Galasi v. Equifax, et al

This Folder looks at issues of whether and how you can bring FCRA cases against Governmental Bodies or Agents/Employees who may violate the FCRA. Many such agencies and agents access credit files secretly while others report/furnish data to the credit reporting agencies. Does the 11th Amendment [Sovereign Immunity] prevent such suits? Do other immunity statutes prevent such suits?
David A. Szwak

Galasi v. Equifax, et al

Postby David A. Szwak » Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:33 pm

Ronald Galasi v. Equifax, et al, No. C-96-1528-SBA (U.S.D.C. N.D. Cal. 8/21/97)
Attorney sued Equifax and governmental agencies (and individual employees) alleging, inter alia, FCRA violations stemming from reporting of back due child support. Plaintiff contested paternity. Subsequently, a judgment was entered and a reimbursement claim was recognized in favor of support bureau for money the child received between the time of birth and stipulation. Plaintiff was ordered to pay $50.00 per month toward the reimbursement obligation. All payments were timely made. Nonetheless his credit reports bore a derogatory reporting regarding the child support obligation. The State inputted a "Code 84" to Equifax which correlates to an "I-5" status. (90 or more days past due). Defendants moved to dismiss the suit, under FRCP 12(b)(6). The court noted that, since the FCRA amendments in 1996, credit reporting agencies are to report information from governmental agencies regarding the failure to pay overdue child support. 1681s-1; Cal. Civ. Code s.1785.13(g). The District Judge denied Equifax’s motions to dismiss citing numerous factual allegations by plaintiff favoring the claims asserted. Plaintiff alleged errors arising, in part, from Equifax’s "failing to distinguish between reimbursement and arrearage" and using procedures to foment false reports (since Equifax set up the support-related reporting system). The mandated reporting under 1681s-1 "does not eliminate the duty to ensure the accuracy of the information that is reported." Id. at p. 8. Equifax even ignored instructions from the Family Support Bureau, via its attorneys, to delete the false credit reportings. "Equifax has not denied (the fact FSB told them to delete), contradicts Equifax’s assertion that it cannot be liable because it merely ‘reported the information given to it."’ Id. at p. 8. The court noted that Equifax’s documents bearing the name "Glenn King" were false as "Glenn King" is not a real person. Id. at p. 10. The court denied Equifax’s motions to dismiss.

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