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Greene v. DirecTV

November 8, 2010

BRIANNA GREENE, ON BEHALF OF HERSELF AND OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DIRECTV, INC., FIRST CONTACT, INC., AND IQOR HOLDING US INC., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Kocoras United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

CHARLES P. KOCORAS, District Judge

There are to motions s before the court. Defendant DirecTV, Inc. ("DirecTV") has filed a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. Defendants First Contact, Inc. ("First Contact") and iQor Holding US, Inc. ("iQor") also move for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, we grant both motions.

BACKGROUND

In early 2008, Plaintiff Brianna Greene ("Greene"), an Illinois resident, began having problems with her credit file. The trouble stemmed from the use of Greene's Social Security Number in a number of credit applications submitted by a Wisconsin resident named Larquette Green ("Larquette"). Greene first became aware of the discrepancies in her credit file in January 2008 when her credit report listed a number of delinquent credit accounts that did not belong to her.

On October 7, 2008, Greene contacted a consumer reporting agency, Equifax Information Services, Inc. ("Equifax"), and asked that a fraud alert be placed in her credit report. In the course of requesting the fraud alert, Greene provided her cellular telephone number as the preferred manner for potential creditors to contact her and verify her identity. Greene placed no conditions on the use of her number for fraud alert purposes.

The parties dispute what type of fraud alert Greene obtained from Equifax. Greene has presented evidence to suggest that she purchased an extended fraud alert. She cites a portion of her deposition testimony in which she stated that she understood herself to have signed up for an extended fraud alert. Greene also highlights a notice sent by Equifax to DirecTV which indicated that Greene had an extended fraud alert in her credit file. Both DirecTV and iQor have submitted evidence indicating that Greene only signed up for a temporary fraud alert. They cite a different part of Greene's deposition during which she stated that she believed she acquired a temporary alert from Equifax. They also reference a declaration made by an Equifax employee as evidence of the temporary nature of Greene's fraud alert. The declaration stated that Greene registered for a product called "ID Patrol" which essentially registered Greene for a series of temporary fraud alerts. Additionally, Defendants submitted correspondence from Equifax to Greene that stated she had been registered for a 90-day initial fraud alert.

Despite having a fraud alert placed in her file, Greene's credit file issues persisted. In December 2009, Larquette contacted a DirecTV customer service representative to open an account for satellite television service at her Wisconsin home. During her conversation with the DirecTV representative, Larquette provided her real name, her address in Wisconsin, her telephone number, and Greene's social security number. The representative entered Larquette's personal data into DirecTV's computer system and the system automatically submitted the social security number Larquette had provided to Equifax to obtain credit score data. Equifax then sent a credit report to DirecTV that included credit score information and listed Larquette's name and address as well as Greene's home address. The report also contained a fraud alert notification with Greene's cell phone number listed as the contact number for Larquette Green. Unaware of the fraud alert notification, the DirecTV customer service representative scheduled the satellite television installation at Larquette's home to take place on January 2, 2010. Upon completion of the installation on January 2, DirecTV opened an account in Larquette's name.

DirecTV contracts with a third party vendor, First Contact,*fn1 to make fraud alert notification calls on its behalf. When DirecTV opened Larquette's account for service, the satellite company uploaded the fraud alert phone number listed under her name to a server where it could be accessed by First Contact. On January 5, 2010, First Contact made an automated notification call to Greene's cell phone. The automated message asked Greene to verify whether she had recently opened an account with DirecTV. Greene immediately contacted First Contact and stated that she did not authorize the opening of an account. DirecTV put Larquette Green's account in pending disconnect that same day. Though the First Contact representative added Greene's name and address as an alternative billing address for Larquette Green's account, DirecTV never opened an account in the name of Brianna Greene and never charged her for television services provided to Larquette Green.

On January 8, 2010, Greene filed suit against DirecTV, First Contact, and iQor. In her complaint, Greene asserts claims against DirecTV, First Contact, and iQor under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"), 47 U.S.C. § 227. Greene alleges that First Contact and iQor violated the TCPA when they called her cell phone and played a prerecorded message asking her to confirm whether she had ordered satellite television from DirecTV. Calls made to a cell phone using an automatic telephone dialing system or prerecorded message violate the TCPA only if they are made without the called party's express consent. Greene's complaint also includes a cause of action against DirecTV only under the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1681c-1.*fn2 Defendants now move for summary judgment on all of Greene's claims.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate when "the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A genuine issue of material fact exists when the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could find for the non-movant. Buscaglia v. United States, 25 F.3d 530, 534 (7th Cir. 1994). The movant in a motion for summary judgment bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact by specific citation to the record; if the party succeeds in doing so, the burden shifts to the non-movant to set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue of fact for trial. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986). In considering motions for summary judgment, a court construes all facts and draws all inferences from the record in favor of the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). With these principles in mind, we turn to Defendants' motions.

DISCUSSION

Though DirecTV and iQor have filed separate motions for summary judgment, their arguments overlap substantially with respect to the TCPA claims Greene asserted against all the Defendants. Accordingly, we will assess the merits of both motions with respect to Greene's TCPA claims before ...


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