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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, February 23, 2015

No Supreme Court review of credit card receipt information decision

By Richard A. Roth, J.D.

The Supreme Court will not consider whether a merchant willfully violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act when it electronically generated a credit card receipt that included the month, but not the year, during which a consumer’s credit card expired. The consumer claimed this willfully violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act ban on including a card expiration date on a receipt electronically printed at the point of sale. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit declined to decide whether there was any FCRA violation, saying instead that any violation that might have been found would not have been willful (see Nicaj v. Shoe Carnival, Inc., consolidated with Redman v. RadioShack Corporation, discussed at Banking and Finance Law Daily, Sept. 22, 2014).

Whether a merchant’s violation is willful is important because statutory damages of up to $100 per violation are available to a consumer in the case of a willful violation, even if actual damages cannot be proved. On the other hand, if a merchant only is negligent, a consumer is required to prove damages in order to recover.

A decision by the Seventh Circuit or the Supreme Court that including the expiration month is a violation would have been significant in future litigation even if it ultimately did not benefit the consumer in this case. It could be decided that Shoe Carnival had violated the FCRA but had not done so willfully because “expiration date” had not previously been interpreted. Such a decision would have made it difficult for a merchant in the future to claim the same violation was not willful. However, neither court was willing to decide whether there was a violation.

The petition was Dkt. No. 14-716.

Supreme Court docket. For details about this and other petitions and cases pending before the Supreme Court, please consult this list of selected banking and finance law cases awaiting decision in the 2014 term.

Attorneys: Curtis Charles Warner (Warner Law Firm, LLC) for Sulejman Nicaj. Aaron D. Vann Oort (Faegre Baker Daniels LLP) for Shoe Carnival, Incorporated

Companies: Shoe Carnival, Incorporated

MainStory: TopStory CreditDebitGiftCards FairCreditReporting

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