Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Tessa Owen, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly v. L'occitane

March 8, 2013

TESSA OWEN, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED PLAINTIFF,
v.
L'OCCITANE, INC., AND DOES 1 THROUGH 10, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Margaret M. Morrow United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND

On September 10, 2012, Tessa Owen filed this putative class action in Los Angeles Superior Court against L'Occitane, Inc. ("L'Occitane") and certain fictitious defendants.*fn1 On November 16, 2012, L'Occitane removed the action, invoking the court's jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 ("CAFA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d).*fn2 Owen has now filed a motion to remand.*fn3 L'Occitane opposes the motion.*fn4

Pursuant to Rule 78 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 7-15, the court finds the motion suitable for decision without a hearing.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

A. The Complaint

The complaint alleges claims for negligence, invasion of privacy, unlawful intrusion and violation of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, California Civil Code § 1747.08 et seq., a consumer protection statute that prohibits business from soliciting and recording in connection with credit card transactions consumers' personal identifying information ("PII"), such as their addresses and telephone numbers.*fn5 Owen alleges that L'Occitane requests and records its consumers' PII in connection with credit card transactions at retail stores,*fn6 then uses that information for marketing and solicitation purposes unrelated to the transactions.*fn7 Owen asserts that L'Occitane sales clerks request that customers provide their PII in a way that suggests provision of the information is mandatory for purposes of the transaction.*fn8 Owen alleges that a L'Occitane sales employee asked for her PII (including, but not limited to, her address) in connection with a credit card purchase she made at a retail store in Los Angeles.*fn9 The complaint does not specifically allege that L'Occitane asked for and/or recorded the PII in connection with a "loyalty" or "rewards" program.

Owen pleads claims for (1) violation of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act; (2) common law negligence; (3) invasion of privacy; and (4) unlawful intrusion. She sues on her own behalf and on behalf of a class of similarly-situated people. The complaint alleges that "the precise number of consumers at issue[ ] has not been determined," but "Plaintiff believes that Defendant requested and/or recorded [PII] of many hundreds of consumers within the State of California during the relevant time period."*fn10

The complaint seeks civil penalties within the range prescribed by § 1747.08(e), "in an appropriate amount to be determined at trial"; compensatory damages "according to proof"; punitive damages; declaratory relief; injunctive relief; restitution and disgorgement of any ill-gotten profits; interest; costs of suit; attorneys' fees under California's Private Attorney General statute, California Code of Civil Procedure § 1021.5 or as otherwise allowed by law; and "such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper."*fn11

Owen served the summons and complaint on L'Occitane on September 19, 2012.*fn12

B. The October 25 Discovery Requests and November 1 Documents

On October 25, 2012, Owen sent L'Occitane an informal discovery request asking it to produce, among other items, the number of consumers whose PII L'Occitane had collected in California during the limitations period, as well as information concerning L'Occitane's "rewards program."*fn13 In response to the discovery request, L'Occitane conducted a preliminary investigation and ascertained that its employees had asked for and obtained the PII of more than 5,000 customers in connection with its "Passport to Provence" loyalty program.*fn14 L'Occitane asserts that it instructs employees to record customer PII if the customer indicates he or she would like to join the Passport to Provence program.*fn15

On November 1, 2012, Owen sent L'Occitane a letter confirming her position that L'Occitane was liable under the Song-Beverly Act for collecting customer PII in connection with the Passport to Provence program.*fn16 That same day, Owen sent L'Occitane a draft joint initial status report, which stated her position that L'Occitane was liable under the Act whether or not its collection of consumer PII was related to the Passport to Provence program.*fn17

C. Notice of Removal

L'Occitane removed the action to this court on November 16, 2012, invoking the court's jurisdiction under CAFA. The notice of removal alleges that the diversity requirement set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2) is met because Owens is a California resident, and L'Occitane is a New York corporation.*fn18

L'Occitane acknowledges that the complaint does not allege a specific total amount in controversy.*fn19 To demonstrate that the amount in controversy requirement is satisfied, it cites other cases where civil penalties have been awarded under § 1747.08(e) to show that the penalty can be as much as $1,000 per violation.*fn20 L'Occitane asserts that the court can determine that the amount in controversy exceeds the $5,000,000 jurisdictional threshold set forth in § 1332(d) by multiplying the $1,000 per violation civil penalty available under § 1747.08(e) by the number of customers who have participated in the Passport to Provence program, which exceeds 5,000.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard Governing Removal ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.