Court Finds Production of Three Million Emails is Unreasonable
In Nece v. Quicken Loans, Inc. (Case No. 8:16-cv-2605-T-23CPT) (United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division), Eileen Nece (the plaintiff) filed a lawsuit against Quicken Loans, Inc. (the defendant) over allegations that it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Nece submitted four forms on Quicken’s website in December 2012 and also emailed quicken to inquire about a mortgage.
In one of the submissions to the website and in the email, the plaintiff provided the phone number to her residential landline. This number is listed on the national do-not-call registry. When she inquired about the mortgage and provided her residential landline number, she consented to a phone call from Quicken. Under the TCPA, telemarketers can call a person if his or her number appears on the do-not-call registry, but only if they consent. Otherwise, they may be in violation of 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(c).
Quicken made multiple phone calls to the plaintiff after she submitted the forms and inquired about the mortgage. While the plaintiff did rebuff Quicken for these calls, she did not say explicitly to stop calling or to be taken off Quicken’s call list.
In September 2016, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Quicken after it called her residential landline number with a prerecorded message. According to the lawsuit, Quicken called a number on the do-not-call registry, called with a prerecorded voice and failed to institute several procedures required by the TCPA before making the call. The Court granted Quicken summary judgment on the prerecorded call and procedural claim, but not on the 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(c) claim. Two disputes of material fact needed to be determined by the Court. The Court needs to determine when the plaintiff revoked the consent to call and whether Quicken stopped calling the plaintiff within a reasonable timeframe.
A trial for this case is set for July 2018. However, the plaintiff filed a motion to extend the deadline for discovery to August 12. The plaintiff argued the extension is necessary for Quicken to fulfill outstanding discovery requests. For instance, the plaintiff requested that Quicken produce all documentation (in any form) of the “do-not-call” requests that it received between September 2012 and June 2013. The plaintiff also sought the anticipated depositions of other people Quicken called on the do-not-call list. After this occurred, the magistrate judge granted the motion to compel the production of these documents.
Quicken objected to the requests for production, arguing that it could be forced to spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours reviewing and collecting at least three million emails. The district court agreed, determining that the class discovery requests “imposed a burden disproportionate to the needs of the action.”