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James Cable and Denise Cable v. Allied Interstate

November 29, 2012

JAMES CABLE AND DENISE CABLE, PLAINTIFFS
v.
ALLIED INTERSTATE, INC., DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William W. Caldwell United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

I. Introduction

Plaintiffs brought the above-captioned case seeking relief under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") and the doctrine of intrusion upon seclusion under Pennsylvania state law. Presently before the court is Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings (Doc. 25). Defendant argues that, under the circumstances of this case, Plaintiffs cannot state a viable claim with respect to either of these two causes of action, and therefore, the court should grant judgment in Defendant's favor. For the reasons set forth below, we will deny Defendant's motion.

II. Background

The following facts are alleged in Plaintiffs' complaint. Defendant is engaged in the business of collecting consumer debts. In the course of its business, Defendant uses the mail and the telephone to contact debtors. Defendant sends demands for payment, and leaves voice messages, directing debtors to call Defendant at a toll-free number. When a debtor calls this number, if the call is not answered by an employee of Defendant, then it is somehow routed to Plaintiffs' home telephone number.

Plaintiffs allege that, since May of 2011, they have received well over 100 calls from various debtors attempting to reach Defendant, and all of the calls are annoying and disruptive. Many are unpleasant, rude, laced with profanity, and even obscene. Plaintiffs also aver that they have repeatedly contacted Defendant in hopes that the problem could be remedied, but as of the time of filing their complaint, Defendant continued to advise debtors to call the phone number that, for reasons unknown, routes unanswered calls to Plaintiffs' home telephone. Plaintiffs also contacted the Better Business Bureau and the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, to no avail. Plaintiffs contend that the "harassing, aggravating[,] and highly intrusive" calls are ongoing, and Plaintiffs have suffered "emotional harm and distress, embarrassment, humiliation, disruption, and other losses[.]" (Doc. 1 ¶¶ 20-21).

Plaintiffs filed the instant case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and venue was transferred to this court on June 11, 2012. On October 3, 2012, Defendant filed the pending motion for judgment on the pleadings (Doc. 25). The motion is now fully briefed and ripe for disposition.

III. Legal Standard

Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a party to move for judgment on the pleadings. In reviewing such a motion, the court accepts the facts pleaded as true and views them in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.

Rosenau v. Unifund Corp., 539 F.3d 218, 221 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Jablonski v. Pan Am. World Airways, Inc., 863 F.2d 289, 290-91 (3d Cir. 1988)). Judgment should not be granted unless the moving party "clearly establishes that no material issue of fact remains to be resolved and that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Id.

IV. Discussion

Defendant argues that the FDCPA does not apply in this case, and that

the complained-of conduct does not constitute a tortious intrusion upon seclusion. We will analyze Plaintiffs' ...


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