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Agency Wins Summary Judgment in TCPA Case

As Artin Betpera from Womble Bond Dickinson first published, a federal judge in Alabama has granted summary judgment in favor of a collection agency that argued a plaintiff’s consent to be contacted on her cell phone could not be revoked under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act because she had provided her consent to be contacted as part of a contractual agreement.

A copy of the ruling in Few v. Receivables Performance Management can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff had filed a lawsuit alleging that the defendant had contacted her 184 times on her cell phone after she had revoked consent to be contacted. However, the plaintiff had authorized the original creditor “and/or any debt collection agency and/or debt collection attorney” hired by it to “recover any unpaid portion of [her] obligation to [the original creditor], through an automated or predictive dialing system or prerecorded messaging system[.]”

Judge Karen Bowdre of the Northern District of Alabama’s Eastern Division, made short work of the plaintiff’s arguments, ruling that consent that is provided as part of a contract can not be revoked. While the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Alabama, has not yet ruled on the issue, Judge Bowdre looked to the Second Circuit’s decision in Reyes . Lincoln Financial Services, which ruled that one party to a contract can not unilaterally alter the terms of that contract without the other party’s consent.

Judge Bowdre even shot down an attempt from the plaintiff for full discovery in the case, saying she “sees little merit in forcing Receivables to bear the costs of discovery given that Ms. Few does not dispute the existence of the contract that precludes her claims under the TCPA.”

 

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