A U.S. district court judge in the Central District of California defended the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after rejecting multiple challenges to the bureau’s authority to issue civil investigative demands (CID), according to a blog by James Kim and Daniel Delnero, published in the CFPB Monitor.
The decision comes amid a growing amount of cases disputing the constitutionality of the bureau, which includes the landmark case between the CFPB and PHH that started oral arguments this week.
The blog explained that the judge ordered the defendant, Future Income Payments, to comply with a CID within fifteen days of the decision after the company previously attempted a John Doe challenge to the CID in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
From the blog:
The opinion is a reminder of the CFPB’s broad authority to issue a CID and the heavy burden a recipient bears of challenging it. The court joined other courts in emphasizing that an agency subpoena is valid unless jurisdiction is “plainly lacking.” Under this standard, a CID will be upheld if “there is some plausible ground for jurisdiction.”
Constitutional issues aside, the primary takeaway is that companies should think strategically when they receive a CID.
But while the CFPB won in California, it’s still uncertain how its case with PHH will unfold as it’s currently at the full Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. On Wednesday, both the CFPB and PHH made their case before the full Court of Appeals, which agreed to rehear the court’s October decision that declared the CFPB’s leadership structure unconstitutional by a 2-1 vote and vacated a $100 million fine levied by the CFPB against PHH. The case is still in the early stages.