Centralization – When Is It an Option?

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On Friday August 7, 2015, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (the “Panel”) issued four decisions in pending TCPA cases:  In re Holiday Cruise Line Tel. Consumer Prot. Act (TCPA) Litig., MDL No. 2637, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103628 (J.P.M.L. Aug. 7, 2015) (denying motion for centralization); In re: Local Lighthouse Corp. Tel Consumer Prot. Act (TCPA) Litig., MDL No. 2644, 2015 US. Dist. LEXIS 103637 (J.P.M.L. Aug. 7, 2015) (denying motion for centralization); In re Portfolio Recovery Assoc., LLC, Tel. Consumer Prot. Act (TCPA) Litig., MDL 2295, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103929 (J.P.M.L. Aug. 7, 2015) (granting motion to transfer for inclusion in coordinated or consolidated proceedings) and; In re Sirius XM Radio, Inc. Tel Consumer Prot. Act. (TCPA) Litig., MDL No. 2635, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103629 (J.P.M.L. Aug. 7, 2015) (denying motion for centralization).  The four cases have relatively little in common aside from the fact that each involved a claim under the TCPA: In re Portfolio Recovery Assocs. involved alleged debt collection calls over VOIP lines, In re Sirius involved marketing calls that occurred after a free subscription to Sirius XM radio expired, In re Holiday Cruise Line involved unsolicited text messages, and In re Local Lighthouse Corp. involved marketing calls to both cellular and landline numbers. Despite the factual differences between the cases, there are two broad lessons from this group of decisions.

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Appeals From Declaratory Ruling Consolidated And Assigned To D.C. Circuit

As we previously noted, three petitions for review were filed in the immediate aftermath of the FCC’s Declaratory Ruling. On Friday, July 24, 2015, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a Consolidation Order that consolidated and randomly assigned those three appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

JPML Centralizes TCPA Class Actions in the Northern District of West Virginia

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) recently centralized four putative class actions asserting that the defendants (Monitronics International, Inc. and its agents) violated the TCPA by making telemarketing calls to numbers on the national Do Not Call Registry or to persons from whom they did not have consent. See In Re Monitronics International, Inc., Telephone Consumer Protection Act Litigation, MDL No. 2493 (Dec. 16, 2013). A copy of the JPML’s decision is available here.

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