Boskie v. Backgroundchecks.com
Boskie v. Backgroundchecks.com Settlement
Case No. 2019CP3200824

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • You are a member of the Injunctive Relief Class if information about you was in Defendant’s public record database at any time between September 8, 2014 and May 17, 2019. The information in Defendant’s public record database is collected (directly or indirectly) from county, state and federal agencies. These agencies include courts, correctional institutions and other agencies that collect and manage information on criminal records. The information in Defendant’s database relates to criminal records even if there is no conviction. Defendant’s public record database contains over 600 million separate records.

    A Court authorized the notice to inform potential Class Members about the proposed Injunctive Relief Class Settlement and your rights. Before any final judgment is entered, the Court will have a hearing to decide whether to approve the Injunctive Relief Settlement. The notice is only a summary of the proposed Injunctive Relief Settlement. More details about the proposed Injunctive Relief Settlement, the date when appeals are no longer allowed and the Injunctive Relief Settlement is final, deadlines for certain actions, and your options are available in a longer document called the Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement by visiting the Important Documents page.

  • The lawsuit is known as Boskie v. Backgroundchecks.com LLC, No. 2019CP3200824. Judge Walton J. McLeod, IV of the Court of Common Pleas for the State of South Carolina, Lexington County, is overseeing this case. The people who sued are named George Boskie, Hadel Toma and Terry Keller. They are called “Plaintiffs”, the company sued is the “Defendant.” The Defendant is backgroundchecks.com LLC.

    What the Plaintiffs Claim
    Plaintiffs claim Defendant violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (the “FCRA”) when it provided criminal record data to consumer reporting agencies, which used that data in some manner when preparing background check reports for third parties, including employers. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that this sale of data by the Defendant (1) were consumer reports under the FCRA, and (2) Defendant failed to follow certain FCRA requirements that apply to consumer reports.

    In addition to the claim described above, Plaintiff George Boskie and Defendant have reached a Class Settlement related to other allegations in the complaint. Specifically, Plaintiff Boskie contends that the Defendant violated the FCRA by reporting to HomeAdvisor, Inc. records other than convictions of crimes with a disposition date more than seven years before the date of the report. The settlement of these other allegations is referred to as the “HomeAdvisor Class Settlement”. If you are a member of the HomeAdvisor Class, you will receive a notice in the mail, which provides information with respect to the HomeAdvisor Class Settlement.

    How the Defendant Responded
    The Defendant has denied all claims in the Lawsuit. Defendant contends that it acted lawfully and that the FCRA does not apply to much of its conduct. Where the FCRA does apply, Defendant contends it acted in compliance with the FCRA at all times.

    Why the Parties Propose to Settle
    The Court did not decide whether the reports were consumer reports, whether the FCRA applied in whole or in part, or that either side was right or wrong. Instead, both sides agreed, in order to avoid the burden, expense, risk and uncertainty of continuing the litigation, to resolve the case and agree to the Settlement.

  • You are a member of the Injunctive Relief Class if information about you was in Defendant’s public record database at any time between September 8, 2014 and May 17, 2019. The information in Defendant’s public record database is collected (directly or indirectly) from county, state and federal agencies. These agencies include courts, correctional institutions and other agencies that collect and manage information on criminal records. The information in Defendant’s database relates to criminal records even if there is no conviction and aliases. Defendant’s public record database contains over 600 million separate records.

    Specifically, for the purposes of settlement only, the Court has provisionally certified an “Injunctive Relief Class” defined as follows:

    All natural persons residing in the United States or the District of Columbia about whom either (a) information existed in Defendant’s public records database or (b) Defendant provided a report to a third party, in either case from September 8, 2014 to May 17, 2019. Excluded from the Settlement Class are any Released Person, any person who has previously released his or her claims against Defendant, and the judge overseeing the Litigation.

  • The benefits for the Injunctive Relief Class Members fall under the category of injunctive relief. An injunction occurs when a court orders a person to do or not to do something – in this case changes certain of Defendant’s business practice. The Settlement requires the Defendant, at their expense, to design, implement, and maintain specific, substantial procedures that address the lawsuit’s concerns about the sale of data from Defendant’s database to consumer reporting agencies.

