United States District Court, S.D. Florida, Miami Division
ANDREW TARR, individually, and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
BURGER KING CORPORATION, d/b/a BURGER KING, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR
LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION
FEDERICO A. MORENO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tarr filed this putative class action against Burger King for
alleged violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit
Transactions Act. Burger King subsequently moved to dismiss
the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. For the
reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS Burger King's
motion to dismiss.
Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act "prohibits
merchants from 'print[ing] more than the last five digits
of the [credit or debit] card number or the expiration date
upon any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of
sale or transaction." 15 U.S.C. § l68lc(g)(1).
According to Tarr, Burger King "systematically and
willfully violated" the Act by printing the "first
six and last four digits" of his-and other
customers'-credit and debit card account numbers on
transaction receipts. He contends that, under Spokeo,
Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540 (2016), his allegations
establish a particularized and concrete injury in fact.
King filed a motion to dismiss, challenging the Court's
subject-matter jurisdiction over this case. It points out
that "Tarr does not claim his identity was stolen or
that fraudulent purchases were made using his debit card,
" adding that he fails to "identify anyone who
viewed the discarded receipts." As such, Burger King
argues that Tarr lacks standing because his claims under the
Act "are based solely on statutory violations divorced
from any concrete or actual harm"-i.e., that
Tarr has failed to plead the requisite concrete injury in
Motion to Dismiss Standard
survive a motion to dismiss, plaintiffs must do more than
merely state legal conclusions, " instead plaintiffs
must "allege some specific factual basis for those
conclusions or face dismissal of their claims."
Jackson v. BellSouth Telecomm., 372 F.3d 1250, 1263
(11th Cir. 2004). When ruling on a motion to dismiss, a court
must view the complaint in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff and accept the plaintiffs well-pleaded facts as
true. See St. Joseph's Hosp., Inc. v. Hosp. Corp. of
Am., 795 F.2d 948, 953 (11th Cir. 1986). This tenet,
however, does not apply to legal conclusions. See
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).
Moreover, "[w]hile legal conclusions can provide the
framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual
allegations." Id. at 1950. Those
"[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that
all of the complaint's allegations are true."
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 545
(2007). In short, the complaint must not merely allege
misconduct, but must demonstrate that the pleader is entitled
to relief. See Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1950.
Article HI Standing
III of the Constitution endows federal courts with the
authority to decide actual "Cases" and
"Controversies." U.S. Const. Art. Ill. § 2.
"In the absence of standing, a court is not free to
opine in an advisory capacity about the merits of a plaintiff
s claims." Hollywood Mobile Estates Ltd. v. Seminole
Tribe of Fla., 641 F.3d 1259, 1265 (11th Cir. 2011)
(citing CAMP Legal Def. Fund, Inc. v. City of
Atlanta, 451 F.3d 1257, 1269 (11th Cir. 2006)). In other
words, the doctrine of standing "limits the category of
litigants empowered to maintain a lawsuit in federal court to
seek redress for a legal wrong." Spokeo, 136
S.Ct. at 1547. It "serves to prevent the judicial
process from being used to usurp the powers of the political
branches . . . and confines the federal courts to a properly
judicial role." Id. (citations and quotations
establish standing, "[t]he plaintiff must have (1)
suffered an injury in fact, (2) that is fairly traceable to
the challenged conduct of the defendant, and (3) that is
likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial
decision." Id. (citing Lujan v. Defenders
of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992)). This case
primarily concerns whether Tarr has demonstrated an injury in
fact-i.e., '"an invasion of a legally
protected interest' that is 'concrete and
particularized' and 'actual or imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical.'" Spokeo, 136
S.Ct. at 1548 (quoting Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560).
Spokeo, the Supreme Court recognized the two
independent components of an injury in fact-concreteness and
particularity-and held that courts must separately assess
each component. See Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1555.
According to the Court, an injury in fact is
"particularized" if it "affect[s] the
plaintiff in a personal and individual way."
Id. (citation omitted). An injury in fact is
concrete if it "exists"-i.e., it is
"real, and not abstract." Id. ("A
concrete injury must be "de facto'';
that is, it must actually exist.") (citing Black's
Law Dictionary 479 (9th ed. 2009)) (quotations omitted).
specifically, a plaintiff pleads a particularized injury by
alleging facts establishing that a defendant "violated
his statutory rights, not just the rights of other
people, " and that this violation affected the
plaintiffs individualized interests. Spokeo, 136
S.Ct. at 1544 (emphasis in original). As the Court explained,
"[f]or an injury to be 'particularized, ' it
'must affect the plaintiff in a personal and individual
way.'" Id. at 1548 (citing Lujan,
504 U.S. at 560).
Supreme Court in Spokeo also discussed whether-and
when-a statutory violation may constitute a concrete injury
in fact, explaining that the violation of a statutory right,
in and of itself, does not create Article III standing to
sue. See Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1549 ("Article
III standing requires a concrete injury even in the context
of a statutory violation."). A plaintiff cannot allege
"a bare procedural violation, divorced from any concrete
harm, and satisfy the injury-in-fact requirement of Article
III." Id. The Court provided two examples of
"bare procedural violations" that would not
authorize standing: (i) a consumer reporting agency's
failure to notify a user of the agency's ...