United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
ABDELRAHMAN F. BADER, Plaintiff,
NAVIENT SOLUTIONS, LLC, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Johnson Coleman, United States District Judge.
Bader brings this action against Navient Solutions, LLC
alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
(“TCPA”) under 47 U.S.C. § 227 and the
Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act
(“ICFA”) under 815 ILCS 505/1. Currently before
the Court is Navient Solutions' motion  for judgment
on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure. For the reasons explained below, Navient
Solutions' motion is granted.
following facts are summarized from Bader's complaint and
taken as true for the purpose of deciding this motion. Bader
is an individual who resides in Burbank, Illinois. Navient
Solutions engages in the business of collecting student loans
owed or alleged to be owed to other parties. Beginning in
August 2017, Bader's cell phone began receiving calls
from Navient Solutions. Navient Solutions called Bader's
cell phone from several different phone numbers. When Bader
would answer the phone, he would notice a five second pause
before being connected with a live representative. During
these conversations, a representative of Navient Solutions
informed Bader that they were calling to collect a debt owed
by a “Shavon Smith.” Bader asserts that he told
these representatives several times that he was not Shavon
Smith and asked them to stop calling him. Despite Bader's
request, Navient Solutions continued to call him and left
voicemail messages when Bader did not answer.
by the repeated phone calls, Bader mailed a certified letter
to Navient Solutions' headquarters demanding that it
stopped calling him on October 28, 2017. Navient Solutions
received Bader's letter on October 30, 2017.
Nevertheless, Navient Solutions continued to call Bader until
2018. Bader alleges that he received at least 105 calls from
Navient Solutions seeking Shavon Smith. Bader states that
these calls violated the TCPA and ICFA.
can move for judgment on the pleadings once the complaint and
answer are filed. See Moss v. Martin, 473 F.3d 694,
698 (7th Cir. 2008) (internal citation omitted). A court will
only grant a Rule 12(c) motion if there is no doubt that the
plaintiff cannot prove any facts to support her claim and the
moving party establishes that no material issues of fact
exist. See id. Courts apply the same standard for
Rule 12(c) motions as is used for motions to dismiss for
failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6). See Guise
v. BWM Mortg., LLC, 377 F.3d 795, 798 (7th Cir. 2004).
When considering a Rule 12(c) motion, the pleadings consist
of the complaint, answer, and any written documents used as
attachments. See Langone v. Miller, 631 F.Supp.2d
1067, 1070 (N.D. Ill. 2009) (Castillo, J.).
Consumer Protection Act Claim
Solutions argues that this Court should dismiss Count I
alleging that Navient Solutions violated the TCPA under 47
U.S.C. § 227 by placing over 105 calls to Bader using an
automated telephone dialing system (or
“autodialer”). The TCPA prohibits using an
autodialer to make unconsented phone calls to numbers
assigned to a cellular phone service. See 47 U.S.C.
§ 227 (b)(1)(A)(iii); see also Pinkus v. Sirius XM
Radio, Inc., 319 F.Supp.3d 927, 929 (N.D. Ill. 2018)
(Feinerman, J.). Autodilaers are defined under the TCPA as
“equipment which has the capacity-(A) to store or
produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or
sequential number generator; and (B) to dial such
numbers.” 47 U.S.C. § 227(a)(1). The FCC has
authority to issue regulations to implement the TCPA's
requirements. § 227(b)(2); ACA International v.
Federal Communications Commission, 885 F.3d 687, 693
(D.C. Cir. 2018). Although the FCC declared that equipment
that dialed phone numbers from stored lists could qualify as
an autodialer, id. at 701, the D.C. Circuit later
found that this was an unreasonable expansion that did not
accord with the TCPA's statutory text, See id at
Solutions contends that Bader fails to allege the use of an
autodialer. Specifically, Navient Solutions asserts that
because Bader does not state that it used a device that had
the ability to generate random or sequential numbers and dial
such numbers, Bader has not stated a TCPA claim.
response, Bader argues that the following factual assertions
from his complaint demonstrate that Navient Solutions used an
Defendant is “the largest servicer of student loans in
the United States” who “engages[s] in the
business of collecting or attempting to collect . . . student
loans owed or due or asserted to be owed or due to others
using the mail and telephone across the country.”
“When Plaintiff answers Defendant's phone calls, he
experiences a noticeable pause, lasting approximately four to
five seconds in length, before [he] is connected with a live
Due to the incessant nature of [Defendant's] contacts, on
October 28, 2017, Plaintiff, sent, via certified mail, a
letter to Defendant's headquarters, demanding that
Defendant ‘stop calling and harassing [him],
'” . . . but “in spite of Plaintiff
reiterating his demands to Defendant in ...