Stop junk Faxing

U.S. Courts Have Diversity Jurisdiction Over Junk-Fax Suits, Circuit Holds

A precedential ruling by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opens the door to federal class actions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act against senders of ‘junk fax’ messages.

The N.J. Law Journal reports:

The Third Circuit held 2-1 on Monday that federal courts have diversity jurisdiction over such suits brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 227, which creates public and private causes of action for recipients of unsolicited advertising by fax.

“We hold that Congress did not divest the federal courts of diversity jurisdiction over private causes of action under the TCPA,” wrote Judge Marjorie Rendell, joined by Judge Theodore McKee. Judge Leonard Garth dissented.

[Image courtesy of Consumer Watchdog]

Rendell reasoned that courts have long recognized the presumption of diversity jurisdiction, regardless of the type of law under which a lawsuit arises. Federal-question jurisdiction is narrower in nature, she said: Where a federal question exists, district courts have original jurisdiction unless a statute places jurisdiction elsewhere.

She found the TCPA statute’s language provides no indication that individual federal claims under that statute should be treated any differently than other suits between diverse parties where the amount in controversy meets the $75,000 threshold set by the statute setting out the court’s diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. 1332.


About Lawrence "Larry" Berezin

I retired from the private practice of law after a 35-year legal career and fight parking tickets for people like you and me. I love sharing valuable information and beating NYC parking tickets for the driving community in NYC

2 Responses to “U.S. Courts Have Diversity Jurisdiction Over Junk-Fax Suits, Circuit Holds”

  1. this isn’t the first time that the 3rd district has said that the federal courts have jurisdiction over junk faxes.

    in tague v. doctor’s assn 2009, judge pollak allowed the case even though the amount in issue didn’t reach 75k, only getting to 10k

    • Lawrence "Larry" Berezin Reply June 4, 2011 at 6:48 am


      Good morning.
      Thanks for taking your valuable time to visit our blog, and give us all a “heads up” about the Tague case.

      Much appreciated!

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