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Telemarketers and Nuisance Callers Can Be Sued in Federal Court

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Washington, DC: A recent Supreme Court decision involving a lawsuit brought against Arrow Financial Services LLC over alleged nuisance phone calls, has put other similar businesses and telemarketers on notice. The high court's decision effectively allows people who are annoyed by nuisance phone calls to sue in state and federal courts.

In case the Supreme Court just ruled on, Marcus Mims of Fort Lauderdale, FL, alleged he received continous calls from Arrow Financial Services LLC. The company was reportedly trying to collect a student loan debt for Sallie Mae. Mims sued for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a law which was passed by Congress to ban invasive telemarketing practices.

Earlier, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Mims' lawsuit, stating that Congress did not explicitly give permission for federal lawsuits in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, although the law does say people can file in state courts. However, other federal courts ruled to let similar lawsuits move forward.

In their recent decision, the Supreme Court unanimously said that federal lawsuits are allowed under the law. "Nothing in the text, structure, purpose or legislative history of the TCPA purports to deprive U.S. district courts of the jurisdiction they ordinarily have," said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the opinion.

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Published on Jan-18-12


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