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Dione Aguirre v. Amscan Holdings

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA THIRD APPELLATE DISTRICT (Placer)


November 8, 2011

DIONE AGUIRRE, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT,
v.
AMSCAN HOLDINGS, INC. ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND RESPONDENTS.

(Super. Ct. No. SCV22986)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Blease , Acting P. J.

Aguirre v. Amscan Holdings

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

California law prohibits merchants from requesting and recording "personal identification information" as part of a credit card transaction. (Civ. Code, § 1747.08, subd. (a)(2) [Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971].)*fn1 Dione Aguirre brought a class action against Amscan Holdings, Inc., and PA Acquisition, doing business as Party America, alleging that they violated this statute by requesting and recording her ZIP code when she purchased goods with her credit card.

The defendants filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings on the sole ground that a cardholder's ZIP code did not constitute "personal identification information." The trial court granted defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings. In so doing, it relied on the decision in Party City Corp. v. Superior Court (2008) 169 Cal.App.4th 497 for the proposition that a ZIP code is not "personal identification information" within the meaning of section 1747.08 and held that, because no violation of section 1747.08 occurred, Aguirre cannot state a cause of action for unlawful business practices. (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.)

A motion for judgment on the pleadings is analogous to a general demurrer, but may be made after the time to file a demurrer has expired. (Code Civ. Proc., § 438, subd. (f)(2); Ludgate Ins. Co. v. Lockheed Martin Corp. (2000) 82 Cal.App.4th 592, 602.) The trial court's judgment on the order granting a motion for judgment on the pleadings is reviewed independently under the de novo standard of review. (Gerawan Farming, Inc. v. Lyons (2000) 24 Cal.4th 468, 515.)

On appeal, Aguirre contends, and defendants agree, that the judgment should be reversed in light of the California Supreme Court's subsequent opinion in Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc. (2011) 51 Cal.4th 524 (Pineda). In Pineda, the California Supreme Court held a cardholder's ZIP code "constitutes 'personal identification information' as that phrase is used in section 1747.08." (51 Cal.4th at p. 527.) Upon reviewing the "statutory language, as well as the legislative history and evident purpose" of the statute (id. at p. 536), the court held that "requesting and recording a cardholder's ZIP code, without more, violates the [statute]." (Id. at pp. 527-528.) In so ruling, the Pineda court rejected the defendant's contentions that this statutory interpretation violates a merchant's due process rights and renders the statute unconstitutionally vague. (Id. at p. 536.)

We agree with the parties. Accordingly, we shall reverse the judgment.

DISPOSITION

The judgment granting the defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings is reversed. Aguirre shall recover her costs on appeal. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.278 (a)(3)(5).)

We concur: NICHOLSON , J. DUARTE , J.


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