    In general, the procedures require that before Defendant provides data to a consumer reporting agency, the consumer reporting agency must provide certain certifications to the Defendant of the duties they will perform with respect to the data received from Defendant. The data provided by the Defendant to the consumer reporting agency will depend on the specific certification provided by the consumer reporting agency. The goal of these certifications is for the consumer report that is produced by the consumer reporting agency to be in compliance with the FCRA and applicable FCRA-Equivalents.

    Because these procedures are being accomplished through a Court injunction, Judge Walton J. McLeod, IV will retain ongoing supervision and enforcement of these changes. The specific terms of these changes are included in the exhibits of the Settlement Agreement, a copy of which is available at the Important Documents page.

    Injunctive Relief Class Members do not have to pay or buy anything, register, or provide any information to benefit from the changes in business practice provided by the Settlement Agreement. There will be no payments to the Injunctive Relief Class Members.

    Defendants have agreed to pay all costs associated with: publishing the notice, implementing the procedures described in the Court’s injunction, administering the Settlement, and paying Class Counsel for their attorney’s fees and expenses.

  • The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing on October 25, 2019, to decide whether to approve the proposed Settlement. Even if the Court approves the proposed Settlement, there could be appeals to the Court’s decision. The time for an appeal varies and could take more than a year.

    The date when all appeals are completed and the proposed Settlement becomes final is called the Effective Date. You can check back at this website for updates on the status of the case.

  • If the proposed Settlement is finally approved by the Court, then you will be giving up the right to file a lawsuit against the Defendant for statutory or punitive money damages relating to any violation of the FCRA or any similar state law based upon the communication of data from the Defendant to a consumer reporting agency or an entity that represented itself to be a consumer reporting agency. This means you cannot seek, or continue to seek, statutory or punitive damages based on any of the Defendant’s alleged violations of the FCRA related to the sale of data from the Defendant’s database to consumer reporting agencies. You will be giving up all such claims, whether or not you know about them. You are also giving up your right to file a class or mass action against Defendant related to Defendant’s communication of data to consumer reporting agencies.

    All Injunctive Relief Class Members will receive the benefit from these changes in business practices and agree for seven years from the Effective Date (so long as Defendant is bound by the Injunction), they (1) will not contend that any action taken by Defendant in accordance with the injunction is a willful violation of FCRA (or any FCRA-Equivalents) and (2) will not file or participate in a class or mass action against Defendant related to Defendant’s communication of data to consumer reporting agencies.

    However, you will still have the right to file an individual lawsuit against the Defendant for actual damages that you claim resulted from the Defendant selling data about you from the Defendant’s database to consumer reporting agencies. The Defendant will have the right to deny it is liable for any such damages.

    The precise terms of the release and agreements are explained in the Settlement Agreement, which you can view on the Important Documents page.

    The Court’s decision in this case will apply to you even if you object to the Settlement or have any other claim, lawsuit, or proceeding pending against the Defendant or any of the Released Parties relating to the same claims. If you have any questions about the release, then you should review this website for more information or consult with a lawyer. See Question 8 below for more information about seeking legal advice about the Settlement.

  • No. The proposed Settlement requires the Defendant to make substantial revisions to its business practices and processes, and implement procedures to ensure it changes its business practices to benefit all Class Members, equally. As explained in Question 4, this type of benefit is injunctive. Under this type of class action, you cannot exclude yourself from the Class or this proposed Settlement.

  • The Plaintiffs retained E. Michelle Drake and John G. Albanese of Berger Montague, PC, 43 SE Main Street, Suite 505, Minneapolis, MN 55414 and Ryan Hancock of Willig Williams & Davidson, 1845 Walnut Street, 24th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103 to represent them. In connection with the preliminary approval of the Settlement, the Court appointed these attorneys to represent you and other members of the Injunctive Relief Class. Together, the attorneys are called “Class Counsel.” These lawyers will not separately charge you for their work on the case. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

  • Class Counsel will ask the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses of up to $2,100,000 for the time and effort they have spent on this case. However, the Court may ultimately award less than this amount. The attorneys representing the Class have handled this case on a contingency basis. To date, they have not been paid anything for their work, and they have paid all of the litigation costs out-of-pocket, without any reimbursement. Class Counsel will be required to submit a fee request to the court demonstrating why the fee they are seeking is reasonable. This petition will be available on the Important Documents page of this website no later than August 24, 2019.

