Appeals Court Dismisses Request Seeking Additional Damages in TCPA Suit

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal filed by a plaintiff seeking to recover additional recoveries after being awarded $14,000 in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act case against a collector.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Floyd v. Navient Solutions can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff sued after receiving calls from the defendant. The problem was that the plaintiff was never a customer of the defendant’s; his cell phone number had been previously assigned to someone who was a customer of the student loan servicing giant, and the plaintiff received calls that were intended for the previous holder of the cell phone number.

The plaintiff filed suit back in 2012, alleging he received more than 100 prerecorded calls on his cell phone in 2011 and 2012. During discovery, it was revealed that the plaintiff actually received 28 calls from the defendant. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which a District Court judge granted in 2018 on all but those 28 calls. The court awarded the defendant $500 per call, or $14,000 in total.

Nearly a year later, in December 2019, the judge entered a final judgment in the case, but failed to grant the plaintiff the amount for which the defendant was held liable. An amended order was entered in June 2020. The plaintiff filed an appeal, 30 days later, seeking penalties for other calls he claims were placed to his phone.

The problem for the defendant is that his 30-day window to file an appeal started running in 2018 when the motion for summary judgment was ruled on, and not in 2020 when the final judgment was entered, the Appeals Court ruled. Even though it was not a final order, it “resolved all questions of liability and stated the calculation of damages,” the Appeals Court noted in its ruling. As such, the notice of appeal was untimely, leading the Eleventh Circuit to dismiss it.

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