Federal district court grants summary judgment for debt collector client of Simmonds & Narita
The United States District Court for the Southern District of California granted a motion to dismiss for Simmonds & Narita’s debt collector client, holding that Plaintiffs had failed to state claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, California’s Bane Act, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. As to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act claim, the Court held that the Act did not apply to prerecorded debt collection calls to the residence of a non-debtor. As to the claim under the Bane Act, which prohibits the deprivation of federal or state constitutional rights through “threat, intimidation, or coercion, or attempts to interfere by threat, intimidation, or coercion,” the Court held that the claim failed because there were no threats of physical violence and the receipt of phones calls seeking to collect an debt from the non-obligor did not amount to coercion. Finally, the Court dismissed the section 1983 claim, which was based on an alleged deprivation of due process and equal protection, because Plaintiffs did not identify a protected interest of which they were wrongfully deprived and did not allege they were members of a protected class or that Defendant’s conduct was motivated by an intent to discriminate.