    The Defendant will pay the approved amount of attorneys’ fees and expenses, and no Class Member will owe or pay anything for the attorneys’ fees and expenses of Class Counsel.

  • The Plaintiffs have found lawyers to represent them and the Class, litigate this case, participate in discovery, and participate in settlement negotiations. As compensation for their work on behalf of Class Members, the Plaintiffs will ask the Court to approve payments to each of them in an amount not to exceed $3,500. The Court may ultimately award less than the requested amounts.

  • If you are a member of the Injunctive Relief Class, you can object to the Settlement if you do not think any part of the Settlement is fair, reasonable, or adequate. You can and should explain the detailed reasons why you think that the Court should not approve the Settlement, if this is the case. The Court and Class Counsel will consider your views carefully. To be effective, an objection must contain: (a) the objecting Injunctive Relief Class Member's full name, address, date of birth, and telephone number; (b) the name of this Litigation and the case number; (c) a statement of each objection; (d) a statement of whether the objecting Injunctive Relief Class Member intends to appear at the Final Fairness Hearing; and (e) a written specification of the basis for each objection, including any legal and factual support that the objecting Injunctive Relief Class Member wishes to bring to the Court's attention and any evidence the objecting Injunctive Relief Class Member wishes to introduce in support of the objection.

    You must have filed your objection with the Clerk of the Court, 205 East Main Street, Lexington, SC 29072 no later than September 10, 2019. In addition, you must have mailed a copy of your objection to the Settlement Administrator at Boskie v. Backgroundchecks.com, c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91131, Seattle, WA 98111-9231 no later than September 10, 2019.

    There are additional requirements necessary for your attorney if you retain one. To be effective, an objection submitted through an attorney must contain, in addition to the information set forth above: the identity, mailing address, email address, fax number, and phone number for the Counsel by whom the Injunctive Relief Class Member is represented.

    Below is contact information for the Parties' Counsel:

     

    CLASS COUNSEL
    BERGER MONTAGUE, PC
    Attn: E. Michelle Drake
    43 SE Main St., Suite 505
    Minneapolis, MN 55414

    DEFENSE COUNSEL
    TROUTMAN SANDERS LLP
    Attn: Cindy D. Hanson
    600 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 5200
    Atlanta, GA 30308

  • The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. You may attend and you may ask to speak at the hearing, but you do not have to.

    The Hearing will be on October 25, 2019 at 9:00 AM at the Lexington County Court of Common Pleas, 205 East Main Street, Lexington, SC 29072. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will listen to people who have submitted timely requests to speak at the hearing. The Court may also decide the amount that Class Counsel and the Plaintiff will be paid. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to finally approve the Settlement.

  • No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. You are welcome to come at your own expense if you so desire. If you sent an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.

  • You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must send a letter saying that it is your “Notice of Intent to Appear in Boskie v. Backgroundchecks.com LLC.” Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. Your Notice of Intent to Appear must have been filed with the Clerk of Court no later than September 10, 2019 and must have been mailed to the Settlement Administrator no later than September 10, 2019. The addresses are in Question 11 above.

  • This website summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details can be found on the Important Documents page, which includes the Complaint, Settlement Agreement and other governing Settlement documents.

  • If you have questions about the case, you can call toll-free at 1-833-222-1168 or write to: Boskie v. Backgroundchecks.com, c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91131, Seattle, WA 98111-9231.

    PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE COURT, THE CLERK, OR THE DEFENDANT REGARDING THIS SETTLEMENT.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

Boskie v. Backgroundchecks.com
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91131
Seattle, WA 98111-9231