AT&T and DirecTV Remove TCPA Complaint to Michigan Federal Court

Last Thursday, the defendants party to a Washtenaw County lawsuit filed by a Michigan man over purported illegal telephone solicitations removed the case to federal court. AT&T Corp. and DirecTV LLC, the latter of which was recently spun off as its own business, contend that the Ann Arbor court has federal question jurisdiction over the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) claims and supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s state law claims.

The October 7 state court complaint asserts that the defendants transgressed anti-invasion of privacy laws by using automated dialing systems to place sales calls to the man without his permission and despite his registration with the nation’s Do Not Call list. The complaint describes the latter as “constructive notice to the world that … Plaintiff does not wish to receive telephone solicitations or robocalls at his cellular telephone number.”

Specifically, the complaint lists six calls allegedly made to the plaintiff by the defendants or third-parties within their control requesting money from him or wanting to discuss bills for accounts he did not hold, among other things. The complaint also alleges that the calls came from spoofed caller identifications.

The defendants caused the plaintiff injury in the form of a nuisance and annoyance, the lawsuit says. The man seeks $51,000 in total damages for 11 counts of TCPA and state telemarketing law violations. The plaintiff also seeks an injunction barring the defendants or their agents from illegally calling him and an award of his attorneys’ fees and costs.

The plaintiff brings the suit in propria persona. AT&T and DirecTV are represented by Bush Seyferth PLLC.