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Sue Equifax in State Small Claims with a click or two

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I think I'm surprised that someone here didn't come up with this one:

The entrepreneur behind DoNotPay, a free online chatbot that has successfully fought around 375,000 parking tickets in New York, Seattle, and the U.K., is launching a new service on Tuesday that will allow people to sue Equifax for $15,000 in mere minutes. 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/new-website-lets-automatically-sue-equifax-click-214730288.html

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Not sure what you filled out, mine in NYC says defendant is Equifax  with office in Albany as Corporation Service Compan... (more)

denblagoi (Sep. 13, 2017 @ 2:40p) |

I gave a los angeles address (obviously in LA County). but bot assigned my case to a court in Sacramento County (almost ... (more)

merep (Sep. 13, 2017 @ 4:08p) |

There's another option for small claims court. I read that Legalist is offering to pay all filing/court fees for anyone ... (more)

parkdanil (Sep. 16, 2017 @ 2:18a) |

Actual website for the bot - looks like he's still programming a lot of the individual states:

https://donotpay-search-master.herokuapp.com/ 
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This is misleading. You still have to pay the filing fee and in most places, do that in person. Above that, you have to appear in court and argue your side of things.

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Right. So what is misleading about the post?

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w/o being harmed (yet) and having no standing be prepared to get laughed out of the courtroom

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Do any courts recognize statutory damages for identity theft or loss of personal information?

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jfthegreat said:   Right. So what is misleading about the post?
  Let's start with the thread title: "Sue Equifax in State Small Claims with a click or two"

That implies that you can file a lawsuit in a click or two. That is simply not the case. It also implies that you can sue them "over the internet" which is also not the case. Unless I'm missing something?

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Small claims judge issues an injunction against the app in 3...2...1...

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This is such a bad idea for a number of reasons.

1. This is borderline UPL.
2. Jurisdictional issues
3. Going through the ONLY thing the app did was generate a statement of claim form showing the registered agent for EQ. You have to go to court and actually argue your case.. This doesn't do that.

I feel like this is going to lead to people getting accused of vexatious litigation.

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This is great, I was wondering if it was possible to use small claims to get a nice payout.

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A lot of people will get in over their heads with this. Especially in states where EQ can motion to move fhe case to a higher court.

While we're on the topic, unless EQ broke some statutory rule, wouldn't all these cases be worthless without actual damages? You'd have to prove damages *and* that your info came from EQ rather than some other source.

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I've been telling people the same thing Traveler--until you've been materially damaged there isn't much to sue for.

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As a NY State paralegal, I just tried the bot. It didn't do anything special at all...in fact, it generated the form to sue in NEW YORK CITY...completely different animal entirely for small claims. In New York, $5,000 is the limit in small claims and it did that correctly. However, the complaint form is totally inaccurate.

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Someone is bound to EQ for emotional distress, either individually or in a class action. Don't see an update offhand to any of the Ashley Madison suits filed two years ago. (WaPo).

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maybe he is betting that they won't show up in court, and user can win by default?

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canoer said:   Someone is bound to EQ for emotional distress, either individually or in a class action. Don't see an update offhand to any of the Ashley Madison suits filed two years ago. (WaPo ).
Even if an emotional distress claim could survive, it would be tricky on a class basis as each person is unique and hence there is no class on that issue.

A remedy to all of this is a law permitting private suits for liquidated damages or actual damages, whichever is greater. Then assign a liquidated value to SSN, DL number, CC number, etc. Also, with such a method, defendants could not argue that SSN was out there from an earlier breach. Each breach brings new liquidated damages. Alternatively, a social uprising could demand such provisions in contracts with consumers absent a law.   

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Do any courts recognize statutory damages for identity theft or loss of personal information?

FCRA is your friend. Could arguably be an unauthorized disclosure without permissible purpose. You can argue they lack reasonable procedures to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of your account by not ensuring the security of your account data.

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TheDealMaker said:   maybe he is betting that they won't show up in court, and user can win by default?
  
Does EQ even have to show up? I assume they would file a motion to dismiss before the court date. 

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I don't think small claims in most states have motions as such, other than a motion to remove to a higher court.

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BrianGa said:   Small claims judge issues an injunction against the app in 3...2...1...
  While each jurisdiction is different, I highly doubt a small claims court judge has the authority to issue such an injunction, and any proceeding seeking such an injunction wouldn't go to small claims court..

Edit:  Now that I read the post above mine, I think we may be touching on the same thing.

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cows123 said:   
BrianGa said:   Small claims judge issues an injunction against the app in 3...2...1...
  While each jurisdiction is different, I highly doubt a small claims court judge has the authority to issue such an injunction, and any proceeding seeking such an injunction wouldn't go to small claims court..

Edit:  Now that I read the post above mine, I think we may be touching on the same thing.

Every state is different, but I practiced in NJ (and clerked in the special civil (small claims) court). A special civil judge could issue an injunction if it concerned a matter before them. That's how the landlord/tenant court is able to operate.

As for motions to dismiss, many times they are set to be heard on the same day as the assigned trial date, necessitating an appearance anyway.

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Still waiting on an update to the site. Currently only has CA and NY available.

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hollygirlomatic said:   As a NY State paralegal, I just tried the bot. It didn't do anything special at all...in fact, it generated the form to sue in NEW YORK CITY...completely different animal entirely for small claims. In New York, $5,000 is the limit in small claims and it did that correctly. However, the complaint form is totally inaccurate.
Not sure what you filled out, mine in NYC says defendant is Equifax  with office in Albany as Corporation Service Company

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I gave a los angeles address (obviously in LA County). but bot assigned my case to a court in Sacramento County (almost 400 miles away)


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There's another option for small claims court. I read that Legalist is offering to pay all filing/court fees for anyone suing Equifax but they take a 30% cut if you win your case.

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