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Florida Middle District Court Finds Receiving Pre-Recorded Voice Messages Insufficient Basis for Standing to Bring Class Action Suit Alleging TCPA Violation

On November 2, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida held, sua sponte, that a plaintiff did not have standing to bring a class action suit alleging a TCPA violation. The February 9, 2022 complaint alleges that the plaintiff received two pre-recorded voice messages on his cell phone from the defendant, a for-profit school, advertising the defendant’s services. The plaintiff alleged he did not consent to receiving these calls. Further, the complaint details that the plaintiff sought to bring a class action suit on behalf of all persons who received a pre-recorded voicemail from the defendant within four years prior to the plaintiff filing the complaint.

In its analysis, the court stated that it is not clear that the calls the plaintiff received were either “unwanted” or “telemarketing” calls. The court reasoned that the complaint contained conclusory allegations that were insufficient for the court to determine that the plaintiff had received unwanted telemarketing calls.
Regarding whether the plaintiff had standing to bring a class action suit, the court recognized that the 11th Circuit, which Florida is part of, has previously held that the receipt of more than one unwanted telemarketing call made in violation of the TCPA constitutes sufficient standing for a plaintiff to bring suit. However, the court noted that such cases were decided before the Supreme Court case of TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, which requires that each member of a purported class have standing in order to recover individual damages. Ultimately, the court found that in the instant case, the allegations in the plaintiff’s complaint were insufficient to show the plaintiff suffered concrete harm such that he had standing to allege a TCPA violation, and that the plaintiff further failed to allege facts sufficient to bring a class action suit.

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