DERRICK A. MILBOURNE and SAMANTHA CHURCHER v JRK Residential

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, CIVIL No. 3:12-CV-861

On January 4, 2017, the Court granted Final Approval of the Class Action Settlement. The Settlement Administrator will be mailing settlement award checks to Class Members on or around February 8, 2017.

A copy of the Final Approval Order may be downloaded HERE.

A copy of the Settlement Agreement may be downloaded HERE.

 

On March 15, 2016, the Court issued a series of opinions and orders in this matter resolving some of the issues in this case.  In addition, the Court amended the class definitions.  First, each class definition now includes all consumers who met the class criteria November 30, 2010, through March 15, 2016.  Second, the Court found that 559 class members had signed a disclosure and authorization form that conformed with the Fair Credit Reporting Act requirements, and thus are not members of the impermissible use class. 

This website provides information regarding the class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entitled Derrick A. Milbourne and Samantha Churcher, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, v. JRK Residential America LLC, Civil No. 3:12-cv-861.
 

Class Members fall into two Classes.

Impermissible Use Class

Plaintiff Derrick A. Milbourne applied for and was offered a job at JRK Residential America, LLC. At the time he applied for a job, JRK obtained a background check about him from U.S. Background Screening. JRK denied employment to Mr. Milbourne based on the results of his background check.  JRK did not provide Mr. Milbourne with a copy of his consumenr report and other required disclosures at least five business days before denying him employment as a result of his background check. The court found that JRK's failure to provide the required notices violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(3).

The Court entered Orders certifying that this case may proceed as a Class Action. The parties agreed to settle this case.  The Court preliminarily approved the settlement.

JRK Residential America LLC’s records show that you (a) applied for an employment position with Defendant or any of its subsidiaries, (b) as part of this application process were the subject of a consumer report obtained by Defendant between November 30, 2010 and March 15, 2016, (c) where Defendant used a form to make its disclosures pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2) that contained a release and/or waiver of the signing consumer’s claims and/or rights.

 

Adverse Action Class

Plaintiff Samantha Churcher applied for and was offered a job at JRK Residential America, LLC.  At the time she applied for a job, JRK obtained a background check about her from U.S. Background Screening.  JRK asked Ms. Churcher to sign a background check disclosure and authorization form.  The court found that the background check disclosure and authorization form violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2) because it did not consist solely of the disclosure.

The Court entered Orders certifying that this case may proceed as a Class Action. The parties agreed to settle this case.  The Court preliminarily approved the settlement.

JRK Residential America LLC’s records show that you (a) applied for an employment position with Defendant or any of its subsidiaries, (b) as part of this application process you were the subject of a consumer report obtained by Defendant between November 30, 2010 and March 15, 2016, (c) where Defendant’s records show that the you were denied employment because of the background check, (d) and that Defendant did not provide you a copy of the consumer report and other disclosures required by 15 U.S.C. §1681b(b)(3)(A)(ii) at least five business days before the date the employment decision is first noted in Defendant’s records.

SUMMARY OF OPTIONS

YOU HAVE TWO OPTIONS:

IF YOU DO NOTHING:

If the Court approves the Settlement, a $100-$150 check for your portion of the Settlement Fund will be mailed to you automatically and without you having to do anything.  The Final Judgemnt in this case will be binding on you, meaning you give up all rights to sue JRK Residential America LLC or their affiliates separately about the same claims in this lawsuit.

IF YOU EXCLUDE YOURSELF

If you ask to be excluded, you will not share in the money provided by the Settlement. But, you keep any rights to sue JRK Residential America LLC or their affiliates separately about the same legal claims in this case. The Court's judgment will not be binding on you.

YOU MAY OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT You can write to the Court and tell it what you do not like about the Settlement.  You sill remain a part of the Class, and will still share in the Settlement.

 

If you are not sure whether you are included in the Class, you can ask for free help by calling the lawyers representing the class at (757) 930-3660 or emailing them at [email protected]

 

Here is a list of frequently asked questions about the settlement.
To display the answers for reading please click on the question of interest.

