Ninth Circuit Issues Decision Regarding Tenant Screening Reports and Criminal Records
On February 10, 2022, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a California District Court decision in Moran v. The Screening Pros, LLC, finding that while a credit reporting agency (CRA) must remove criminal charges and related information from a tenant screening report within seven years of the case filing (not the case dismissal), the CRA did not violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) because its failure was not negligent of willful.
In Moran, Plaintiff submitted a housing application in February 2010. The landlord denied his application because the background check revealed three dismissed criminal charges and a conviction. While the oldest charge was filed in 2000, it was dismissed in 2004. Plaintiff argued that the inclusion of the 2000 charge in the screening report violated the FCRA because it was more than seven years old. The CRA claimed the 2004 dismissal date was the operative date under the statute. While the Ninth Circuit found that the appropriate date to analyze when a CRA should remove criminal records is the date the DA filed the charges, the court upheld the dismissal of the case because Plaintiff failed to show the violation was negligent or willful.
If you received a lease denial from a tenant screening report showing old criminal charges or inaccurate tenant information, you should contact a Las Vegas credit attorney as soon as possible.