In a case that was defended by Cooper Walker and the team at Frost Echols, a state court judge in Texas has granted a debt collector’s motion to dismiss after it was sued for violating a section of state law requiring sellers to hold registration certificates to operate in Texas when making telephone solicitations in the state. We don’t see a lot of state court rulings which makes this interesting from the get-go, and to put a cherry on top of this sundae, a number of other collectors have been sued for violating the same statute by the same plaintiff, which is being represented by the same law firm.
A copy of the ruling — which includes none of the reasons why the judge granted the defendant’s motion — in the case of Sage Telecom v. Sequium Asset Solutions is available by clicking here. The defendant’s motion is available by clicking here, and the original summons and complaint is available by clicking here.
The defendant was sued for allegedly placing 188 telephone solicitations to cell phones managed and provided by the plaintiff — which operates a free wireless telephone program for underserved households in the United States. The calls in question were solicitations, the plaintiff alleged, because they were initiated in order to induce the plaintiff to purchase, rent, claim, or receive an item, and the defendant allegedly violated the statute by not obtaining a registration certificate from the Office of the Secretary of State.
The defendant argued that the plaintiff lacked standing to sue, because the requirements for standing in Texas paralleled that in federal court meaning the plaintiff had to suffer a concrete injury in order to be able to sue, and in this case, the plaintiff did not suffer a personal harm. The plaintiff’s customers received the calls in question, not the plaintiff, the defendant argued.
“The fact that Plaintiff’s customers receive phone calls is what keeps them in business,” the defendant argued in its motion. “And, if there was a ‘real’ or ‘actual’ injury suffered from a telemarketing call, that ‘real’ and ‘actual’ injury would be suffered by the person who received the call.”