Case Type:
Case Status:
No. 16-17137 (9th Circuit, Jun 07,2018) Published
9th Cir. issued order certifying questions to California Supreme Court regarding standing to sue under California's Unruh Act (equal protection statute). Issue was whether bankruptcy attorney had standing to sue internet payment processor (Square Inc.) based on provider's refusal to provide services to debt collectors. Because bankruptcy attorney, who sought to form class of plaintiffs, initiated, but did not proceed with entry into service agreement with provider after discovering exclusion of services to debt collectors, 9th Circuit certified questions to California State Court re standing.
Procedural context:
US District Court dismissed plaintiff's complaint based on lack of standing. Plaintiff appealed to 9th Circuit. (*Note--designation that 9th Circuit "affirmed" lower court is incorrect--form for summary requires checking of a box but does not include certification of questions; 9th Cir. has not yet ruled on appeal)
Square, Inc. ("Square") provides internet-based service that allows individuals or merchants to accept electronic payments without opening up a merchant account with a Visa or MasterCard member bank. Square's seller agreement states that "[b]y creating a Square Account, you . . . confirm that you will not accept payments in connection with . . . bankruptcy attorneys or collection agencies engaged in the collection of debt." White, a bankruptcy attorney, wanted to subscribe to Square. White was aware of litigation involving law firm against Square related to restriction against bankruptcy attorneys that included position from Square that signing up for Square services with intent to violate terms would be fraudulent, and that entry into service agreement included mandatory arbitration clause. White accessed site, reached the stage of enrollment where the exclusion against bankruptcy attorneys was included, and did not proceed. White then sued Square in US District Court, seeking to certify a class of bankruptcy attorneys.
Paez, Ikuta, Vialiano* (*sitting by designation)

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