Meyers v. Portfolio Recovery

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Law
  • Date Filed: 10-12-2012
  • Case #: 11-56600
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Christen for the Court; Circuit Judges D. Nelson and Fisher
  • Full Text Opinion

Consumers who provide creditors with cellular telephone numbers subsequent to the original transaction that resulted in the debt at issue have not consented to be contacted at those numbers by creditors per the requirements of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227.

Plaintiff Jesse Meyers was granted a preliminary injunction and provisional class certification by the district court for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227, committed by defendant Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC (“PRA”). PRA called Meyers’ cellular phone number (along with 46,657 other numbers with California area codes) during a two-month period, using an automatic dialing process that develops new debtor contact information termed “skip-tracing.” PRA argued that some debtors may have consented to being contacted at cellular phone numbers obtained by PRA via skip-tracing, and thus the district court erred in granting Meyers’s request for class certification. The Court cited a Federal Communications Commission declaratory ruling that specified that a debtor’s express consent to be contacted at a cellular number may only be given at “the time of the transaction that resulted in the debt at issue.” The Court held that consumers who provide creditors with cellular numbers subsequent to the original transaction have not consented to be contacted at those numbers by creditors under the requirements of the TCPA. Therefore, the district court had the authority to grant Meyers’s preliminary injunction and class certification requests. Further, the district court did not abuse its discretion by finding sufficient irreparable harm to grant the injunction, by finding that the numbers generated via skip-tracing likely were not provided consensually by debtors, or by accepting Meyers as an adequate class representative despite his prior convictions. The Court concluded that PRA failed to show that the district court erred in either the interpretation or application of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23(b). Finally, the Court found PRA’s substantive and procedural due process claims meritless. AFFIRMED.

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