In Dotson v. Ally Fin., No. 2:19-cv-2274, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193764 (W.D. Tenn. Nov. 7, 2019), the District Court said that a TCPA defendant could not file a counter-claim in federal court against a TCPA Plaintiff.
Nothing prevents Ally from suing Dotson in state court. A state court judgement may be used as a set-off to any judgment Dotson obtains in this case. As other courts have recognized, there is a potential “chilling effect” from allowing a debt collector defendant, that is being sued for violating a federal law regulating its debt collection methods, to collect a debt in the same federal action. See Ammons, 305 F. Supp. 3d at 824 (collecting cases); see also Riazi, 2017 WL 4260847, at *6 (explaining purpose behind the TCPA and how TCPA claims could be “chilled”); cf.Leatherwood v. Universal Bus. Serv. Co., 115 F.R.D. 48, 50 (W.D.N.Y. 1987)(explaining potential chilling effect of allowing a debt collection counterclaim in a FDCPA action). The majority of courts that have addressed the “substantially predominates” issue in circumstances like those here have declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. See, e.g., Vernell v. Nuvell Credit Co. LLC, No. 215CV674FTM38MRM, 2016 WL 931104, at *3 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 11, 2016)(finding in a case with similar facts and procedural history that there was a common nucleus, but declining to exercise jurisdiction because the state law contract claim would substantially predominate 21 over the TCPA claim); Dayhoff v. Wells Fargo Home Morg., Inc., No. 6:13-CV-1132-ORL-37, 2014 WL 466151, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 5, 2014)(same); cf. Campos v. W. Dental Servs., Inc., 404 F. Supp. 2d 1164, 1169 (N.D. Cal. 2005)(same but under the FDCPA). Their reasoning is persuasive. Retaining jurisdiction here would allow “a federal tail to wag what is in substance a state dog.” See Borough ofW. Mifflin v. Lancaster, 45 F.3d 780, 789 (3d Cir. 1995). For the reasons stated above, the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Ally’s Counterclaims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(2).