February 6, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 37

Error message

  • Warning: Undefined variable $settings in include_once() (line 135 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/default/settings.php).
  • Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in include_once() (line 135 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/default/settings.php).

February 03, 2023

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

TCPA QUICK HITTER: Attorney Proceeding In Forma Pauperis Cannot Represent TCPA Class

Quick one for you.

So let’s say you’re broke but want to file a lawsuit. There’s a way to do that in federal court called proceeding in forma pauperis. It involves filling out a bunch of forms and demonstrating a lack of income. But if you go through the hoops then you can file with little or no fees.

That’s all well and good, but let’s say you’re a broke attorney who wants to serve as a class representative in a TCPA case you’re bringing but still need in forma pauperis assistance from the Court?

Not allowed. So says the court in ROBERT DOYLE  v. ARETE FINANCIAL GROUP LLC, 2022 WL 1505008 (D. NJ. May 12, 2022).

There the court held a broke lawyer–Mr. Doyle–was not an “adequate” class representative partially because he lacked the “financial wherewithal to undertake this matter in light of the fact he is proceeding in forma pauperis.”

The Court also determined that Doyle did not otherwise demonstrate he had the necessary experience and qualifications to represent the class in complex litigation.

So the Court dismissed the case and told Doyle he could not re-file the case as a class action: “Plaintiff continues pro se, the amended complaint must be brought on behalf of Plaintiff individually and not on behalf of a putative class.”

Interesting, no?

© 2023 Troutman FirmNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 139

About this Author

Eric Troutman TCPA Lawyer Troutman Law Firm Orange County, CA

Eric J Troutman is known as one of the country’s prominent class action defense lawyers and is nationally recognized in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation and compliance. He has served as lead defense counsel in more than 70 national TCPA class actions and has litigated nearly a thousand individual TCPA cases in his role as national strategic litigation counsel for major banks and finance companies. Eric also helps industry participants build TCPA-compliant processes, policies, and systems.

Eric's perspective allows him to...