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Kevin W. Rouse, Emily M. Rouse, and Brian v. Hennepin County

May 13, 2013

KEVIN W. ROUSE, EMILY M. ROUSE, AND BRIAN L. RANWICK, ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
HENNEPIN COUNTY, DEFENDANT. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INTERVENOR, HENNEPIN COUNTY, THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF,
v.
QUADRANT SYSTEMS, LLC, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Donovan W. Frank United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings brought by Defendant Hennepin County ("Defendant") (Doc. No. 41). For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies the motion.

BACKGROUND

Defendant's Taxpayer Services Department is organized into several divisions, including the "service centers division," which is the relevant division in this lawsuit. Plaintiffs allege that Defendant violated provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq., and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act ("FACTA"), which amended the FCRA, by issuing receipts bearing full, unredacted credit card expiration dates. (See generally Doc. No. 2, Am. Compl. ¶¶ 19-25.)*fn1

Specifically with respect to the named Plaintiffs, the Second Amended Complaint alleges that on separate occasions between the dates of March 16, 2011 and February 1, 2012, Plaintiff Kevin Rouse purchased a Notary Registration, paid a sales tax for an automobile, purchased a driver's license, purchased lien notices for three cars, and purchased license tabs from Defendant; that Plaintiff Kevin Rouse used his MasterCard credit card to pay for these purchases; and that Defendant provided receipts with an un-redacted expiration date. (Id. ¶¶ 34-37.) In addition, on December 16, 2011, Plaintiff Emily M. Rouse purchased a passport from Defendant, used her Visa credit card to pay, and Defendant provided a receipt with an un-redacted expiration date. (Id. ¶ 38.) Finally, on February 9, 2012, Plaintiff Brian L. Ranwick purchased photos from Defendant, used his Master Card credit card to pay, and Defendant provided a receipt with an un-redacted expiration date. (Id. ¶ 40.)

After filing the Amended Complaint in February 2012, Plaintiffs served third-party subpoenas to credit card companies and technology vendors. (Doc. No. 51, Lyons Decl. ¶¶ 2-8.) Defendant filed the present motion for judgment on the pleadings on January 11, 2013, seeking dismissal of Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint. (Doc. No. 41.) On February 1, 2013, the parties submitted a Stipulation to Amend Plaintiffs' Amended Class Action Complaint. (Doc. No. 48.) Pursuant to the stipulation, Plaintiffs were permitted to file the Second Amended Class Action Complaint. (Doc. No. 52.) In the Second Amended Class Action Complaint, Plaintiffs again claimed that Defendant's issuance of credit card receipts containing expiration dates constitutes a willful violation of the FCRA and FACTA. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 17-33, 51-59.) Plaintiffs also seek to represent a class of similarly situated individuals. (Id. ¶¶ 43-50.)

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

A party may move for judgment on the pleadings at any point after the close of pleadings but early enough to avoid a delay of trial. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c). A court evaluates a motion for judgment on the pleadings under the same standard as a motion brought under Rule 12(b)(6). See Ashley County v. Pfizer, 552 F.3d 659, 665 (8th Cir. 2009); Westcott v. City of Omaha, 901 F.2d 1486, 1488 (8th Cir. 1990).

In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court assumes all facts in the complaint to be true and construes all reasonable inferences from those facts in the light most favorable to the complainant. Morton v. Becker, 793 F.2d 185, 187 (8th Cir. 1986). In doing so, however, a court need not accept as true wholly conclusory allegations, Hanten v. Sch. Dist. of Riverview Gardens, 183 F.3d 799, 805 (8th Cir. 1999), or legal conclusions drawn by the pleader from the facts alleged. Westcott, 901 F.2d at 1488. A court may consider the complaint, matters of public record, orders, materials embraced by the complaint, and exhibits attached to the complaint in deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp., 186 F.3d 1077, 1079 (8th Cir. 1999).

To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 545 (2007). Although a complaint need not contain "detailed factual allegations," it must contain facts with enough specificity "to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id. at 555. As the United States Supreme Court recently reiterated, "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements," will not pass muster under Twombly. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 550 U.S. 544, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). In sum, this standard "calls for enough fact[s] to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of [the claim]." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.

II. Defendant's Motion

Defendant moves for judgment on the pleadings on three ...


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