and Submitted January 8, 2019 Pasadena, California
from the United States District Court for the Central
District of California D.C. No. 8:17-cv-01081-JLS-JEM
Josephine L. Staton, District Judge, Presiding
Anthony Bisconti (argued) and Thomas H. Bienert Jr., Bienert
Miller & Katzman PLC, San Clemente, California, for
E. Friedl (argued) and Christopher J. Deal, Attorneys; Steven
Y. Bressler, Assistant General Counsel; John R. Coleman,
Deputy General Counsel; Mary McLeod, General Counsel;
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Washington, D.C.; for
Before: Susan P. Graber and Paul J. Watford, Circuit Judges,
and Jack Zouhary, [*] District Judge.
Financial Protection Bureau
panel affirmed the district court's order granting the
petition of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
("CFPB") to enforce Seila Law LLC's compliance
with the CFPB's civil investigative demand to respond to
seven interrogatories and four requests for documents.
CFPB is headed by a single Director who exercises substantial
executive power but can be removed by the President only for
panel held that the CFPB's structure is constitutionally
permissible. The panel held that the Supreme Court's
separation-of-powers decisions in Humphrey's Executor
v. United States, 295 U.S. 602 (1935), and Morrison
v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988), were controlling. Those
cases indicate that the for-cause removal restriction
protecting the CFPB's Director does not "impede the
President's ability to perform his constitutional
duty" to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed.
Morrison, 487 U.S. at 691.
panel rejected Seila Law's contention that the civil
investigative demand violated the Consumer Financial
Protection Act's practice-of-law exclusion, which
provides that the CFPB may not exercise "authority with
respect to an activity engaged in by an attorney as part of
the practice of law under the laws of a State in which the
attorney is licensed to practice law." 12 U.S.C. §
5517(e)(1). The panel held that one of the exceptions to the
practice-of-law exclusion applied - Section 5517(e)(3) -
which empowered the CFPB to investigate whether Seila Law was
violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule, 75 Fed, . Reg. 48,
458-01, 48, 467-69 (Aug. 10, 2010).
panel also rejected Seila Law's contention that the civil
investigative demand violated 12 U.S.C. § 5562(c)(2)
because the demand provided information sufficient to put
Seila Law on notice of the nature of the conduct the CFPB was
investigating, and was not so general as to raise vagueness
or overbreadth concerns.
WATFORD, Circuit Judge.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is investigating
Seila Law LLC, a law firm that provides a wide range of legal
services to its clients, including debt-relief services. The
CFPB is seeking to determine whether Seila Law violated the
Telemarketing Sales Rule, 16 C.F.R. pt. 310, in the course of
providing debt-relief services to consumers. As part of its
investigation, the CFPB issued a civil investigative demand
(CID) to Seila Law that requires the firm to respond to seven
interrogatories and four requests for documents. See
12 U.S.C. § 5562(c)(1). After Seila Law refused to
comply with the CID, the CFPB filed a petition in the
district court to enforce compliance. See §
5562(e)(1). The district court granted the petition ...