United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MATTHEW F. KENNELLY United States District Judge
Pavone has sued the Law Offices of Anthony Mancini, Ltd.
(Mancini), alleging that Mancini violated section 2722 of the
Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), 18 U.S.C. §
2722(a). In earlier rulings, the Court dismissed a number of
Pavone's claims but declined to enter summary judgment
against him on his claim that that Mancini obtained and used
his driver's license number in violation of the DPPA.
Familiarity with these rulings is assumed. See generally
Pavone v. Law Ofcs. of Anthony Mancini, Ltd., No. 15 C
1538, 2016 WL 4678311 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 7, 2016).
summary judgment decision, the Court deferred ruling on the
question of Pavone's standing to sue under Article III of
the United States Constitution in light of the Supreme
Court's recent decision in Spokeo, Inc. v.
Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016). After considering
additional briefs, the Court found that Pavone is, in fact,
alleging the type of injury that Congress sought to prevent
and redress in the DPPA, specifically, injury arising from
invasion of personal privacy. Pavone v. Law Ofcs. of
Anthony Mancini, Ltd., No. 15 C 1538, 2016 WL
7451628, at *2 (N.D. Ill.Dec. 28, 2016). The Court also
concluded that "a violation of the right to privacy
results in the sort of harm that provides an appropriate
basis for a lawsuit." Id. The Court further
concluded that "an injury suffered by an individual that
results from obtaining and using his private information in
violation of the DPPA-the type of injury that Pavone claims
to have suffered-is sufficiently concrete and particularized
to confer Article III standing." Id. The Court
also concluded that this is "the type of injury that can
be redressed by a favorable judicial decision in Pavone's
case, namely by an award of damages." Id. The
Court ruled that because Pavone had provided evidence
sufficient to permit a finding that Mancini's alleged
violation of the DPPA caused him this sort of injury, Mancini
was not entitled to summary judgment on the basis of lack of
however, did not dispose of Mancini's challenge to
Pavone's standing. Mancini asserted a "factual"
challenge to standing (as opposed to a facial challenge),
meaning that Pavone must establish standing by a
preponderance of the evidence. Id. Pavone's
deposition testimony about his injury concerned all of his
DPPA claims as a group and did not parse out the single
claim-regarding obtaining and using his driver's license
number-that the Court determined could survive. The Court
concluded that for this reason, an evidentiary hearing would
be required. Id.
evidentiary hearing was held on February 17, 2017. Two
witnesses were called to testify: Pavone and David Macek, an
investigator hired by defense counsel.
testified that he was in an automobile accident in January
2015. Later that month, he received in the mail advertising
material from Mancini. This included a letter from Mancini
stating that he had become aware that Pavone "may have
been in [sic] an innocent victim of an automobile accident,
and . . . may have suffered serious injuries as a result of
the accident." Mancini offered to meet with Pavone
without charging him a fee to advise him of his legal rights
and to negotiate to have his car repaired "at no
additional charge." Mancini's letter indicated that
further representation beyond that would be on a contingent
fee basis. He also included a brochure describing the
services offered by the law firm.
Mancini's solicitation was an apparently complete and
unredacted copy of a Illinois Traffic Crash Report prepared
by a Schaumburg police officer. It included Pavone's full
name and home address, telephone number, date of birth,
driver's license number, and detailed identifying
information about his vehicle. it also included the names,
addresses, and dates of birth of the car's other
occupants, Pavone's wife and their child. It included the
same information (name, address, date of birth, driver's
license number, telephone number, and vehicle information)
regarding the other driver involved in the accident, along
with the fact that this individual had been issued a citation
for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
testified that when he realized that the Mancini law firm had
his driver's license number, "I thought I was a
victim of identity theft. I was angry and frustrated because
I didn't provide this information to this guy, why is he
soliciting me." Pavone further testified that he was
"very upset" and did not understand why a stranger
would have his driver's license number and the other
information in the report, including his family's names
and dates of birth. "[I]t was everything out there
without my permission. I didn't provide it to this
guy." With regard to his driver's license, Pavone
stated that he keeps it on his person at all times and does
not share it "unless it's for a government agency
that requires it or someone I'm doing business with,
" such as when the police officer directed him to show
his license at the accident scene. Regarding Mancini's
possession of his driver's license number, Pavone stated
that he was very concerned because he did not know how
Mancini might have stored the information and was afraid it
could be misused or misplaced.
cross-examination, Pavone said that before receiving the
materials from Mancini, he had received a copy of the crash
report from a different law firm. He said that both instances
made him equally upset. He acknowledged that he is not
claiming any physical injuries and that he has not seen a
psychiatrist for his claimed distress.
also acknowledged that he has received traffic citations in
the past. He said he was unaware of whether the clerk of
court stored his information in public records as a result of
those traffic citations. Defense counsel read a driver's
license number to Pavone from a printout obtained from the
clerk's office of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Pavone said that this was not his correct
driver's license number (it turns out that the
clerk's record had a digit missing). He said that he was
not aware whether his driver's license number-or,
perhaps, an inaccurate driver's license number-was
available at a public access terminal in the court
also acknowledged that in 1991 he had pled guilty to a
criminal charge. He said he was not aware of whether the
clerk of court included his Social Security number in public
records relating to that charge.
regard to the accident, Pavone acknowledged that he had
called the Schaumburg police and that he had given the police
the information on the crash report, including his
driver's license number. That, however, was involuntary.
Under Illinois statute, a driver is required to display his
driver's license when a police officer requests it, and
the statute defines "display" as "the manual
surrender of his license certificate into the hands of the
demanding officer for his inspection thereof." 625 Ill.
Comp. Stat. 5/6-112.
Macek testified that he had been asked by defense counsel to
run a background check on Pavone regarding cases in the Cook
County court system. He went to the Richard J. Daley Center
in Chicago and checked for criminal, civil, and traffic cases
under Pavone's name using a public use terminal. Macek
stated that when a traffic case comes up on the terminal, it
includes the individual's address, driver's license,
and date of birth. Macek said he had looked up criminal case
information but did not recall what it showed. On cross
examination, he ...