United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
SHAKEENA KING, on behalf of herself and a class of similarly situated individuals, Plaintiff,
CORELOGIC CREDCO, LLC, Defendant.
Hannah Lauck, United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Corelogic Credco,
LLC's ("Corelogic") Motion to Transfer Venue to
the Southern District of California (the "Motion to
Transfer"). (ECF No. 8.) Plaintiff Shakeena King
responded, and Corelogic replied. (ECF Nos. 11, 12.)
Accordingly, the matter is ripe for disposition. The Court
dispenses with oral argument because the materials before it
adequately present the facts and legal contentions, and
argument would not aid the decisional process. The Court
exercises jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1331.For the reasons that follow, the Court will
grant the Motion to Transfer.
Factual and Procedural Background
is a California limited liability company that conducts
business as a consumer reporting agency and
"reseller" of consumer reports. (Compl. ¶ 9,
ECF No. 1.) As a reseller of consumer reports, Corelogic
assembles and merges information contained in the databases
of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies:
Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion (the "CRAs").
Corelogic then resells this information to third parties in a
so-called "tri-merged credit report." (Id.
a Virginia resident. On January 31, 2016, King applied for a
mortgage loan with NVR Mortgage. NVR Mortgage requested a
copy of her credit report from Corelogic. The same day,
Corelogic furnished to NVR Mortgage a tri-merge credit report
containing information Corelogic obtained from Experian,
Equifax, and TransUnion. The tri-merge credit report that
Corelogic furnished "attributed many derogatory accounts
to [King], including a judgment, a medical collection
account, a car repossession, a mortgage account, " and
several charged-off credit card accounts. (Id.
¶ 24.) King contends that the information Corelogic
furnished was inaccurate because the derogatory accounts
belonged to her sister.
asserts that Corelogic furnished the inaccurate information
because of its "failure to implement and follow
reasonable procedures to assure that the information it was
publishing regarding consumers, like [King] was as accurate
as possible." (Id. ¶ 26.) According to
King, "[i]f Corelogic had reasonable procedures (or any
procedures whatsoever) it could have easily determined that
the information it published regarding Plaintiff was
incorrect and belonged to her sister." (Id.
¶ 27.) King further alleges that information Equifax
reported to Corelogic did not match King's personal
identifiers in important and obvious ways, such as name,
social security number, and birthdate, which "should
have alerted Corelogic to the fact that the information"
did not relate to King. (Id. ¶ 28; see also
Id. ¶¶ 29-30.) King states she was
"denied a mortgage loan because [Corelogic] simply
regurgitated the inaccurate information to [NVR Mortgage],
without reviewing the information to make sure that it
belonged to [King]." (Id. ¶ 5.)
Complaint alleges one count styled as a class action: a
violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b). King contends
that Corelogic failed to adopt reasonable procedures to
assure maximum possible accuracy in the preparation of
consumer reports. Specifically, King asserts that Corelogic
"blindly published] the information it received from the
CRAs even when [the information] did not match the name, date
of birth, or social security number that [Corelogic's]
customer submitted when requesting the report."
(Id. ¶ 49.) King asserts that Corelogic's
conduct was "willful and carried out in reckless
disregard for a consumer's rights under the FCRA"
because "Corelogic has actual knowledge of [the credit
reporting problems], but deliberately ignores the problems
because reviewing and/or cross-checking the data would reduce
its 'bottom line.'" (Id. ¶¶
relates to Corelogic's procedures, King contends that
Corelogic "obtain[s] consumer reports from the CRAs to
resell them without any policies or procedures in place to
assure that information it receives is accurate and actually
belong[s] to the consumer of interest of its customer."
(Id. ¶ 31.) King alleges that Corelogic
"blindly accepts" the information it obtains, and
"regurgitates" that information into its tri-merge
reports "without any procedure to verify that the
information is accurate." (Id. ¶ 32.) King
asserts that Corelogic uses an "automated process"
to flag personal identifier variations, but still
"resells any information that it obtains from the CRAs,
even when these flags are present." (Id.
