On the Edge of Our Seats: Court Stays Putative TCPA Class Action Pending Forthcoming ATDS Functionality Ruling in Related Case

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Cavalry Portfolio Services is defending two nearly-identical putative TCPA class actions in California, and recently obtained a stay in one of those cases, pending a forthcoming ruling on ATDS functionality in the other.

In Krejci v. Cavalry Portfolio Servs., No. 3:16-cv-0211-JAH-WVG, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122904 (S.D. Cal. July 17, 2018), Cavalry moved for a stay of the action until the court in the related case of Horton v. Calvary Portfolio Services, LLC, 13-cv-0307-JAH (WVG) (S.D. Cal.) rules on the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment concerning whether the Aspect dialing system used by Cavalry “is an ATDS within the meaning of the TCPA.”  Krejci, supra at *5.

Judge John A. Houston of the Southern District of California granted Cavalry’s motion, finding a stay was appropriate for three reasons: (1) Plaintiff had failed to demonstrate any potential harm that would result from a limited stay; (2) Cavalry’s burden in having to litigate the same issue over again; and (3) “a determination as to whether or not Cavalry’s Aspect system qualifies as an ATDS,” in Horton would have a “substantial impact” on the Krejci case.

This was a prudent exercise of discretion by Judge Houston, and his ruling illustrates the importance of every unpublished District Court decision on key issues like ATDS functionality.  As we’ve covered on the Ramble in past episodes, every one of these lower court decisions has the potential to cause significant ripples throughout TCPAland.  And that’s part of what makes this place special.

Oral argument on the Horton cross-summary judgment motions is scheduled for August 13, 2018.  We wait on the edge of our seats to provide you with our reporting and analysis on this next upcoming episode in the ATDS functionality saga.