A federal judge in Florida has granted summary judgment in favor of a defendant after it was alleged by a plaintiff that the defendant violated the Fair Credit Report Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act.
Other than it being an apparent victory over a plaintiff who was clearly grasping at straws in filing the lawsuit, the summary judgment also included an interesting warning for anyone seeking to use previous settlements as evidence of alleged illegal activity by a defendant.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Joseph Celestine v. JPMorgan Chase Bank can be accessed by clicking here.
In claiming the TCPA violation, the plaintiff contended that the defendant used an automated telephone dialing system because there was a long pause after he picked up the phone and before someone started talking and because the defendant had settled other lawsuits alleging violations of the TCPA.
All the judge needed was an affirmation from the defendant that the calls placed to the plaintiff were made manually and the “speculative” reasons put forth by the plaintiff were not enough to keep the case from continuing.
As for any previous settlements, Judge K. Michael Moore wrote, “Plaintiff cannot, however, point to these previous actions as evidence that Defendant violated the TCPA.”
The judge also granted summary judgment on the FCRA claim and the FCCPA claim.