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Gutierrez v. Barclays Group, Case No. 10cv1012 DMS (BGS) (S.D. Cal.; Feb. 9, 2011)

Gutierrez v. Barclays Group, Case No. 10cv1012 DMS (BGS) (S.D. Cal.; Feb. 9, 2011)

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Court denies Barclays' request for summary judgment on unsolicited text messaging claims. The court finds that consent can be revoked orally (or via text message) and that the subscriber of the number is the proper plaintiff.
Court denies Barclays' request for summary judgment on unsolicited text messaging claims. The court finds that consent can be revoked orally (or via text message) and that the subscriber of the number is the proper plaintiff.

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Published by: Venkat Balasubramani on Feb 11, 2011
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10cv1012
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
RAMON GUTIERREZ and CLARIZAGUTIERREZ, on behalf of themselves andall others similarly situated,Plaintiffs,CASE NO. 10cv1012 DMS (BGS)vs.
ORDER DENYINGDEFENDANT’S MOTION FORSUMMARY JUDGMENT
[Docket No. 22]BARCLAYS GROUP d.b.a.BARCLAYCARD, d.b.a. BARCLAYSBANK, d.b.a. BARCLAYS BANKDELAWARE d.b.a. BARCLAYS BANK OFDELAWARE, N.A., et al.,Defendant.This case comes before the Court on Defendant’s motion for summary judgment. Plaintiffs havefiled an opposition to the motion, and Defendant has filed a reply. After thoroughly reviewing theparties’ briefs and supporting evidence, and the relevant case law, the Court denies the motion.
I.BACKGROUND
In September 2009, Plaintiff Ramon Gutierrez applied for a credit card account from DefendantBarclays. In the account application, Mr. Gutierrez listed two telephone numbers: (909) 702-5919 ashis home phone number and (909) 569-7913 as his work phone number. Although Mr. Gutierrez listedthe 5919 number as his home number, the number did not correspond to a land line to his home. Rather,
Case 3:10-cv-01012-DMS -BGS Document 35 Filed 02/09/11 Page 1 of 9
 
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10cv1012
that number belonged to a cellular phone belonging to his wife, Plaintiff Clariza Gutierrez. The 7913number corresponded to Mr. Gutierrez’s cellular phone.In October 2009, Defendant approved Mr. Gutierrez’s application and issued two separate creditcards for the account. One card was issued to Mr. Gutierrez, and the other card was issued to Mrs.Gutierrez as an authorized user. Mrs. Gutierrez was responsible for managing the account, whichincluded reviewing and paying the bills and communicating with Defendant on all account matters.Plaintiffs made purchases on the account, but failed to make timely payments, therefore theaccount became delinquent. At that time, Defendant began making collection calls to the two telephonenumbers associated with the account, the 5919 number and the 7913 number. Defendant also sent textmessages to the 7913 number. In response to one of the text messages, Mr. Gutierrez asked Defendantto stop sending text messages. Defendant ceased all collection activity on the account as of May 13,2010.On May 12, 2010, Plaintiffs filed the present case on behalf of themselves and all otherssimilarly situated. They allege one claim for negligent violation of the Telephone Consumer ProtectionAct (“TCPA”) and one claim for willful violation of the TCPA.
II.DISCUSSION
Defendant moves for summary judgment on both of Plaintiffs’ claims. It raises three arguments.First, Defendant argues it had prior express consent to call Plaintiffs at the numbers provided on theapplication, therefore it did not violate the TCPA. Second, Defendant asserts Mrs. Gutierrez is not a“called party” under the TCPA, therefore she lacks standing to pursue her claims. Third, Defendantcontends neither Plaintiff was charged for the calls or text messages, therefore there was no violationof the TCPA.
A.Standard of Review
Summary judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and themoving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The moving party hasthe initial burden of demonstrating that summary judgment is proper.
 Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co.
, 398U.S. 144, 157 (1970). The moving party must identify the pleadings, depositions, affidavits, or other
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evidence that it “believes demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.”
Celotex Corp.v. Catrett 
, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). “A material issue of fact is one that affects the outcome of thelitigation and requires a trial to resolve the parties’ differing versions of the truth.”
S.E.C. v. Seaboard Corp.
, 677 F.2d 1301, 1306 (9th Cir. 1982).The burden then shifts to the opposing party to show that summary judgment is not appropriate.
Celotex
, 477 U.S. at 324. The opposing party’s evidence is to be believed, and all justifiable inferencesare to be drawn in its favor.
 Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.
, 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). However, toavoid summary judgment, the opposing party cannot rest solely on conclusory allegations.
 Berg v.Kincheloe
, 794 F.2d 457, 459 (9th Cir. 1986). Instead, it must designate specific facts showing thereis a genuine issue for trial.
 Id.
More than a “metaphysical doubt” is required to establish a genuineissue of material fact.”
 Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp.
, 475 U.S. 574, 586(1986).
B.Prior Express Consent
The TCPA makes it unlawful:for any person within the United States, or any person outside the United States if therecipient is within the United States–(A) to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with theprior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing systemor an artificial or prerecorded voice– ...(iii) to any telephone number assigned to a paging service, cellular telephone service,specialized mobile radio service, or other radio common carrier service, or any servicefor which the called party is charged for the call[.]47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A)(iii). In a 1992 Report and Order, the Federal Communications Commission(“FCC”) stated that “persons who knowingly release their phone numbers have in effect given theirinvitation or permission to be called at the number which they have given, absent instructions to thecontrary.”
In the Matter of Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991
, Report and Order, 7 FCC Rcd. 8752, 8769 (Oct. 16, 1992) (“1992 Report and Order”). Ina subsequent ruling, the FCC clarified “that autodialed and prerecorded message calls to wirelessnumbers that are provided by the called party to a creditor in connection with an existing debt arepermissible as calls made with the ‘prior express consent’ of the called party.”
 In the Matter of Rulesand Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991
, Declaratory Ruling,
Case 3:10-cv-01012-DMS -BGS Document 35 Filed 02/09/11 Page 3 of 9

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