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Howe v. Bank of America N.A., No. G040669

By FindLaw Staff on December 09, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In plaintiffs' putative class action suit against defendant and other entities claiming discrimination under the Unruh Civil Rights Act by requiring that U.S. citizens provide a Social Security number to open a particular type of credit card account, while allowing foreign nationals to open such accounts with only alternative forms of identification, trial court's order sustaining defendant's demurrer to the complaint is affirmed where: 1) as a matter of law, Bank of America did not act arbitrarily as 31 C.F.R. section 103.121, which was enacted pursuant to the legislation commonly known as The USA Patriotic Act, expressly requires defendant to obtain Social Security numbers from U.S. citizens; and 2) because defendant's credit card program merely applied federally imposed minimum identification standards to all applicants for its accounts, the practice bears a reasonable relationship to Bank of America's commercial objectives and was consequently valid on its face.     

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Appellate Information

Filed December 9, 2009


Opinion by Judge Bedsworth

For Appellant:   The Rava Law Firm and Alfred G. Rava

For Appellee:   Morrison & Foerster, Arturo J. Gonzalez, William L. Stern and Claudia M. Vetesi

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