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Court Denies Certification in TCPA Suit Over Collection Calls

A District Court judge in California has declined to certify a class action lawsuit alleging a defendant violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by making collection calls to individuals who were not the intended recipients of the communications.

A copy of the ruling in Revitch v. Citibank can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff received multiple calls on his cell phone from the defendant even after he notified the defendant that he was not the intended recipient of the calls. The plaintiff subsequently filed suit, alleging the defendant violated the TCPA by making calls to an individual’s cell phone using an automatic telephone dialing system without first obtaining the proper consent. The plaintiff sought to certify a class of individuals who were contacted by the defendant on their cell phones where they were not listed in the defendant’s records as the intended recipients of the calls.

In denying the certification, Judge William Aslup of the Northern District of California ruled that individualized inquires are needed to ultimately determine whether consent was given or revoked, thus rendering a class action as impractical.

In fact, the plaintiff had to include himself in the actual class definition because the methodology used by the plaintiff’s expert to determine whether a call was made to a wrong number or not would exclude the plaintiff from the proposed class.

An analysis of a sample of 20,000 phone numbers yielded 176 potential class members, according the plaintiff’s expert. But Citibank’s expert identified that 120 of those 176 numbers were actually documented as being associated with a customer of the defendant at the time the call was made.

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