¶¶ 34-35.) King claims that Corelogic used this
"automated process" and faulty procedures in her
case and, "[c]onsistent with its standard policies,
" furnished her inaccurate credit report to NVR Mortgage
"without any additional review of the flagged
information." (Id. ¶¶ 36-37.)
seeks to certify a nationwide class consisting of:
[a] 11 natural persons who were the subject: (1) of a
consumer report furnished by [Corelogic] to a third party
within the five years preceding the filing date of this
Complaint; (2) where the personal identifying information
section of its consumer report contained a name, date of
birth, or social security number that: (i) did not match the
information provided by the person requesting the report or[,
] (ii) varied from the information provided by the other
consumer reporting agencies.
(Id. ¶ 43.)
November 14, 2017, King filed her class action complaint.
(ECF No. 1.) Corelogic answered on January 25, 2018, denying
any wrongdoing. (ECF No. 7.) The same day, Corelogic filed
the Motion to Transfer. (ECF No. 8.) The matter was fully
briefed, (ECF Nos. 11, 12), and on April 11, 2018, the judge
previously presiding over the case recused himself. The case
was randomly reassigned. (ECF No. 13.)
moves to transfer venue under 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a) to the United States District Court for
the Southern District of California. Corelogic argues that the
Southern District of California constitutes the "clear
center of gravity" for this putative class action claim
challenging the procedures Corelogic utilizes in compiling
tri-merge credit reports. (Mem. Supp. Mot. Transfer 1, ECF
No. 9.) King opposes transfer, asserting that her choice of
forum is entitled to substantial weight, and that Corelogic
fails to "demonstrate any evidence of burden [from
litigating in the current forum] that would justify a
transfer of this case." (Resp. Mot. Transfer 2, ECF No.
11.) King further contends that Corelogic's transfer
request amounts to cost shifting, and that Corelogic would be
"in a much better position [than King] to absorb th[e]
costs" of litigating in a non-home jurisdiction.
(Id. at 10-11.)
1404(a) provides: "For the convenience of parties and
witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may
transfer any civil action to any other district or division
where it might have been brought." 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a). The decision to transfer a case rests in the
district court's sound discretion. Koh v. Microtek
Intern., Inc., 250 F.Supp.2d 627, 630 (E.D. Va. 2003). A
court determining the propriety of a motion to transfer under
§ 1404(a) follows a two-step inquiry. Bascom
Research, LLC v. Facebook, Inc., 2012 WL 12918407, at *1
(E.D. Va. Dec. 11, 2012). First, the court determines whether
the claims could have been brought in the transferee forum.
Id. Second, the court considers the following four
factors: "(1)the plaintiffs choice of forum, (2) the
convenience of the parties, (3) witness convenience and
access, and (4) the interest of justice." Id. A
court's decision to transfer depends on the particular
facts of the case, because § 1404(a) "provides no
guidance as to the weight" that courts should afford
each factor. SamsungElecs. Co., LTD. v. Rambus,
Inc., 386 F.Supp.2d 708, 716 (E.D. Va. 2005).
The Court Will Transfer This Case to the Southern
District of California
the facts of this case, transfer to the United States
District Court for the Southern District of California should
commence. Although the Eastern District of Virginia is
King's home forum, her choice of forum receives less
weight in this putative class case. Byerson, 467
F.Supp.2d at 633. Furthermore, the Eastern District of
Virginia is not home to the nucleus of operative facts,
decreasing the weight the Court gives to King's choice of
forum. Samsung, 386 F.Supp.2d at 716. The
convenience to the parties and witnesses strongly favors
transfer, as does the interest of justice. Because the
balance of the factors weighs in favor of transfer, the Court
will grant the Motion to Transfer.
King Could Have Brought Her Claim against Corelogic in the
Southern District of California
correctly concedes that "this case could have been
brought in the Southern District of California." (Resp.
Mot. Transfer 4.) Corelogic nevertheless carries the burden
of establishing the propriety of the transfer request.
Bascom, 2012 WL 12918407, at *1. Even absent
King's concession, Corelogic establishes ...