This matter comes before the court on defendant's motion for summary judgment. (Mot. for Summ. J., ECF 23.) The court heard argument on February 10, 2012. Ryan Lee appeared for plaintiff; Stephen Turner appeared for defendant. Plaintiff's claims are based on her belief that defendant violated state and federal consumer protection laws when it called her repeatedly concerning an outstanding debt. For the following reasons, the court grants in part and denies in part defendant's motion.
Plaintiff owes a consumer debt that was assigned to defendant for collection in 2010. (Pl.'s Response to Def.'s Statement of Undisputed Facts ("PR"), ECF 32-1 ¶ 2.) The parties agree that defendant called plaintiff at least thirteen times between May 10, 2010 and July 21, 2010. (Id. ¶ 3.) On May 10, 2010, defendant called plaintiff's phone at 4:44 p.m. On that call, the speaker identified himself as calling Andrea Beard on behalf of Sentry Credit and said the call was made to collect a debt. (Id. ¶ 4.) On June 4, 2010, around 3:24 p.m., defendant called the same number and did not leave a message when no one answered. (Id. ¶ 5.) This scenario repeated on June 11 at 4:03 p.m., June 25 at 2:27 p.m., June 25 at 3:02 p.m., June 28 at 5:03 p.m., July 12 at 12:12 p.m., July 13 at 10:36 a.m., July 19 at 10:25 a.m., July 20 at 10:27 a.m., and July 21 at 11:22 a.m. (Id. ¶¶ 6, 8-12, 14-16.)
Two additional calls did not follow this general script. On June 25,
at 2:27 p.m., defendant called a separate number identified with
plaintiff and found that number to be disconnected. (Id. ¶ 7.) On July
14, defendant called the first number again, and a woman answered.
After a brief conversation the call was terminated.*fn1
(Id. ¶13.) This July 14 call plays a central role in
plaintiff's claims. The colloquy that took place between defendant's
representative and the woman who answered is as follows:
Woman: Yes. Um, you guys keep leaving messages on my phone.
I just want to tell you that I'm going to report you guys, 'cause you cannot leave on--in the State of California, you cannot leave, on the answering machine, uh, "This is an attempt to collect a debt." Caller: Is this Andrea Beard? [OVERLAPPING]
Woman: [OVERLAPPING] It's against the law. Uh, it's against the law, and I wish you do not call here anymore.
Caller: Is this--Woman: I'm going to report you.
Caller: Okay. Okay, ma'am. Is this Andrea--is this--okay. [OVERLAPPING]
Woman: [OVERLAPPING] I'm telling you that. Do not call here anymore.
Caller: [OVERLAPPING] Okay. We will continue to call if this is still Andrea Beard. Uh, I'm going to continue to call.
Woman: No. You will get fined. I'm going to report you.
Woman: I'm going to ca--uh, that.
Woman: Because you cannot do Caller: Okay, no, uh--Woman: And I do not want you to call. And in the State of California--[OVERLAPPING]
Caller: [OVERLAPPING] We can do it and we're gonna do it. Woman: If I tell you that--Caller: No, you can't.
Woman: You're not supposed to Caller: [OVERLAPPING] That's not it. That's not true.
Woman: [OVERLAPPING] If I tell you that, in the State of California--that is true.
Caller: Ma'am, do you need to seek legal advice? Because--[OVERLAPPING]
Woman: [OVERLAPPING] I work for a collection agency. Caller: Okay.
Woman: And I do--Caller: Okay. Well, you're doing a good job at ...