reasoning—producing four separate opinions—the justices nevertheless coalesced around two core conclusions: (1) the TCPA’s exception for government debt collection calls is unconstitutional, and (2) the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Hears Argument Regarding Constitutionality of TCPA

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument (by telephone) in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, a case that centers on the constitutionality of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and, more specifically, the prohibition on transmitting automated calls or texts to mobile telephone numbers without prior express consent.  Given the litigious environment surrounding … Continue Reading

Standing Issues in Data Breach Litigation: An Overview

As many data breach litigation cases have demonstrated over recent years, the question of a plaintiff’s standing can be quite important to the outcome of each case.  While the Supreme Court has addressed standing issues in several cases with potential applicability in the data breach litigation context, most recently in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins and … Continue Reading

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

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
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