In Tarrant v. Northland Group, Inc., 2012 WL 140431 (M.D.Tenn. 2012), Judge Trauger found no telephonic harassment under the FDCPA where the debt collector tried to reach the consumer 39 times, but reached her only twice.
In determining whether Northland’s “calls amount to harassment, annoyance, or abuse, the volume of calls must be examined along with the pattern in which they were made and whether or not they were accompanied by oppressive conduct.” Daniel v. West Asset Mgmt., Inc., No. 11–10034, 2011 WL 5142980, at *4 (E.D.Mich. Oct.28, 2011) (quoting Pugliese v. Prof. Recovery Serv., Inc., No. 09–12262, 2010 WL 2632562, at *9 (E.D.Mich. June 29, 2010). Moreover, a significant disparity between the number of telephone calls attempted by the defendant and the number of actual conversations with the plaintiff may suggest a difficulty in reaching the plaintiff, as opposed to an intent to harass. Saltzman v. I.C. Sys., Inc., No. 09–10096, 2009 WL 3190359, at *7 (E.D.Mich. Sept.30, 2009); see also Hicks v. Am. Recovery Solutions, LLC, No. 1:09 cv 2650, 2011 WL 4540755, at *6 (N.D.Ohio Sept.29, 2011). There is, however, no bright line rule as to the number of telephone calls that raises the inference of intent. Hicks, 2011 WL 4540755, at *6 (noting the disagreement among courts in different jurisdictions regarding the number of calls giving rise to inference of intent). ¶ Having considered the record before it, the court concludes that no reasonable juror could find that the defendant’s conduct demonstrated an intent to annoy, abuse, or harass Ms. Tarrant. Aside from citing the frequency of Northland’s calls, Ms. Tarrant has failed to adduce any evidence concerning these calls that might reasonably raise an inference of an intent to harass. Indeed, it is undisputed that the defendant said nothing improper, threatening, or abusive when it spoke to Ms. Tarrant. It also did not leave any messages on Ms. Tarrant’s answering machine when it was unable to reach her. ¶ As to call frequency, while the plaintiff testified at deposition that Northland called her virtually every day, she did not recall any specific circumstances surrounding those calls and later testified that she received many calls from different debt collectors. (Docket No. 17, Ex. 2 Ex. A at 27.) Indeed, the only probative evidence in the record concerning the frequency and pattern of calls comes from the defendant, and the plaintiff has not suggested how this evidence demonstrates an intent to harass. The evidence shows that Northland made 39 calls over the approximately 4–month debt collection period. During that time, it is undisputed that Ms. Tarrant never told Northland not to call her. Moreover, of the 39 calls placed by Northland, only two resulted in actual conversations with Ms. Tarrant. This significant disparity suggests that Northland had difficulty in reaching Ms. Tarrant, rather than an intent to harass her. See Saltzman, 2009 WL 3190359, at *6–7 (granting summary judgment to defendant on § 1692d(5) claim when defendant placed between twenty and fifty unsuccessful telephone calls and between two and ten successful calls during approximately one month time-period); see also Fry v. Berks Credit & Collections, Inc., No. 3:11 cv 281, 2011 WL 6057781, at *4 (N.D.Ohio Nov.17, 2011) (recommending summary judgment for defendant on § 1692d(5) claim when defendant placed 68 unsuccessful phone calls over approximately two-month period, had only one successful contact with the debtor’s spouse, and no contact with the debtor), rep’t and rec. adopted, No.3:11 cv 281, 2011 WL 6057695, at *1 (N.D.Ohio Dec.6, 2011); Pugliese, 2010 WL 2632562, at *9–10 (granting summary judgment to defendant on § 1692d(5) claim when defendant placed approximately 350 telephone calls over an eight-month period, but only had about 10 actual conversations with the plaintiffs).