Colleen M. Auer, Plaintiff- Appellant,
Trans Union, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company, Defendant, CBCInnovis, Inc., a Pennsylvania Corporation; City of Minot, a North Dakota Municipal Corporation; Smith, Bakke, Porsborg, Schweigert & Armstrong, a North Dakota General Partnership; John Does 1-100, inclusive, Defendants - Appellees.
Submitted: April 9, 2018
from United States District Court for the District of North
Dakota - Bismarck
COLLOTON, SHEPHERD, and STRAS, Circuit Judges.
COLLOTON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
appeal concerns claims brought by Colleen Auer against
several defendants: the City of Minot (her former employer);
the law firm of Smith, Bakke, Porsborg, Schweigert &
Armstrong; and the consumer reporting agency CBCInnovis, Inc.
(CBC). Auer alleged that these parties violated their
obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15
U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., in handling a consumer
report that she agreed to provide as part of her application
for employment with the City.
district court dismissed Auer's claims against the City
and the law firm for failure to state a claim under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), and granted judgment on the
pleadings for CBC under Rule 12(c). Auer appeals these
orders, and a separate order directing the City and the Smith
law firm to dispose of copies of her consumer report that
remained in their possession. Because Auer lacked Article III
standing to bring her claims in federal court, we vacate the
district court's orders and remand with instructions that
Auer's complaint be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
February 26, 2014, Auer accepted appointment as the city
attorney for the City of Minot. Several days later, the
City's human resources director requested that Auer
authorize a background check. Auer completed and signed an
authorization form. The single-page form was entitled
"Authorization to Release Information and Waiver,"
and contained the following three paragraphs of text:
I hereby authorize representatives of the City of Minot to
obtain any information in my files pertaining to my
driver's license records, criminal history records,
education records; credit records; and personal history
I hereby direct you and release you, as the custodian of such
records, and any school, college, university or other
education institution, credit bureau or related personnel,
both individually or collectively, from any and all liability
for damages of whatever kind, which may be at any time result
to me, my heirs, family or associates because of compliance
with this authorization and request to release information,
or any attempt to comply with it.
Should there be any questions as to the validity of this
release, you may contact me as indicated below.
form then included a space for Auer's signature, and
several spaces for Auer to input her identifying information,
including her social security number and driver's license
Auer signed the authorization form, the City's police
department completed a background check. As part of the
investigation, the police department obtained Auer's
credit report from the consumer reporting agency CBC. CBC had
obtained Auer's credit information from another consumer
reporting agency, Trans Union, LLC.
2, 2014, the City terminated Auer's employment as city
attorney. Auer filed claims against the City for wrongful
termination, and requested that the City provide her with
records related to her employment and termination, including
her complete personnel file. The City retained the Smith law
firm for representation in that action and for assistance in
responding to Auer's records request. The City, in an
attempt to comply with the records request, provided the law
firm with Auer's authorization form and associated credit
check. The law firm then ...