Seeking to add plaintiffs to a class-action lawsuit against a South Carolina car dealership, the now-defendant class-action attorneys tapped into the DMV records via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in order to locate potential clients. Each was sent a letter with “ADVERTISING MATERIAL” emblazoned across the top.
Unfortunately, one of the recipients also worked at the dealership.
The attorneys defending the dealership filed a class-action lawsuit against the original class-action plaintiffs’ attorneys on behalf of the 34,000 people who received a letter from the firm. The question for the Supreme Court was whether these letters, which arguably fit into the overbroad language of the statute’s “investigation in anticipation of a lawsuit” exception, violate the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.