United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. Dow, Jr. United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant Roti Restaurants,
LLC's motion to dismiss  and Plaintiffs Cooper
Lindner's and Kim Smith's motion to remand  this
case to the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) for lack of federal jurisdiction.
For the reasons stated below, Plaintiffs' motion to
remand  is granted, and Defendant's motion to dismiss
 is denied as moot.
dispute is before the Court for the second time. The first
iteration of this lawsuit, Lindner v. Roti Restaurants,
LLC, No. 16-cv-7653 (N.D. Ill.), was short-lived-less
than five months.
basic facts of the dispute are simply recited. On July 26,
2016, Plaintiff Cooper Lindner made a purchase at one of
Defendant's restaurants in downtown Chicago, Illinois. He
used a credit card for the transaction and received a receipt
that contained the first six and last four digits of his
card's numbers printed on it. Two days later, on July 28,
2016, Lindner filed a putative class action in this Court,
alleging that Defendant's receipt violated 15 U.S.C.
§ 1681c(g), a provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
(“FCRA”), as amended by the Fair and Accurate
Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (“FACTA”), which
prohibits printing more than five digits of a credit card
number on an electronically printed receipt. On August 15,
2016, Lindner filed an amended complaint, adding Kim Smith as
Plaintiff. Smith had made a purchase at one of
Defendant's restaurants in Vernon Hills, Illinois on July
28, 2016. Like Lindner, Smith used a credit card for the
transaction, and like Lindner, Smith received a receipt that
displayed the first six and last four numbers of her card.
Because of this non-compliant practice, Plaintiffs believe
they (and the class of similarly situated persons they hope
to represent) have “been exposed to an increased risk
of credit card fraud and identity theft.” Plaintiffs do
not allege that either of these risks has been realized with
respect to themselves or any other person in their putative
November 2016, Defendant moved to dismiss, arguing that under
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540 (2016),
Plaintiffs could not satisfy the Article III standing
requirement to proceed in federal court. On December 13,
2016, this Court set a briefing schedule on that motion. On
that same day, the Seventh Circuit issued its decision in
Meyers v. Nicolet Restaurant of De Pere, LLC, 843
F.3d 724 (7th Cir. 2016)-an analogous case under the FACTA
that the Court will discuss in detail below. The following
day Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case.
days later, on December 16, 2016, Plaintiffs filed suit in
the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, incorporating and
expanding on their amended federal complaint and
simultaneously moved for class certification. Defendant
timely removed the action to federal court on the basis of
federal question jurisdiction. A few days later, Defendant
moved to dismiss , arguing that Plaintiffs had not
included sufficient facts in their complaint to plead that
Defendant's alleged violation of the FACTA was willful.
See . Instead of addressing the merits of Defendant's
motion to dismiss, Plaintiffs moved for remand on the ground
that they lack Article III standing. Thus, the parties
presently stand in the following, rather unusual position:
Plaintiffs, who originally brought this dispute to federal
court about a year ago, now insist that the case can only
proceed in state court, while Defendant, which consistently
has argued that this cannot proceed in federal court, resists
Plaintiffs' effort to return the case to state court.
federal removal statute permits a defendant to remove a civil
action from state court when a district court has original
jurisdiction over the action.” Micrometl Corp. v.
Tranzact Techs., Inc., 656 F.3d 467, 470 (7th Cir. 2011)
(citing 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a)). The party invoking federal
jurisdiction has the burden of establishing that it exists.
See Schimmer v. Jaguar Cars, Inc., 384 F.3d 402, 404
(7th Cir. 2004) (a removing defendant must demonstrate
“reasonable probability that subject-matter
jurisdiction exists”). In evaluating whether to remand
a case, a plaintiff's choice of forum is presumed valid,
and the Court must resolve any doubts about jurisdiction in
favor of remand. See, e.g., Schur v. L.A. Weight
Loss Centers, Inc., 577 F.3d 752, 758 (7th Cir. 2009);
Doe v. Allied-Signal, Inc., 985 F.2d 908, 911 (7th
Cir. 1993) (“Courts should interpret the removal
statute narrowly and presume that the plaintiff may choose
his or her forum”); Schmude v. Sheahan, 198
F.Supp.2d 964, 966 (N.D. Ill. 2002) (“Generally, the
removal statute is strictly construed, with an eye towards
limiting federal jurisdiction”).
brought this lawsuit under Section 1681c(g)(1) of the Fair
and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”),
Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no person
that accepts credit cards or debit cards for the transaction
of business shall print more than the last 5 digits of the
card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided
to the cardholder at the point of sale or transaction.
FACTA was a 2003 amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act
(“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et. seq.
As the Seventh Circuit explained in Meyers,
“Congress enacted the FACTA in response to what it
considered to be the increasing threat of identity
theft.” 843 F.3d at 725. To that end, Congress
specifically targeted two types of “potentially
misappropriateable information produced in credit and debit
card receipts”: (1) the digits of the card number and
(2) the expiration date. Id. (quoting Meyers v.
Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wis., 836 F.3d 818, 820 (7th
Cir. 2016)). Yet, the statute was not meant to impose
liability for trivial violations that resulted in no real
harm to the “victim.” Rather, as Congress itself
noted, it reflected a balancing act designed to
simultaneously “ensure that consumers ...