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Halperin v. Interpark Inc.

November 29, 2007

KARL L. HALPERIN, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF A CLASS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
INTERPARK INC., AND DOES 1-10, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Elaine E. Bucklo United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Karl L. Halperin has brought a class action complaint against defendants Interpark Inc. ("Interpark") and Does 1-10 alleging violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act ("FACTA") amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681c(g) ("FCRA"). Halperin has now moved to certify a class defined as all persons to whom Interpark . . . provided an electronically printed receipt at the point of sale or transaction, in a transaction occurring in Illinois after December 4, 2006, which receipt displays either (a) more than the last five digits of the person's credit card or debit card number, and/or (b) the expiration date of the person's credit or debit card.

Defendant Interpark opposes class certification on the grounds that a class action will not result in the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy and plaintiff is not an appropriate class representative. For the following reasons, plaintiff's motion is granted.

I.

On April 11, 2007 Halperin was issued an electronic receipt from an automated payment machine at an InterPark garage in Chicago, Illinois. The receipt contained the last four digits of his card number and the card's expiration date. Section 1681c(g) prohibits merchants from giving customers electronically printed receipts which display "more than the last 5 digits of the card number or expiration date."

II.

In assessing Halperin's motion for class certification, I must determine whether the four prerequisites of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) are met, and whether plaintiff can maintain his suit under Rule 23(b)(1), (2), or (3). The four prerequisites of Rule 23(a) are that (1) the proposed class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable; (2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class; (3) the claims of the representative party are typical of the claims of the class; and (4) the representative party will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class. FED. R. CIV. P. 23(a). Plaintiff's motion for class certification proceeds under Rule 23(b)(3), which requires that "questions of law or fact common to the members of the class predominate over any questions affecting only individual members, and that a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy." FED. R. CIV. P. 23(b)(3). I address each of these requirements below.

A. Numerosity

In order to satisfy Rule 23's numerosity requirement, a class must be "so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable." FED. R. CIV. P. 23(a)(1). Here, defendant does not contest that Halperin's proposed class would have, by defendant's estimate, at least 200 members and that over 900,000 qualifying receipts may have been printed. This estimate satisfies the numerosity requirement. See, e.g., McCabe v. Crawford & Co., 210 F.R.D. 631, 643 (N.D. Ill. 2002) ("Although there is no 'bright line' test for numerosity, a class of forty is generally sufficient to satisfy Rule 23(a)(1).") (citations omitted). I find this requirement met.

B. Commonality

The second requirement of Rule 23(a) is that "there are questions of law or fact common to the class." FED. R. CIV. P. 23(a)(2). The commonality requirement is satisfied by showing "a common nucleus of operative fact." Keele v. Wexler, 149 F.3d 589, 594 (7th Cir. 1998) (citation omitted). In this case, the common nucleus of operative fact would be receiving the faulty receipts from defendant. Defendants do not dispute that plaintiff's proposed class satisfies the commonality requirement.

C. Typicality

The third requirement of Rule 23(a) is that "the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class." FED. R. CIV. P. 23(a)(3). "'A plaintiff's claim is typical if it arises from the same event or practice or course of conduct that gives rise to the claims of other class members and his or her claims are based on the same legal theory.'" De La Fuente v. Stokely-Van Camp Inc., 713 F.2d 225, 232 (7th Cir. 1983) (quoting Herbert Newberg, NEWBERG ON CLASS ACTIONS ยง 1115(b) (1977)). Again, defendant has presented no arguments why Halperin's claim is not typical of those of the class. Plaintiff's claims are the same as those of other class ...


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