  1. What is the case about?

    1.  

      Plaintiff Derrick A. Milbourne applied for and was offered a job at JRK Residential America, LLC. At the time he applied for a job, JRK obtained a background check about him from U.S. Background Screening. JRK denied employment to Mr. Milbourne based on the results of his background check.  JRK did not provide Mr. Milbourne with a copy of his consumenr report and other required disclosures at least five business days before denying him employment as a result of his background check. The court found that JRK's failure to provide the required notices violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(3).

      Plaintiff Samantha Churcher applied for and was offered a job at JRK Residential America, LLC.  At the time she applied for a job, JRK obtained a background check about her from U.S. Background Screening.  JRK asked Ms. Churcher to sign a background check disclosure and authorization form.  The court found that the background check disclosure and authorization form violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2) because it did not consist solely of the disclosure.

      The Court entered Orders certifying that these cases may proceed as Class Actions. The parties agreed to settle these cases.  The Court preliminarily approved these settlements.

  2. Why did I get this Notice package?

    1.  

      If you are in the Impermissible Use Class

      JRK Residential America LLC’s records show that you (a) applied for an employment position with Defendant or any of its subsidiaries, (b) as part of this application process were the subject of a consumer report obtained by Defendant between November 30, 2010 and March 15, 2016, (c) where Defendant used a form to make its disclosures pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2) that contained a release and/or waiver of the signing consumer’s claims and/or rights.

      This means that you are a member of the “Impermissible Use Class.”

      The Court authorized this Notice because you have a right to know that the Court has allowed, or “certified,” a class action lawsuit that may affect you. You have legal rights and options that you may exercise before the Court holds a trial. The trial is to decide whether the claims being made against JRK Residential America LLC, on your behalf, are correct.

      If you are in the Adverse Action Class

      JRK Residential America LLC’s records show that you (a) applied for an employment position with Defendant or any of its subsidiaries, (b) as part of this application process you were the subject of a consumer report obtained by Defendant between November 30, 2010 and March 15, 2016, (c) where Defendant’s records show that the you were denied employment because of the background check, (d) and that Defendant did not provide you a copy of the consumer report and other disclosures required by 15 U.S.C. §1681b(b)(3)(A)(ii) at least five business days before the date the employment decision is first noted in Defendant’s records.

      This means that you are a member of the “Adverse Action Class.”

      The Court authorized this Notice because you have a right to know that the Court has allowed, or certified,” a class action lawsuit that may affect you. You have legal rights and options that you may exercise before the Court holds a trial. The trial is to decide whether the claims being made against JRK Residential LLC, on your behalf, are correct.

       

  3. What is a class action and who is involved?

    1.  

      If you are in the Impermissible Use Class

      Plaintiff Derrick A. Milbourne applied for and was offered a job at JRK Residential America, LLC. At the time he applied for a job, JRK obtained a background check about him from U.S. Background Screening. JRK denied employment to Mr. Milbourne based on the results of his background check.  JRK did not provide Mr. Milbourne with a copy of his consumenr report and other required disclosures at least five business days before denying him employment as a result of his background check. The court found that JRK's failure to provide the required notices violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(3).

      The Court entered Orders certifying that this case may proceed as a Class Action. The parties agreed to settle this case.  The Court preliminarily approved the settlement.

      JRK Residential America LLC’s records show that you (a) applied for an employment position with Defendant or any of its subsidiaries, (b) as part of this application process were the subject of a consumer report obtained by Defendant between November 30, 2010 and March 15, 2016, (c) where Defendant used a form to make its disclosures pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2) that contained a release and/or waiver of the signing consumer’s claims and/or rights.

      SUMMARY OF OPTIONS

      IF YOU DO NOTHING:

      If the Court approves the Settlement, a $100 check for your portion of the Settlement Fund will be mailed to you automatically and without you having to do anything.  The Final Judgemnt in this case will be binding on you, meaning you give up all rights to sue JRK Residential America LLC or their affiliates separately about the same claims in this lawsuit.

