As we have reported time and again now TCPA plaintiffs are getting very creative in selecting forums to sue Defendants—looking more at favorable law than whether any of the key allegations arose out of the chosen jurisdiction. We’ve seen Plaintiffs suing in jurisdictions across the country merely in a bid to take advantage of superior law. Time and again courts have rejected these antics.
In a new case out earlier this week, the Court transferred a suit to Texas from Arizona-which is a Marks jurisdiction—upon a finding that the calls at issue were made from a call center there. In Barrera v. Usaa Fed. Sav. Bank, No. CV-20-01344-PHX-SPL, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160552 (D. Az. Sept. 2, 2020) the court gave the Plaintiff’s chosen venue limited deference since he purported to sue on behalf of a nationwide class. The Court also made note of the fact that Plaintiff was not a resident of Arizona yet chose to sue there.
Although neither Plaintiff nor the Defendant was a resident of Texas, the Court noted that the calls came from Texas and that’s where the equipment and the people that made the calls resided. Since Plaintiff had already demonstrated a willingness to litigate outside of the forum of his residence the Court found no meaningful increase in cost associated with suing in Texas as opposed to Arizona and granted a transfer of the suit.
Keep Barrera in mind anytime you are dealing with a Plaintiff who lives out-of-forum. If the Plaintiff is willing to sue out of his own state then he/she may be stuck litigating in whatever state the calls actually came from, even if the Defendant is not headquartered in that jurisdiction.