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Bruno v. Equifax Information Services, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 2, 2018

DANIEL BRUNO, Plaintiff,
v.
EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          EDMUND F. BRENNAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The case was before the court on April 4, 2018, for hearing on plaintiff's motion to modify the scheduling order (ECF No. 123) and motion to compel defendant Equifax Information Services, LLC (“Equifax”) to provide further responses to plaintiff's Requests for Production of Documents (ECF No. 138). Attorney Joseph Messer appeared on behalf of plaintiff. Attorneys Zachary McEntyre and Matthew Dawson appeared on behalf of defendant Equifax and attorney Paul Levine appeared on behalf of defendants John McGinley and Robert McGinley. As explained below, both motions are granted in part and denied in part.

         I. Motion to Modify the Scheduling Order

         Plaintiff seeks to modify the court's scheduling order to extend the deadlines for completing discovery, disclosing expert witnesses, and filing dispositive motions. ECF No. 123. For the reasons stated on the record, plaintiff's motion is granted in part. All discovery shall be completed by July 16, 2018. Plaintiff's expert disclosure(s) shall be completed by May 9, 2018, and defendants' expert disclosures shall be completed by June 9, 2018.[1] Plaintiff's request to extend the date for filing dispositive motions is denied.

         II. Motion to Compel

         Plaintiff moves to compel defendant Equifax to provide further responses to 17 requests for production of documents. For the reasons stated below, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         An overarching contention by Equifax in opposing this motion is that plaintiff seeks information that is not relevant to the claims at issue in this action. Thus, some review of the complaint is warranted.

         A. Relevant Background

         This putative class action proceeds on plaintiff's second amended complaint. ECF No. 132. Plaintiff asserts claims for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq. (“FCRA”) against defendants Equifax; Geneva Financial Services, Inc. (“Geneva Inc.”) and its officers Mark Hassan and Robert McGinley; Geneva Motors, Inc. d/b/a Geneva Financial Services (“Geneva Motors”) and its officers Kamies Elhouty and John McGinley; and REBS Supply Inc. d/b/a/ REBS Marketing, Inc. (“REBS”) and its CEO, Andy Mitchell. The crux of plaintiff's complaint is that Equifax improperly furnished his and the proposed class members' credit information to the other defendants, who did not have a proper purpose for obtaining such information.

         Plaintiff alleges that in February 2016, REBS, a marketing company, submitted an order with Equifax for the purchase of “a prescreened list of 10, 000 consumers residing around the 95618 zip code area, with credit scores of 530 to 600 who had ‘no open autos, no open repos' (hereafter “Prescreened List”) for the purpose of a direct marketing mailer which REBS was arranging for Hanlees Nissan Chevrolet.” Id. ¶ 103. According to the complaint, after defendant John McGinley, the Director of Lending and Data Operations for Geneva Motors, inquired about the status of REBS's order, Equifax confirmed that it provided the Prescreened List to “Geneva, ” which forwarded the list to REBS. Id. ¶¶ 106-112, Ex. L.

         Shortly thereafter, plaintiff received a mailed solicitation inviting him to purchase a vehicle from Hanlees Nissan Chevrolet (“Hanlees”) and purporting to “contain an offer of credit from ‘Geneva Financial Services.'” Id. ¶ 123. Plaintiff alleges that the credit solicitation was mailed on behalf of the dealership by defendant REBS using information obtained from the Prescreened List.[2] Id. ¶ 124. Plaintiff subsequently submitted a loan application through the website listed on the solicitation. Id. ¶ 130. He alleges that the following week, he called the phone number listed on the website to inquire about the status of his loan application. Id. ¶ 132. A representative informed plaintiff that the company did not finance vehicles for purchase and that plaintiff would need to contact the dealership. Id. ¶ 132. Notwithstanding that representation, plaintiff eventually received a letter from Geneva Financial Services stating that his “application for an automotive refinance loan” was rejected due to insufficient collateral. Id. ¶¶ 150-51, 154, Ex. Q. Accordingly, plaintiff claims that he was not extended a firm offer of credit, and therefore defendants, with the exception of Equifax, did not have a permissible purpose for obtaining the prescreened list. Id. ¶¶ 155-56.

         As for Equifax, plaintiff alleges it knew the other defendants requested the Prescreened List to use for a direct mail marketing campaign for Hanlees and that they did not have a have a permissible purpose for obtaining the Prescreened List. Id. ¶¶ 143, 145, 162. He further alleges that Equifax failed to maintain reasonable procedures to ensure credit reports were not finished to other entities lacking a permissible purpose for acquiring such information. Id. ¶ 188.

         Plaintiff also alleges that on other occasions Equifax has furnished consumer reports to “Geneva Financial Services, ” which has never had a permissible purpose for obtaining consumer reports. Id. ¶ 206. Appended to the second amended complaint are several credit solicitations, similar to the one plaintiff received, each purporting to extend a firm offer of credit from “Geneva Financial Services.” Id. at Ex. R.

         The complaint alleges the following claims under the FCRA: (1) violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681e against Equifax, Geneva Inc., Geneva Motors, Hanssan, Elhouty, John McGinley, and Robert McGinley; (2) violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681b against all defendants; and (3) violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681q against REBS, Geneva Inc., Geneva Motors, Hassan, Elhouty, and John and Robert McGinley.

         Plaintiff seeks to assert these claims on behalf of himself and two classes: the REBS class and the Geneva Class. Id. at 132. The complaint defines the REBS class as “[t]he ten thousand (10, 000) persons ...


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