      IF YOU EXCLUDE YOURSELF

      If you ask to be excluded, you will not share in the money provided by the Settlement. But, you keep any rights to sue JRK Residential America LLC or their affiliates separately about the same legal claims in this case. The Court's judgment will not be binding on you.

      YOU MAY OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT You can write to the Court and tell it what you do not like about the Settlement.  You sill remain a part of the Class, and will still share in the Settlement.

       

      If you are in the Adverse Action Class

      Plaintiff Samantha Churcher applied for and was offered a job at JRK Residential America, LLC.  At the time she applied for a job, JRK obtained a background check about her from U.S. Background Screening.  JRK asked Ms. Churcher to sign a background check disclosure and authorization form.  The court found that the background check disclosure and authorization form violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2) because it did not consist solely of the disclosure.

      The Court entered Orders certifying that this case may proceed as a Class Action. The parties agreed to settle this case.  The Court preliminarily approved the settlement.

      JRK Residential America LLC’s records show that you (a) applied for an employment position with Defendant or any of its subsidiaries, (b) as part of this application process you were the subject of a consumer report obtained by Defendant between November 30, 2010 and March 15, 2016, (c) where Defendant’s records show that the you were denied employment because of the background check, (d) and that Defendant did not provide you a copy of the consumer report and other disclosures required by 15 U.S.C. §1681b(b)(3)(A)(ii) at least five business days before the date the employment decision is first noted in Defendant’s records.

      SUMMARY OF OPTIONS

      IF YOU DO NOTHING:

      If the Court approves the Settlement, a $150 check for your portion of the Settlement Fund will be mailed to you automatically and without you having to do anything.  The Final Judgemnt in this case will be binding on you, meaning you give up all rights to sue JRK Residential America LLC or their affiliates separately about the same claims in this lawsuit.

      IF YOU EXCLUDE YOURSELF

      If you ask to be excluded, you will not share in the money provided by the Settlement. But, you keep any rights to sue JRK Residential America LLC or their affiliates separately about the same legal claims in this case. The Court's judgment will not be binding on you.

      YOU MAY OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT

      You can write to the Court and tell it what you do not like about the Settlement.  You sill remain a part of the Class, and will still share in the Settlement.

       

       

      If you are not sure whether you are included in the Class, you can ask for free help by calling the lawyers representing the class at (757) 930-3660 or emailing them at JRKclassaction@clalegal.com. You can also visit the website www.jrkclassaction.com.

       

       

       

  4. Has the Court decided who is right?

    1.  

      The Court hasn’t decided whether JRK Residential America LLC or the Plaintiff is correct. Based upon the Settlement Agreement and all of the files, records, and proceedings, it appears to the Court that, upon preliminary examination, the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.  A hearing will be held on January 4th, 2017, at 9:30 A.M., after notice to the Class Members to confirm that the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and to determine whether a Final Approval Order should be entered in the Litigation.

       

  5. What does the Settlement porvide?

    1.  

      Defendant has agreed to pay up to $305,000.00 (the "Settlement Fund") for the benefit of the Classes, which funds will be used to make the payments to Class Members described below, to pay Plaintiff's attorneys' fees and litigation expenses, and to pay the costs of administering the Settlement.  There are two Classes, the Impermissible Use Class and the Adverse Action Class.  The Settlement Fund will go to compensate members of both Classes.  Also, because there are two Classes, you may receive a second notice detailing the Settlement of Claims for either the Impermissible Use Class or the Adverse Action Class.

      If the Court approves the Settlement, a $100-$150 check for your portion of the Settlement Fund will be mailed to you automatically and without you having to do anything.

      The Settlement Administrator will mail you a check automatically about 35 days after the Court grants final approval to the Settlement.  The Administrator will mail that check to the same address as the Notice, so please update the Administrator with your new address if you move.  You can contact the administrator at Milbourne v. JRK Residential America LLC, c/o Class Administrator, PO Box 1387, Blue Bell, PA  19422 to let it know your address has changed.

       

  6. What am I giving up to get a benefit or stay in the Class?

    1.  

