United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
K. DuBOSE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Diamond's motion for
summary judgment (Doc. 108), Hastie's Response (Doc.
116), and Diamond's Reply (Doc. 120).
action centers on alleged violations of the Drivers'
Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2721, et.
seq. (DPPA) and privacy rights per Title 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. The "DPPA prohibits the obtainment or
disclosure of personal information from motor vehicle records
for any use not permitted under the fourteen specific
exceptions delineated in § 2721(b) the Act. 18 U.S.C.
§ 2722(a)." Baas v. Fewless, 886 F.3d
1088, 1090 (11th Cir. 2018). As explained in
Maracich v. Spears, 570 U.S. 48, 57-58 (2013):
To obtain a driver's license or register a vehicle, state
DMVs, as a general rule, require an individual to disclose
detailed personal information, including name, home address,
telephone number, Social Security number, and medical
information. See Reno v. Condon, 528 U.S. 141,
The DPPA provides that, unless one of its exceptions applies,
a state DMV “shall not knowingly disclose or otherwise
make available” “personal information” and
“highly restricted personal information.”
§§ 2721(a)(1)-(2). “[P]ersonal
information” is “information that identifies an
individual, including [a]...driver identification number,
name, address ..., [or] telephone number, ... but does not
include information on vehicular accidents, driving
violations, and driver's status.” § 2725(3).
“[H]ighly restricted personal information” is
defined as “an individual's photograph or image,
social security number, [and] medical or disability
information.” § 2725(4). The DPPA makes it
unlawful “for any person knowingly to obtain or
disclose personal information, from a motor vehicle record,
for any use not permitted under section 2721(b) of this
title.” § 2722(a). A person “who knowingly
obtains, discloses or uses personal information, from a motor
vehicle record, for a purpose not permitted under this
chapter shall be liable to the individual to whom the
information pertains.” § 2724(a).
The DPPA's disclosure ban is subject to 14 exceptions set
forth in § 2721(b), for which personal information
“may be disclosed.” ….
April 14, 2015 (amended on August 18, 2017 and September 22,
2017), Plaintiff Arnita Diamond (Diamond) filed a complaint
alleging that Defendant Kimberly Hastie (Hastie)
unlawfully obtained, used and/or disclosed her personal
information of Mobile, Alabama (email address) from motor
vehicle records in violation of the Drivers' Privacy
Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2721, et. seq.
(DPPA) (Count I) and in violation of her privacy rights under
Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Count II). (Docs. 1, 28, 36
(amended)). Concerning the DPPA violations (Count I) Diamond
…During August 2013, Defendant Hastie, acting under
color of the law, and in the course and scope of her
employment, knowingly and under misinterpretation of federal
law, authorized, directed, ratified, approved, acquiesced in,
committed, or participated in, acts and practices in direct
violation of the DPPA when she ordered an employee of the
Mobile County License Commission to access
Plaintiff['s]…Personal Information contained in
motor vehicle records.
Hastie ordered the employee to access motor vehicle records
and gather the email addresses of all Mobile County residents
who reside within the city limits and place that Personal
Information onto an electronic storage device (a “thumb
Hastie then ordered that the Personal Information be provided
to the campaign of a local political candidate. Non-parties
Chad Tucker (“Tucker”) and Strateco, LLC
(“Strateco”), knowingly received the Personal
Information and utilized it in order promote a local
political candidate, a purpose not permitted under the DPPA.
(Doc. 36 at 5). Diamond's' DPPA count (Count I)
specifies that Hastie's "accessing, obtaining,
disclosing and/or using" Diamond's motor vehicle
record violate Section 2724(a) of the DPPA. (Id. at
on Hastie's conduct, Diamond's Complaint seeks -- per
Section 2724(b)(1) --liquidated damages of $2, 500 per
occurrence (each instance Hastie unlawfully obtained, used,
and/or disclosed protected personal information); punitive
damages; and attorneys' fees. In Count II, with regard to
Section 1983, Diamond alleges that she had a reasonable
expectation of privacy as to the personal information
provided to the Mobile County License Commission, and that
Hastie deprived her of her rights to privacy as secured by
the DPPA. (Doc. 36 at 11). From this, Diamond claims
attorneys' fees and costs. (Id. at 12). On
summary judgment, Diamond seeks entry of judgment in her
favor and against Hastie as to DPPA liability, damages
(minimum statutory $2, 500), and attorneys' fees (to be
submitted at a later date).
Standard of Review
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
56(a). Rule 56(c) provides as follows:
(1) Supporting Factual Positions. A
party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely
disputed must support the assertion by:
(A) citing to particular parts of materials
in the record, including depositions, documents,
electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes
of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or
other materials; or
(B) showing that the materials cited do not
establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or
that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to
support the fact.
(2) Objection That a Fact Is Not Supported by
Admissible Evidence. A party may object that
the material cited to support or dispute a fact cannot be
presented in a form that would be admissible in evidence.
(3) Materials Not Cited. The court
need consider only the cited materials, but it may consider
other materials in the record.
(4) Affidavits or Declarations.
affidavit or declaration used to support or oppose a motion
must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would
be admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant or