Kelly Guzzo Seeks to Protect Consumers from Wrongful Criminal Background Checks

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Kelly Guzzo Seeks to Protect Consumers from Wrongful Criminal Background Checks

Background Checks

Kelly Guzzo was a key part of a team of lawyers that recently filed a case against RapidCourt LLC, a North Carolina company that collects and sells information about peoples’ criminal records.  

Employers often use background checks, including information that appears in criminal record searches conducted by third parties, to make decisions about job applicants.  Current and prospective employees can face severe and unfair consequences when these decisions are based on criminal record searches that return inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading information, as is sometimes the case. 

To prevent this from happening, a federal law named the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires companies to follow certain rules when they conduct background checks.  The rules are designed, among other things, to ensure that the information reported is up-to-date and that individuals receive notification and a copy of their files upon request. 

RapidCourt LLC, however, maintains that it is not subject to FCRA requirements, allowing it to sell stale court information as well as bypass notification and disclosure rules.  Additionally, RapidCourt LLC argued it was not subject to court jurisdiction in Virginia and did not have to comply with requests for documents and other information typical at this stage of litigation. 

A federal district court judge in Richmond rebuked RapidCourt LLC’s position on discovery, requiring them to produce the information sought by Kelly Guzzo and its colleagues.  This will help us identify other people who have been similarly harmed by RapidCourt LLC and ensure they are subject to Virginia court jurisdiction. 

The plaintiffs team will continue to fight for FCRA protections for individuals affected by RapidCourt LLC’s actions.  Relatedly, the Virginia General Assembly may consider legislation this year that would subject any entity claiming to be exempt from the FCRA to certain state requirements designed to protect individuals from wrongful criminal background checks, eliminating the loophole RapidCourt LLC is attempting to create.