Monday, April 24, 2006

D.N.M. Holds that FCRA Does Not Preempt Claims under New Mexico's Credit Bureaus Act

Per Apodaca v. Discover Financial Services, 417 F.Supp.2d 1220 (D.N.M. Mar. 2, 2006):

Equifax does not present any authority to show that the preemption language in the FCRA [Fair Credit Reporting Act] was meant to apply to such statutory claims under the NMCBA [New Mexico's Credit Bureaus Act], and I find no grounds to support such a theory in this case. In interpreting a preemption clause, courts “‘must give effect to [its] plain language unless there is good reason to believe Congress intended the language to have some more restrictive meaning.’” Am. Bankers Ass'n v. Gould, 412 F.3d 1081, 1086 (9th Cir.2005) (quoting Shaw v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 463 U.S. 85, 97, 103 S.Ct. 2890, 77 L.Ed.2d 490 (1983)). Courts also start with the presumption that Congress has not intended to preempt state law, because we assume “‘that the historic police powers of the States [are] not to be superseded by [federal legislation] unless that is the clear and manifest purpose of Congress.’” Id. (quoting Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 505 U.S. 504, 516, 112 S.Ct. 2608, 120 L.Ed.2d 407 (1992)).

In this case, the plain language of the FCRA only mentions claims “in the nature of defamation, invasion of privacy, or negligence”; it does not purport to preempt, or grant immunity from, every conceivable type of claim that could arise under a state statute. Accordingly, I conclude that the FCRA does not preempt Plaintiff's state-law claims under the NMCBA in this case.


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