In Kleiman v. Equable Ascent, 2013 WL 49754 (C.D.Cal. 2013), Judge Snyder allowed an FDCPA-telephonic harassment claim to proceed as adequately pleaded.
Defendant’s argument that plaintiff must allege the exact time debt collection phone calls occurred and the names of the individuals who made the calls appears to rest on the mistaken assumption that the heightened pleading standards of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) apply in this case. Rule 9(b), however, only applies to claims that sound in fraud, and hence applies to none of plaintiff’s claims. Vess v. Ciba–Geigy Corp. U.S.A., 317 F.3d 1097, 1103–04 (9th Cir.2003). In fact, even where a complaint does allege claims sounding in fraud, the Ninth Circuit has held that it is unfair to expect consumers to remember the names of all the corporate employees with whom they interacted. See Odom v. Microsoft Corp., 486 F.3d 541, 554—555 (9th Cir.2007). The fact that plaintiff has not precisely identified the who, what, where, when, and how of the allegedly harassing phone calls therefore provides no reason to dismiss her claims.
Judge Snyder found the invasion of privacy claim, however, to be inadequately pleaded.
The Restatement (Second) of Torts states that frequent and persistent debt collection telephone calls can satisfy the “highly offensive” requirement if the calls are made “with such persistence and frequency as to amount to a course of hounding the plaintiff.” Restatement (Second) of Torts § 652B, Comment d. Additionally, district courts in California have found that repeated debt collection phone calls can constitute invasion of privacy. See, e.g., Fausto v. Credigy Services Corp., 598 F.Supp.2d 1049, 1056 (N.D.Cal.2009). Here, however, plaintiff’s threadbare allegations that defendant “called plaintiff twice within a twenty-four hours period on numerous occasions” do not describe conduct that is “highly offen-sive” for purposes of the tort of invasion of privacy. See compl. ¶ 16. Plaintiff has not alleged that the content of her conversations with defendants was upsetting or annoying, nor has she even alleged that plaintiff answered the phone or was able to answer the phone when the calls were made, nor has she alleged that the calls were made within such a short period of time of one another that they became offensive. See Marseglia v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, 750 F.Supp.2d 1171, 1177—78 (S.D.Cal.2010). This case therefore contrasts with Fausto, where the plaintiff produced evidence that the content of the debt collec-tion phone calls was inappropriate, that the debt collectors did not identify themselves on the phone, and that the debt collectors would call immediately after the plaintiff hung up in order to make the phone ring repeatedly. Fausto, 598 F.Supp.2d at 1056. Therefore, the Court finds that the invasion of privacy claim should be dismissed, but that plaintiff should be given leave to amend her complaint to allege facts showing sufficiently offensive conduct related to repeated phone calls. There is no inconsistency in finding that plaintiff has stated a harassment claim under the FDCPA and Rosenthal act due to repeated phone calls but find-ing that plaintiff has not yet stated a claim for invasion of privacy based on the same allegations. While plaintiff must allege “highly offensive” conduct in order to state a claim for invasion of privacy, the FDCPA and Rosenthal act contain no comparable requirements. Instead, these statutes only require that phone calls occur “repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692d(5); see also Cal. Civ.Code § 1788.11 (similar). Other courts have reached the same conclusion. See, e.g., Stuart v. AR Resoucres, Inc., 2011 WL 904167, 3, 6 (E.D.Penn.2011).