The decision of the US District Court of Maryland was affirmed, granting summary judgment in favor of debtor Kevin Lynn and against Monarch Recovery Management, for its blatant violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Appellant Kevin Lynn subscribed to the Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone service for his residential line phone number in 2009. He agreed to be charged for all incoming calls to his residential number.
Between July 2010 and May 2011, Monarch called Lynn approximately 37 times using an automatic telephone dialing system. Lynn advised Monarch on two occasions that calling his number cost him on a per-minute basis - after which he was called three more times. Lynn claimed $38,000 in actual and statutory damages.
Monarch argued that the TCPA did not apply to the the calls they made under an FCC regulation that exempts calls that will not adversely affect a person’s privacy rights and do not include the transmission of any unsolicited advertisement.
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The Fourth Circuit found that Congress intended the statute to protect citizens against debt collectors such as Monarch, and to impose liability on companies such as Monarch when they failed to comply with the statue.
The case is Lynn v. Monarch Recovery Management, Inc., No. 13-2358, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 18858, - Fed.Appx. - (4th Cir. Oct. 2, 2014).