Judge Denies Sanctions in TCPA Case, Calls Defendant’s Motion a ‘Sideshow’

Except when you’re on the receiving end of it, judges can be kind of funny.

Take Judge Kevin McNulty of the District Court for the District of New Jersey, who recently denied a motion to strike a complaint and for sanctions against a plaintiff who filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the defendant violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by contacting her without her consent.

The motion from the defendant is a “sideshow” from the defendants that Judge McNulty did not take kindly to. The plaintiff filed suit after allegedly being contacted by the defendant using an automated telephone dialing system without first receiving the plaintiff’s consent. The defendant argues that the plaintiff filled out a form on the defendant’s website, providing consent. The plaintiff contends she never visited the website.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Sloatman v. Triad Media Solutions can be accessed by clicking here.

Even though she states she never visited the website prior to receiving the phone call, in her interrogatories, the plaintiff says she “can not recall” whether she visited the website or not, an answer that was seized upon by the defendant as proof that the plaintiff has no basis to refute the defendant’s evidence.

Not so fast, said Judge McNulty.

“In saying — and I do — that Triad’s motion has wasted the Court’s time, do not express any opinion on the merits,” Judge McNulty writes in his ruling. “Triad submits website evidence Sloatman consented; Sloatman submits, to the Court and her counsel, she didn’t. The point is there is a factual dispute, which must be resolved by the means, not in the context of a sideshow motion for sanctions.”


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