In Keim v. ADF Midatlantic, LLC, — Fed.Appx. —-, 2014 WL 6734829 (11th Cir. 2014), the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit held that a Rule 68 Offer did not moot a TCPA class action plaintiff’s claims.
We have today issued our opinion in Jeffrey Stein, D.D.S., M.S.D., P.A. v. Buccaneers Ltd. Partnership, ––– F.3d ––––, No. 13–15417 (11th Cir.––––, 2014). There we held that a proposed class action like this one was not rendered moot by an unaccepted Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 offer of complete relief to the named plaintiffs, but not to class members. There, as here, the defendant served the Rule 68 offer before the class was certified and indeed before the named plaintiffs moved to certify the class. The decision is squarely on point and requires reversal of the district court’s order dismissing this case. Indeed, this case presents a weaker case for dismissal than Stein. Here, as in Stein, the complaint asserts a claim under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. See 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(C). Here, as in Stein, the complaint demands $500 for each violation, trebled to $1,500 for willfulness. But in Stein, the defendant offered a sum certain to each named plaintiff. Here, in contrast, the defendants offered the named plaintiff $1,500 for each violation, that is, for each illegal text message he allegedly received, without specifying a number. The record does not show how many messages the named plaintiff received. So the named plaintiff’s individual claim would not have been moot even had he accepted the Rule 68 offer; there was still work to be done to get the case to the finish line. The defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on other grounds as well. The district court did not address those grounds, nor do we. Because the Rule 68 offer mooted neither the named plaintiff’s individual claim nor the class claims, the district court’s order dismissing the case is reversed.