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Judge Orders Defendant in TCPA Case to Be Arrested

A man in a suit, his hands behind him in handcuffs, standing in front of a courthouse

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 11:45

While Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violations can be very expensive, it’s rare for them to result in an arrest. A telemarketer in Texas has managed to conduct himself so egregiously in his TCPA lawsuit that he may end up spending some time behind bars, or at least in handcuffs.

The telemarketer is the defendant in State of Texas v. Kevin J. Calvin. He had initially been one of a group of defendants in TCPA lawsuits filed by the state of Texas. His alleged violations relate to telemarketing calls made for his carpet cleaning business.

Calvin’s problems began when he did not show up for his court date early last year. As a result, the court granted a motion for default judgment and “entered a permanent injunction ordering the defendants to cease their illegal telephone marketing activities.” Calvin testified by affidavit that he had received the court’s orders.

However, he continued making illegal telemarketing calls, leading the state to ask for him to explain to the judge why he should not be held in contempt. Despite the state’s efforts to contact him, he did not respond. The judge referred the case to a magistrate judge, who issued another show cause order, which Calvin again ignored. Finally, on February 7 of this year, Calvin was found in civil contempt and ordered “to surrender to the custody of the United States Marshall service.” If he does not do so, he could be arrested and brought before the court.

So there you have it: it takes consistent, willful violations and a repeated failure to show up for or even respond to the court, but it is possible to be arrested for TCPA violations.