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Hancock v. Urban Outfitters, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

March 14, 2014

WHITNEY HANCOCK, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
URBAN OUTFITTERS, INC., et al., Defendants

Page 27

For WHITNEY HANCOCK, On behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, JAMIE WHITE, On behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs: Mikhael D. Charnoff, PERRY CHARNOFF, PLLC, McLean, VA; Scott Michael Perry, Perry Charnoff PLLC, Arlington, VA.

For URBAN OUTFITTERS, INC., ANTHROPOLOGIE, INC., Defendants: James Michael Burns, LEAD ATTORNEY, DICKINSON WRIGHT, PLLC, Washington, DC; Joseph A. Fink, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, DICKINSON WRIGHT PLLC, Lansing, MI.

Page 28

MEMORANDUM OPINION

BERYL A. HOWELL, United States District Judge.

The plaintiffs in this putative class action allege that two retailers in Washington, D.C., Urban Outfitters, Inc. and Anthropologie, Inc. (collectively, the " defendants" ), violated two D.C. consumer protection statutes by requesting customers' ZIP codes in connection with consumer credit card purchases. See Compl. ¶ ¶ 1-5, ECF No. 1. Pending before the Court is the defendants' Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 13, both counts in the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below, the defendants' motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

The facts in this matter are simple: the plaintiffs allege that they were asked by the defendants' cashiers to provide their ZIP codes when they made purchases in the defendants' stores. See Compl. ¶ ¶ 23-39. The plaintiffs allege that this request violated two D.C. statutes, the D.C. Use of Consumer Identification Information Act (" CII Act" ), D.C. Code § § 47-3151, et seq., and the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act (" DCCPPA" ), D.C. Code § § 28-3901 et seq. Thus, the relevant factual allegations are described first, followed by a brief summary of the statutes in question.

A. Factual Background

The two named plaintiffs, Whitney Hancock and Jamie White (collectively the " plaintiffs" ), make similar allegations. Plaintiff White alleges that she was asked for her ZIP code on two separate occasions on June 5, 2013, when she purchased two items at a D.C. Urban Outfitters store with her credit card. Compl. ¶ ¶ 23-33. Plaintiff White alleges that she provided her ZIP code to the cashier, who " entered [it] into Urban Outfitters, Inc.'s point-of-sale register, not into the credit-card-swipe machine." Id. ¶ 27-28. Plaintiff Hancock alleges that when she made a credit card purchase at a D.C. Anthropologie store on

Page 29

May 24, 2013, she too was asked for her ZIP code and, upon providing it to the cashier, the cashier entered the information into Anthropologie's point-of-sale register. Id. ¶ ¶ 34-39.

The plaintiffs allege that " ask[ing] for a consumer's ZIP code when the consumer chooses to pay by credit card . . . is illegal." Id. ¶ 41. The plaintiffs further allege that the defendants have a " corporate policy" of asking for ZIP codes from consumers and, consequently, there are numerous people who " bought merchandise from the Defendants in the District of Columbia via credit card, and whose ZIP codes were requested or recorded by Defendants," who constitute the purported class of aggrieved persons. See id. ¶ ¶ 40-44.

B. Statutory Framework

The plaintiffs allege violations of the CII Act and three subsections of the DCCPPA, D.C. Code § § 28-3904(e), (f), and ...


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