insideARM maintains a free TCPA resources page to provide the ARM community a destination for timely and topical information on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”). This page is generously supported by Neustar.
The cornerstone of the page is a chart of significant TCPA cases. Click on the link to the case name for the complete text of the decision. Where insideARM has already published a story on the case, we provide a link to that as well. Case information and analysis is provided by the Bedard Law Group.
The February, 2017 update included four cases that were decided in January.
The cases were:
Stevens-Bratton v. Trugreen, Inc.
This case, from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, involved an arbitration provision in a contract between Stevens-Bratton and Trugreen for lawn care services. The district court had determined that the agreement between the parties required arbitration even though the agreement expired before the relevant events that are the subject of Stevens-Bratton’s lawsuit.
The plaintiff terminated the agreement for lawn care services. Months later she received over ten telemarketing calls on her cell phone from TruGreen, who used an automatic telephone dialing system. Despite Stevens-Bratton’s requests that TruGreen stop calling her, the calls continued.
The Court of Appeals determined that because the dispute between Stevens-Bratton and TruGreen does not “arise under” the expired agreement, they REVERSED the district court’s judgment compelling arbitration and REMANDED for further proceedings.
Golan v. Veritas Entertainment, LLC
This case involved telemarketing of a movie titled “Last Ounce of Courage.” Plaintiffs alleged that defendants engaged in an advertising campaign for the movie which included telephone calls to approximately four million residential telephone numbers throughout the United States. Plaintiffs also alleged the telephone calls were prerecorded, appeared as surveys to recipients about traditional American values, and told recipients if they believed in freedom and liberty, they would enjoy the movie. Michael Huckabee was the voice for the prerecorded messages.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri issued a Memorandum and Order certifying the class.
Van Patten v. Vertical Fitness Group, LLC
insideARM wrote about this decision on February 23, 2017. It is an important case about revocation of consent. The court determined that revoking a gym membership did not revoke consent to be contacted on the plaintiff’s cell phone. This case should be reviewed and considered/contrasted with the above referenced TruGreen case. The two have somewhat similar facts, but completely different results.
Stein v. Monterey Financial Services, Inc.
The plaintiff in this case had received over thirty auto-dialed calls and numerous prerecorded voicemails from Monterey debt collectors. Plaintiff had brought a motion for class certification. The proposed class was: “[a]ll persons within the United States to whom Monterey placed an ATDS-to-cellular debt-collection call between February 13, 2013 and July 17, 2013, and who did not provide their cellular numbers to their creditors during the transaction that resulted in the debt owed.”
In this case the court determined that the plaintiff’s proposed class did not meet the “ascertainability” requirements and refused to certify the proposed class. The court also noted that individualized consent issues rendered the proposed class unsuitable for certification.