Tax Preparers and Clients' Privacy

Appellant, Angela Tomlinson (hereafter "Tomlinson"), filed a class action for damages and injunctive relief in Oklahoma state court alleging that Appellees, H&R Block, Inc. and H&R Block Tax Service, made false and deceptive statements by using her social security number in educational seminars and tax preparation training courses, thereby breaching the companies' privacy policy stating that they protect personal information. The trial court dismissed Tomlinson’s class action for lack of personal jurisdiction. The case was then moved to the Federal District Court in Oklahoma, which held that H&R Block lacked sufficient nexus with Oklahoma to maintain personal jurisdiction. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of the District Court and noted that H&R Block, Inc. was a holding company which had no employees, and that any goods or services that have been offered for sale through its Website were offered by operating subsidiaries of H&R Block, Inc. and not by H&R Block, Inc.

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