In Webb v. Premiere Credit of North America, LLC, 2012 WL 5199754 (D.Kan. 2012), Judge Robinson granted summary judgment to a debt collector who called a debtor 150 times in 7 months, but was never able to reach the customer during that time. The facts were as follows:
The following facts are either uncontroverted, stipulated to, or viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff. Prior to this lawsuit, Plaintiff Melissa Webb incurred a debt for a student loan to ITT Tech. Upon default of the debt with the creditor, the debt was transferred to Defendant, Premiere Credit, for collection purposes. Defendant initiated 150 telephone calls between June 1, 2011, and January 4, 2012, to Melissa Webb to discuss her debt. Calls often took place on continuous days with as many as six calls per day. Plaintiffs received phone calls between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on all days except Sunday. Plaintiff David Webb did not receive any phone calls from Defendant and never spoke with Defendant. ¶ Plaintiffs maintained a call log for some of the calls they received that included the date of the calls, the time of the calls, and the telephone number dis-played on the caller ID. The call log lists calls from different phone numbers and creditors. Plaintiffs did not record all calls from Defendant on their call log. Plaintiffs neither called Premiere Credit nor communicated in writing to Premiere Credit. Plaintiffs never paid Premiere Credit. Premiere Credit indicated on its own call logs that some calls were withdrawn, but those logs do not distinguish between withdrawn calls that caused Plaintiffs’ telephone to ring and those that did not. ¶ Plaintiffs claim that they received several phone calls per day over a number of months from Defendant, causing them emotional distress, stress, and anxiety. Neither Plaintiff received medical treatment, psychological treatment, or medication for their alleged damages. Plaintiffs testified that they received telephone calls from other collection agencies in addition to Premiere Credit, and that these other calls could have contributed to their emotional distress.
The District Court granted summary judgment for the debt collector, finding the pattern of calls acceptable.
In this case, the Court finds there is no evidence of an unacceptable pattern of calls. The record lacks any indicia of the type of egregious conduct that would raise an issue of triable fact when coupled with a high call volume. Plaintiffs argue that a genuine issue of fact remains as to the number of times Defendant caused the telephone to ring. They point to evidence that telephone calls were initiated up to six times per day on consecutive days in November and December of 2011, as evidence of an intent to annoy, abuse, or harass. However, as stated in Carman, there must be other evidence of egregious conduct to evince an intent to annoy, abuse, or harass. Here, even though the number of initiated calls appears high between November and December, without the presence of any other egregious conduct, no genuine issue of fact remains as to whether the conduct was done with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Plaintiffs, Defendant initiated 150 telephone calls. But since a high volume of calls without other egregious conduct does not constitute a triable issue of fact on intent under § 1692d(5), Plaintiff’s focus on the volume of calls is unavailing. ¶ Plaintiffs also point to their testimony that Defendant’s telephone calls caused them stress and anxiety, but in Carman, this Court held “[Plaintiff’s] opinion regarding whether the calls were harassing is not evidence of [Defendant’s] intent.” Without evidence of additional egregious conduct, there is no genuine issue of material fact as to whether Defendant had the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass. It is uncontroverted that Defendant’s intent in contacting Plain-tiffs was to discuss the debt owed. Calls never took place on Sunday and did not occur during unacceptable hours. Plaintiffs allege that more than one voice mail message may have been left for Melissa Webb, but there is no evidence that Defendant called back on the same day that voice message was left. For example, Defendant’s call log shows that after Defendant “left a message to call” on June 11, 2011, no other calls were placed that day. There is no evidence that Plaintiffs ever requested that Defendant stop calling, and Plaintiffs never disputed the debt at issue. There is no evidence of deliberate “hang up” calls by Defendant. And, finally, there is no evidence that Defendant called back after speaking with Plaintiffs or after Plaintiffs terminated a call.