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United States v. Bormes

Plaintiff James Bormes paid a filing fee using the federal government’s online pay.gov system and received a receipt that included information about his credit card. Bormes alleged that the receipt violated a provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act designed to protect consumers from identity theft. The district court dismissed the case on the ground that the federal government has immunity for damages claims under the FCRA. The Federal Circuit reversed, and the government petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari. Public Citizen served as co-counsel for Bormes at the petition stage and, after the petition was granted, at the merits stage. In November 2012, the Supreme Court ruled for the United States, holding that the Little Tucker Act did not waive the government’s sovereign immunity from suit for claims under the FCRA and remanding the case to the lower courts for consideration of whether the FCRA waives the government’s sovereign immunity.