Epps v. JPMorgan Chase
Public Justice was co-counsel in this successful appeal from a district court’s decision holding that federal banking law preempts a Maryland consumer protection statute. The Maryland statute guarantees that consumers whose cars are repossessed will be given accurate information about how much they owe. Public Justice argued on appeal that the Maryland law is not preempted because (1) the bank defendant agreed in its car-loan contract to comply with Maryland’s consumer protections, and (2) federal banking law has always preserved state debt-collection statutes from preemption. Public Justice also argued that a strong presumption against preemption applies.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the Maryland law is not preempted and reversed the district court’s dismissal.
The brief was drafted by former Brayton-Thornton Attorney Melanie Hirsch, with assistance from Senior Attorney Paul Bland and co-counsel Scott Borison of Legg Law Firm, LLC, in Frederick Md., Peter Holland of The Holland Law Firm, PC, in Annapolis, Md., and Jane Santoni of Williams and Santoni LLP in Towson, Md.