MASSIVE TCPA WIN: Presidential Candidate Sued in TCPA Suit WINS Huge Discovery Ruling Compelling Plaintiff to Produce Phone Records and Browser History
TCPA World, very excited to join the incredible talent at the Troutman Firm. I am looking forward to building our Florida office and defense for our current and future clients as your Countess Cabrera.
So, it’s my first day and it makes sense that my first blog is about a case out of Puerto Rico, my motherland (Proud Puerto Rican-American).
In Rowan v. Pierce, Plaintiff claims Pierce, who was a 2020 Independent candidate for President of the United States, violated the TCPA by sending pre-recorded messages to promote his political campaign to consumers’ phone numbers without their consent. The Court ruled on Defendant’s Motion to Compel and Plaintiff’s Response thereto. Some discovery requests were completed prior to the Court’s ruling but the Court still had some decisions to make, and I enjoy the exposé of Plaintiff to follow.
The Court did not disappoint and made it clear that Plaintiff’s past record of TCPA claims (not just lawsuits) and any related settlement amounts is relevant to “establish [Plaintiff’s] motive, state of mind, and credibility.”
Plaintiff circled around in his response to provide facts that support his allegation that “prior express consent” was required as alleged in his Complaint stating that he didn’t allege that PEC was required but merely that Defendant did not obtain PEC. Again, the Court wasn’t fooled and ordered Plaintiff to provide full and complete responses as Plaintiff’s knowledge to establish that others were contacted without their consent is relevant.
The Court ruled that phone plan information including “subscriber agreements, account or billing statements and telephone bills within a proposed class period are relevant to the controversy at hand and any injury suffered by Plaintiff.” In other words, hand it over.
Interestingly, the Court denied without prejudice Defendant’s request for internet browsing history related to the TCPA but granted Defendant request for evidence that sheds light on Plaintiff’s relationship with political campaigns, including internet browsing history related to the political candidates.
Lastly, Defendant sought e-discovery of documents and communications including several search terms. Again, Plaintiff objected as overbroad and irrelevant. The Court concluded that “artificial” or “spoof” alone may be irrelevant, but the search terms and Defendant’s name are relevant and must be produced.
I agree with the Court on this one. Plaintiffs shouldn’t be able to parade as ghosts.
That’s it for now, TCPA World. Happy Halloween!