In Miles v. The Company Store, consumer Timothy Miles brought a claim in state court against retailer The Company Store for alleged violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Specifically, Miles claimed that The Company Store violated 15 U.S.C. § 1681c for printing too many digits of his credit card number on his receipt. This type of FCRA claim is not unusual. What was unusual, however, is that a state court dismissed the case for lack of standing using an analysis typically reserved for federal court.
The Company Store filed a motion to dismiss Miles’ claim, arguing that he was unable to allege he had suffered an injury-in-fact from the retailer’s alleged printing of extra credit card numbers on his receipt. Applying North Carolina law, the Court agreed. According to the Court, “the existence of standing most often turns on whether a party has alleged an injury in fact.” When performing the injury-in-fact analysis, North Carolina courts “import” federal standing doctrine.
Based on these principles, the Court recognized that numerous federal courts have determined that printing extra credit card digits “does not meet the concreteness requirement” for standing purposes. It also noted that Miles had not alleged any injury besides The Company Store “exceeding federal statutory limits.” As a result, the Court found that Miles lacked standing and that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction.
Miles is one of the first cases wherein a state court has dismissed an FCRA claim for lack of standing in state court. Since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Robins v. Spokeo, federal courts frequently remand cases to state court if they find they lack standing. To the extent more state courts follow the Miles line of reasoning, plaintiffs may face difficulty bringing “no injury” statutory claims in any jurisdiction – state or federal.