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Ryabyshchuk v. Citibank, 11-Cv-1236 (S.D. CA. Nov. 28, 2011)

Ryabyshchuk v. Citibank, 11-Cv-1236 (S.D. CA. Nov. 28, 2011)

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Court denies motion to dismiss claims alleging transmission of unsolicited text messages in violation of the TCPA.
Court denies motion to dismiss claims alleging transmission of unsolicited text messages in violation of the TCPA.

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Published by: Venkat Balasubramani on Dec 06, 2011
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12/06/2011

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Case3:11-cv-01236-IEG-WVGDocument18Filed
11/28/11
Page1of7
UNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURTSOUTHERNDISTRICTOFCALIFORNIA
9BOQDANRYABYSHCHUK,individuallyandonbehalfofallotherssimilarlysituated,vs.CASENO.11-cv-1236-lEG(WVG)ORDERDENYINGMOTIONTODISMISS[Doc.No.14].10
11
12131415Plaintiff,CITIBANK(SOUTHDAKOTA)N.A.,alsoknownasCityCards,Defendant.16ThisisapurportedclassactionbroughtbyPlaintiffBoqdanRyabyshchukallegingthat17DefendantCitibank,N.A.senttextmessagestohiscellularphoneinviolationoftheTelephone18ConsumerProtectionAct("TCPA"),47U.S.C.§227.Subjectmatterjurisdictionispremisedon19theClassActionFairnessAct,28U.S.c.§1332(d)(2).CurrentlybeforetheCourtisCitibank's20motiontodismissforfailuretostateaclaim.[Doc.No.14.]Ryabyshchukfiledanoppositionto21themotion,andCitibankreplied.[Doc.Nos.15,16.]TheCourttookthematterundersubmission22pursuanttoCivilLocalRule7.1(d)(1).Havingconsideredtheparties'arguments,andforthe23reasonssetforthbelow,theCourt
DENIES
Citibank'smotiontodismiss.24
BACKGROUND
25RyabyshchukallegesthatonMay16,2011,hecontactedCitibankbytelephoneand26inquiredaboutthepossibilityofCitibankprovidinghimalineofpersonalcreditintheformofa27creditcard.(FirstAmendedComplaint~9.)Laterthatday,Ryabyshchukallegeshereceivedthe28following"unsolicited"textmessagefromCitibankonhiscellularphone:
-1-
llcv1236-IEG(WVG)
 
Case3:11-cv-01236-IEG-WVGDocument18Filed
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Page2of7
1FreeTextMsg:CitiCardsneedstotalkwithyouregardingyourrecentapplication.Pleasecall866-365-8962.ToOpt-OutreplySTOP.
(Id.
,-r10.)Inresponse,Ryabyshchukreplied"STOP"bysendingatextmessage.
(Id.,-r11.)
-2-
llcv1236-IEG(WVG)
234Thereafter,Ryabyshchukallegeshereceivedthefollowing"unsolicited"textmessage:FreeTextMsg:PeryourrequestyouwillnolongerreceivetextalertsfromCiti5CardsCreditDept.Ifyouhaveanyquestionscall866-365-8962.6
(Id.,-r
16.)Ryabyshchukallegesthatbothtextmessageshereceivedwereplacedviaan"automatic7telephonedialingsystem"andwithoutanyconsentbyhim.
(Id.,-r,-r
11,15,17,22.)8RyabyshchukfiledhiscomplaintonJune6,2011,andfiledhisFirstAmendedComplaint9("FAC")onAugust25,2011.[Doc.Nos.1,10.]Heallegestwocausesofaction:(1)negligent10violationsoftheTCPA;and(2)knowingorwillfulviolationsoftheTCPA.Heseeksstatutory11damagesintheamountof$500perviolationonthefirstcauseofactionandtrebledamagesonthe12secondcauseofaction.Healsoseeksinjunctivereliefprohibitingfuturesimilarconduct.13Ryabyshchukalsobringsthisactiononbehalfofthefollowingclass:"allpersonswithin14theUnitedStateswhoreceivedanyunsolicitedconfirmatorytextmessages,includingany15unsolicitedconfirmatory/marketingtextmessagesfromCitibankafteranyclassmembersenta16replytextmessage,'STOP,'toCitibankinresponsetoatextmessagesentbyCitibank,whichtext17messagebyCitibankoritsagentswasnotmadeforemergencypurposesorwiththerecipient's18priorexpressconsent,withinthefouryearspriortothefilingofthisComplaint."(FAC,-r25.)19LEGALSTANDARD20AmotiontodismisspursuanttoRule12(b)(6)oftheFederalRulesofCivilProceduretests21thelegalsufficiencyofthepleadings.
Navarro
v.
Block,
250F.3d729,732(9thCir.2001)."To22surviveamotiontodismiss,acomplaintmustcontainsufficientfactualmatter,acceptedastrue,to23'stateaclaimtoreliefthatisplausibleonitsface.'"
Ashcroft
v.
Iqbal,
129S.Ct.1937,194924(2009)(quoting
BellAtl.Corp.
v.
Twombly,
550U.S.544,570(2007))."Theplausibilitystandard25isnotakintoa'probabilityrequirement,'butitasksformorethanasheerpossibilitythata26defendanthasactedunlawfully.Whereacomplaintpleadsfactsthatare'merelyconsistentwith'a27defendant'sliability,it'stopsshortofthelinebetweenpossibilityandplausibilityof"entitlement28torelief":"
Id.
(internalcitationomitted)."Dismissalcanbebasedonthelackofacognizable
 
