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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

E-Filing Privacy Lawsuit Heads to Supreme Court

(CN) - The Supreme Court will determine whether the government may be liable for an e-filing defect that allegedly published the expiration date of attorneys' credit cards to the Internet.

Attorney James Bormes used his credit card to pay the e-filing fee for a lawsuit he filed on behalf of one of his clients. After processing the transaction, the government's pay.gov system sent Bormes a confirmation webpage that allegedly contained his credit card's expiration date.

Bormes filed a class action against the government, claiming that its printing of credit card expiration dates violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Though a federal judge dismissed the case, explaining that the FCRA did not waive the government's sovereign immunity, the Federal Circuit revived Bormes' claims on appeal.

As the case was pending, the 7th Circuit ruled in another case that a jurisdictional provision called the Little Tucker Act waives sovereign immunity for FCRA claims.

Despite this finding, the appellate panel Washington declined to transfer the case to the Chicago-based court.

"Because the Little Tucker Act operates to waive sovereign immunity, the District Court erred in dismissing Bormes' case without considering whether the Little Tucker Act provided an alternative basis for jurisdiction," Chief Judge Randall Rader wrote for the court.

Rader concluded that the FCRA "is a money-mandating statute" that supports federal jurisdiction.

The U.S. Supreme Court granted the government's petition for certiorari on Friday.

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