f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 16, 2003

Consumer Names Kept Confidential Despite Lawyers’ FOIA Ploy

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:29 pm

power plug  The 7th Circuit decided today that the Federal Trade Commission does not have to give the names of consumers who have submitted complaints about “cramming” to lawyers who want potential clients for a class action suit. (The Lakin Law Firm, P.C. v. Federal Trade Commission (12/16/03 USCA 7th Cir.)).  (Thanks to Marcia Oddi at the Indiana Law Blog for the pointer; as usual, Marcia has ably summarized the decision.)


Under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the FTC gave The Lakin Law Firm (of Wood River, Illinois) information on 1400 complaints of “cramming” — “the shady practice of putting bogus charges on a person’s bill (usually a monthly credit card statement) in the hope that the consumer will pay the inflated balance without noticing that he has been duped” — but withheld names and addresses of the complainants.   


The Commission said:

 “[t]his information is exempt from release  under FOIA Exemption 6, 5 U.S.C.

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