Mullen v. KIA Motors Finance
OPINION MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant's Alternative Motion to Stay [Doc. No. 6] is GRANTED. This matter is STAYED for 90 days or until the D.C. Circuit rules on the ACA case, whichever occurs first.IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant shall file a status report with the Court upon the expiration of earlier date. 6 Signed by District Judge Henry Edward Autrey on 8/17/17. (CLA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
KIA MOTORS FINANCE,
No. 4:16CV1582 HEA
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack
of Standing, or Alternatively, to Strike Certain Allegations and Stay Proceedings,
[Doc. No. 6]. Plaintiff opposes the Motion. For the reasons set forth below, the
Motion to Stay will be granted.
Facts and Background
Plaintiff filed this action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of
1991 (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227. Plaintiff alleges Defendant made telephone calls
to Plaintiff’s cellular telephone in an effort to collect a debt by using an automatic
telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice in violation of the
Defendant argues that Plaintiff lacks standing to bring this action. “Article
III standing represents ‘perhaps the most important’ of all jurisdictional
requirements.” Gray v. City of Valley Park, Mo., 567 F.3d 976, 983 (8th Cir. 2009)
(quoting FW/PBS, Inc. v. City of Dallas, 493 U.S. 215, 231 (1990)). This doctrine
“requires federal courts to satisfy themselves that the plaintiff has alleged such a
personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to warrant [its] invocation of
federal-court jurisdiction.” Summers v. Earth Island Inst., 555 U.S. 488 (2009)
(internal quotations and emphasis omitted). In the normal course, the plaintiff has
the responsibility clearly to allege facts demonstrating that it is a proper party to
invoke judicial resolution of the dispute and the exercise of the court's remedial
powers. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 518 (1975). This assures the existence of
that measure of concrete adverseness necessary to sharpen the presentation of
issues necessary for the proper resolution of the constitutional questions. City of
Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 101 (1983).
“If a plaintiff lacks standing, the district court has no subject matter
jurisdiction.” Gray v. City of Valley Park, Mo., 567 F.3d 976, 980 (8th Cir. 2009)
(internal quotations and citations omitted); Morse v. Vinson, No. 3:09CV00153,
2010 WL 385945, at *2 (E.D. Ark. Jan. 27, 2010). “If the court determines at any
time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3); Alternate Fuels, Inc. v. Cabanas, 538 F.3d 969, 975 (8th
Cir. 2008) (subject matter jurisdiction can be raised at any time).
Defendant argues that Plaintiff lacks standing to pursue this claim because
her alleged harm is not “concrete and particularized,” citing Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins,
136 S. Ct. 1540, 1548 (2016)). Defendant maintains that Plaintiff has not alleged
any concrete and particularized injury resulting from the disputed telephone calls.
Alternatively, Defendant asks the Court to stay these proceedings until the
D.C. Circuit rules in an action wherein ACA International seeks judicial review of
the Federal Communications Commission’s interpretation of the TCPA. ACA
International v. Fed. Comm.Comm’s¸ No 15-1211, Doc. No 1562251 (D.C. Cir.
July 10, 2015). Oral arguments were heard on October 19, 2016. Within the
confines of that action are specific challenges to the FCC’s definitions of an
“automatic telephone dialing system,” as well as other definitions. Furthermore,
ACA also challenges the FCC’s treatment of prior consent regarding the making of
the telephone calls.
The Court agrees with Defendant that the ACA action may significantly
impact the issues in this case. The Court further believes that even the
fundamental standing determination may be effected by the D.C. Circuit’s
decision. Prudence suggests that a stay may materially advance this litigation.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant's Alternative Motion to Stay
[Doc. No. 6] is GRANTED. This matter is STAYED for 90 days or until the D.C.
Circuit rules on the ACA case, whichever occurs first.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant shall file a status report with
the Court upon the expiration of earlier date.
Dated this 17th day of August, 2017.
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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