Johnson v. Wells Fargo Bank Nat'l Ass'nAnnotate this Case
Appellant opened three business accounts at Respondent Wells Fargo Bank. Respondent later unilaterally closed the three accounts, stating that the reason for the closure was because Appellant had been involved in a criminal activity. Appellant filed a complaint alleging defamation, false light, and declaratory relief. Appellant then filed a motion to compel Respondent to produce documents regarding the closure of her accounts, as well as the risk assessment processes and analysis for closing these accounts. The discovery commissioner decided that Respondent was not required to provide the requested records under the Bank Secrecy Act. The district court affirmed the commissioner’s report and recommendations but ordered Respondent to provide a privilege log concerning the subject matter at issue. After Respondent submitted a privilege log, the discovery commissioner recommended that the documents be deemed confidential. The district court affirmed and adopted the report and recommendations. Appellant’s cause of action for declaratory relief was ultimately dismissed by the district court. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the discovery commissioner and the district court did not err in concluding that the documents at issue were protected by the Suspicious Activity Report privilege under the Bank Secrecy Act.