Case3:11-cv-01236-IEG-WVGDocument18Filed
11/28/11
Page3of7
1legaltheoryortheabsenceofsufficientfactsallegedunderacognizablelegaltheory."
Balistreri
-3-
llcv1236-IEG(WVG)
2v.
PacificaPoliceDep
't,
901F.2d696,699(9thCir.1990).3Inrulingonamotiontodismiss,thecourtmust"acceptallfactualallegationsinthe4complaintastrueandconstruethepleadingsinthelightmostfavorabletothenonmovingparty."
5Knievel
v.
ESPN,
393F.3d1068,1072(9thCir.2005).Thecourt,however,neednotaccept"legal6conclusions"astrue.
Iqbal,
129S.Ct.at1949.Thus,"aformulaicrecitationoftheelementsofa7causeofactionwillnotdo."
Twombly,
550U.S.at555.Itisalsoimproperforthecourttoassume8thatplaintiff"canprovefactsthatithasnotalleged."
AssociatedGen.ContractorsofCal.,Inc.
v.
9Cal.StateCouncilofCarpenters,
459U.S.519,526(1983).Ontheotherhand,"[w]henthereare10well-pleadedfactualallegations,acourtshouldassumetheirveracityandthendeterminewhether11theyplausiblygiverisetoanentitlementtorelief."
Iqbal,
129S.Ct.at1950.12DISCUSSION13RyabyshchukbringshisclaimsunderSection227(b)(1)(A)(iii)oftheTCPA,which14providesinpertinentpart:15ItshallbeunlawfulforanypersonwithintheUnitedStates...tomakeanycall(otherthanacallmadeforemergencypurposesormadewiththepriorexpress16consentofthecalledparty)usinganyautomatictelephonedialingsystemoranartificialorprerecordedvoice...toanytelephonenumberassignedtoa...17cellulartelephoneservice....1847U.S.C.§227(b)(I)(A)(iii).TheNinthCircuithasheldthat"atextmessageisa'call'withinthe19meaningoftheTCPA."
Satterfield
v.
Simon
&
Schuster,Inc.,
569F.3d946,952(9thCir.2009).20Furthermore,theTCPAdefinesanautomatictelephonedialingsystem("ATDS")as"equipment21whichhasthecapacity...tostoreorproducetelephonenumberstobecalled,usingarandomor22sequentialnumbergenerator[and]todialsuchnumbers."47U.S.C.§227(a)(I)."[A]system23neednotactuallystore,produce,orcallrandomlyorsequentiallygeneratedtelephonenumbers,it24needonlyhavethecapacitytodoit."
Satterfield,
569F.3dat951.25TheonlyissuebeforetheCourtatthistimeiswhetherthechallengedtextmessageswere26sentwithoutRyabyshchuk's"priorexpressconsent."!"Expressconsentis'consentthatisclearly2728!CitibanknotesthatitdoesnotconcedethatitcontactedRyabyshchukusinganATDS.However,Citibankdoesnotbaseitsmotiontodismissonthisground.

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