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Damages are no slam dunk in FCRAland

As basketball season arrives, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky reminded us that there is no such thing as a slam dunk when it comes to damages awarded pursuant to a violation of the FCRA.  In the case of Shockley v.  Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, 2018 WL 5726190 (E.D. Ky., Nov. 1, 2018)  the Plaintiff, Charles Shockley, moved for a default judgment against Defendant United Adjustment Corporation (“UAC”).  The Court found that Mr. Shockley adequately demonstrated that UAC was in default for failing to respond to his complaint and had sufficiently plead his case to demonstrate that UAC was liable for violations of the FCRA (as well as the FDCPA).  However, the Court stopped short of awarding Mr. Shockley damages on his motion, noting that he was seeking statutory damages as well as attorney’s fees and costs.  The Court ruled that because “statutory damages do not constitute a sum certain”  as they fall within the discretion of the court subject to statutory limits, an evidentiary hearing would be required and UAC would be allowed to respond on the issue of damages.  Accordingly, even though it was in default and had not answered the Complaint, UAC can still contest the amount of damages owed to Mr. Shockley.

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