United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STAY
KEITH BALL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Nationstar Mortgage, LLC's
(“Nationstar”) Motion to Stay Proceedings .
Nationstar seeks a stay of the case pending a ruling by the
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit in ACA International v. FCC, et al., Case
No. 15-1211. For the reasons described herein, the Court
finds that the motion should be denied.
filed her complaint on February 14, 2017, alleging that
Defendant violated 47 U.S.C. § 227, et seq, the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). .
Griffin alleges that Nationstar engaged in a pattern of
conduct beginning in August 2015 and continuing through
February 2017 wherein Nationstar placed upwards of 400
automated phone calls to her cellular telephone. Id.
at 3-8. Griffin alleges that:
Upon information and belief, some or all of the calls the
Defendant made to Plaintiff's cellular telephone number
were made using an “automatic telephone dialing
system” which has the capacity to store or produce
telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential
number generator (including but not limited to a predictive
dialer) or an artificial or prerecorded voice; and to dial
such numbers as specified by 47 U.S.C. § 227(a)(1). . .
Id. at 4. Griffin alleges that in or about September
2015, she verbally revoked any consent Nationstar believed it
might have had to call her cellular telephone number.
Id. at 4-5. She alleges that she continued to
receive calls, and on at least four different occasions
verbally requested that Nationstar stop calling her.
Id. at 5-6. Griffin further alleges that “each
of the calls at issue were placed by the Defendant using a
‘prerecorded voice, ” as specified by the TCPA,
47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A).” Id. at 4.
moves to stay the case on the basis that the D.C.
Circuit's pending ruling in ACA International v. FCC,
et al, “could be dispositive of many if not all of
. . . Griffin's claims in this case.”  at 1.
Nationstar argues that ACA International will decide
both the definition of an “automatic telephone dialing
system” (“ATDS”) and whether the TCPA
permits a plaintiff to verbally revoke consent to receive
phone calls. Id. Nationstar argues that those issues
are at the center of this lawsuit. Id. at 1-3.
Because ACA International would constitute
controlling law in this case, Nationstar moves to stay the
case pending the D.C. Circuit's decision. Id.
Nationstar cites numerous other district court orders staying
similar litigation pending a ruling in ACA
International. Id. at 4.
responds, citing a myriad of Eleventh Circuit cases,
that a stay is unwarranted. . She argues that it is
unclear whether ACA International will even address
the definition of an ATDS. She further contends that even if
the case does address that definition, her allegation that
Nationstar used a prerecorded voice when placing the phone
calls is an independent violation of the TCPA that would be
unaffected by the outcome of ACA International.
Id. at 5-10. She further contends that the decision
in ACA International “is unlikely to impact,
simplify or streamline the case.” Id. at 5.
She too cites numerous other district court orders declining
to stay litigation pending a ruling in ACA International.
Id. at 11-14.
power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent
in every court to control the disposition of the causes on
its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for
counsel, and for litigants." Landis v. N. Am.
Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). “Generally, the
power to stay a pending matter derives from a trial
court's wide discretion to control the course of
litigation.” United States v. $9, 041, 598.68,
163 F.3d 238, 251 (5th Cir. 1998).
Court is not persuaded that a stay is warranted in this case.
Nationstar's motion is premised on the idea that ACA
International will have a substantial bearing on the
course of the present litigation. If Griffin's
allegations were limited solely to Nationstar's alleged
use of an ATDS in making the calls to Griffin,
Nationstar's argument would be highly persuasive, and the
Court would be inclined to grant a stay. However, in addition
to alleging that the phone calls at issue were made using an
ATDS, Griffin further alleges that the phone calls were made
using a prerecorded voice. This is significant, since this
issue is not presented in ACA International and will
not be affected by the outcome of that case.
claims are filed pursuant to Section 227 of ...