      If you do not exclude yourself from the Class, you will agree to Release (give up) all claims related to the use of consumer reports by JRK Residential America, LLC and JRK Propert Holdings, Inc. in their hiring process.  You will release JRK Residential America, LLC and JRK Propert Holdings, Inc. and their agents, affiliates and other connected persons.

       

  7. How do I excluded myself from the Class?

    1.  

      To be excluded, you must send this “Exclusion Request” form or a letter sent by mail, stating that you want to be excluded from “Milbourne v. JRK Residential America LLC.” Be sure to include your name and address, and sign the letter. You must mail your Exclusion Request such that it is postmarked on or before December 1, 2016, to: Milbourne v. JRK Residential America LLC, Exclusions, c/o Class Administrator, PO Box 1387, Blue Bell, PA, 19422.

      You must exclude yourself from this Settlement if you want to later sue the Defendant for the claims in this case.

       

  8. Do I have a lawyer in the case and should I get my own lawyer?

    1.  

      The Court decided that Leonard Bennett, Susan M. Rotkis, Casey S. Nash and Matthew Erausquin of Consumer Litigation Associates, PC, and Thomas R. Breeden are qualified to represent you and all Class Members. Together the law firms are called “Class Counsel.” They are experienced in handling similar consumer class cases. More information about the law firms, their practices, and their lawyers’ experience is available at www.clalegal.com.

      You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. But, if you want your own separate lawyer, you will have to “exclude” yourself from the Class and pay that lawyer separately.

       

  9. How will the lawyers be paid?

    1.  

      Class Counsel will ask the Court for an award of attorneys' fees and costs, which the Defendant has agreed to pay as part of the Settlement Fund, in an amount up to $179,600.  However, the Court may ultimately award less than this amount.  The requested $179,600 includes Class Counsel's costs and expenses of up to $100,000 incurred by them and by the Class Representatives in litigating this matter.  The Defendant has paid for the costs of the notice to you and will pay up to $10,000 for the other costs of administering the settlement, inclusive of the costs of the notice.

      Defendant has also agreed to separately pay $70,000 in attorneys' fees and costs to resolve a previous discovery dispute in this case.  This is not part of the Settlement Fund.

       

  10. Are the Class Representatives entitled to any additional payment?

    1.  

      Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve a payment to the Class Representatives of an amount not to exceed $5,000 each ($10,000 total) as an award for their individual service and efforts and time expended in prosecuting the Lawsuit.  However, the Court may ultimately award less than this amount.  Any payment will be made from the Settlement Fund. 

       

  11. How do I tell the Court what I do not like about the Settlement?

    1. If you are a Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you think any part of the Settlement is not 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 object, you must send a letter stating that you object to the Settlement in Milbourne v. JRK Residential America LLC.  Be sure to include: (1) the name of the Lawsuit, Milbourne v. JRK Residential America LLC (2) your full name, current address, telephone number; and (3) a detailed explanation of the reasons you object to the settlement and any papers in support of your position.  Mail or deliver the foregoing to these three different places so that it is received no later than December 1, 2016:

      Court Class Counsel  Defendant's Cousel
      Clerk of the Court Leonard A. Bennett George Peter Sibley, III
      United States District Court Consumer Litigation Associates, P.C.         Hunton & Williams LLP
      701 East Broad Street 763 J. Clyde Morris Blvd 1A 951 E Byrd St
      Richamons, VA  23219 Newport News, VA  23601 Riverfront Plaza
          Richmond, VA  23219
  12. What is the difference between objecting and excluding?

    1. Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement.  You can object only if you remain in the Class.  Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be prart of the Class.  If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to this Settlement because the case no longer affects you.

  13. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    1. The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate.  The hearing is on January 4, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert E. Payne of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 701 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA  23219.

      You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you do not have to.

  14. Are there more details available?

    1.  

      You may request more information or speak to one of the lawyers representing you by calling the Class Administrator at (800) 222-2760, the Attorneys at (757) 930-3660 or by emailing them at [email protected]. You can also revisit this website for updates, documents and other information regarding the case as the case proceeds.