Action for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act referred to the FCC
Charvat v. EchoStar Satellite, LLC., 09-4525, concerned a plaintiff's suit against EchoStar Satellite (EchoStar) for 307 violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (Act) and its accompanying regulations, and raising claims under the Ohio consumer protection statute and Ohio common law, wherein the district court dismissed several of the claims under the Act and granted summary judgment on the remaining claims.
First, the court held that the district court had federal question
jurisdiction over the claims under the Act and pendent jurisdiction over
the rest of the claims. Next, the court held that, because the
district court did not have the benefit of GVN Michigan, Inc., 561 F.3d
623, which held that the Act allows a plaintiff to recover damages for
the first telephone call that violates the Act, the four counts of the
complaint should not have been dismissed, at least not on the ground
that the statute did not allow for damages based on a telemarketer's
first improper call. The court ultimately referred the matter to the FCC
in concluding that the answers to the question of whether the Act and
its accompanying regulations permit plaintiff to recover damages from
EchoStar, an entity that did not place any illegal calls to him but
whose independent contractors did, implicate the FCC's statutory
authority to interpret the Act.