Burr & Forman

08.17.2016   |   Blog Articles, Standing, Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Dismissal of TCPA Claims for Lack of Standing Does Not Mandate Remand to the State Court

Stoops v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Civ. No. 3:15-83 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 12, 2016)

After granting summary judgment for lack of standing against a plaintiff who bought multiple cell phones and numbers for purposes of filing TCPA lawsuits, the Court was faced with a Motion to Amend Judgment wherein Plaintiff argued that dismissal for lack of standing mandated remand to state court for adjudication. At issue was whether a lack of prudential standing results in a lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Citing extensively from Hvizdak v. Citizens Bank of Pa., No. 14-cv-406 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 6, 2015), the Court noted that if prudential standing is jurisdictional, it may not be waived. If it is non-jurisdictional, a court may waive its consideration and adjudicate a case based on the merits. The Court also noted that while the Second, Sixth and D.C. Courts of Appeal have held that standing is jurisdiction, the First, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits have held that it is not, i.e., subject to waiver. Agreeing with the reasoning of Hvizdak, the Court refused to remand the case, concluding that it possessed subject-matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s claims and denied the Motion.

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