In Trupp v. Ally Financial, Inc., Civ. Action No. 17-5404, 2018 WL 2462777 (E.D. Pa. May 31, 2018), Judge Jones allowed a TCPA defendant to file a counter-claim for the debt against the Plaintiff.
Plaintiff’s contention that “it is clear [the] federal TCPA claim and the state law breach of contract counterclaim involve completely different legal theories and evidence,” is not defensible. (ECF No. 7, p. 6.) Just as in Miller, Plaintiff brings a TCPA claim, and Defendant answers, alleging Plaintiff formed a payment arrangement with Defendant prior to Defendant initiating calls to Plaintiff. Miller, 302 F.R.D. at 339. The Act under which Plaintiff brings his claim contains a cognizable defense for Defendant if it proves the calls which are at issue were initiated under the premise of collecting a debt underlying the transaction for which Defendant’s Breach of Contract Counterclaim is brought.
The Miller Court incorporated the “judicial economy” factor into its opinion, which the Third Circuit employs in assessing whether a district court may exercise supplemental jurisdiction. Id. at 339. “To require that these claims be litigated separately—one in state court and one in federal court—would result in substantial duplication of effort and time by the parties and the courts … judicial economy therefore counsels the Court to deem the Counterclaim compulsory.” Id. (internal quotation and citation omitted). Defendant’s Counterclaim arising under state law is substantially related to Plaintiff’s claim arising under federal law such that Defendant’s counterclaim is compulsory. Accordingly, this Court may exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Defendant’s Counterclaim and Plaintiff’s Motion to Dismiss is denied.