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United States District Court for the District of Columbia
October 26, 2018, Decided; October 26, 2018, Filed
No. 1:18-cv-0292 (KBJ)
MEMORANDUM OPINION ADOPTING REPORT & RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Pro se plaintiff Na'eem Betz has filed the instant lawsuit against Aidnest ("Defendant"), a California student loan relief company , claiming that Aidnest violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"), 47 U.S.C. § 227, when it placed multiple calls to Betz's cell phone between November 7, 2017, and December 5, 2017, even though his D.C. cell phone number was listed on the National Do Not Call registry. (See Compl., ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 1, 10, 19.) Betz contends that Aidnest's phone calls were a "direct invasion of privacy[,]" and that they caused him "emotional damage, extra electricity usage, extra battery usage[,] lost time, aggravation, and continued distress." (Id. ¶ 19.) After Aidnest failed to file a timely answer to Betz's complaint, Betz requested an entry of default (see Aff. For Default, ECF No. 5), which the Clerk entered on March 30, 2018 (see Entry of Default, ECF No. 6). On April 2, 2018, Betz filed a motion for entry of default judgment against Aidnest (see Pl.'s Mot. for Entry of Default [*2] J. ("Pl.'s Mot."), ECF No. 7), and this Court referred the matter to a magistrate judge for full case management. (See Minute Order of April 3, 2018; Minute Entry of April 3, 2018.)
On June 7, 2018, Magistrate Judge Harvey ordered Betz to show cause why his motion for default judgment should not be denied, and his action dismissed, for failure to establish that this Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant. (See Order to Show Cause, ECF No. 9, at 3 (noting that Betz's submissions "fail[ed] to establish a prima facie showing demonstrating personal jurisdiction over Defendant").)1 Magistrate Judge Harvey specifically pointed to Betz's failure to show that Aidnest (1) regularly does or solicits business in the District of Columbia, (2) engages in any persistent course of conduct in the District, or (3) derives substantial revenue from goods used or consumed, or services rendered, in the District. (See id. at 2.) The show-cause order required Betz to address this defect by setting out "the factual and legal basis for [his] belief as to why this Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant." ( Id. at 3.) Furthermore, to the extent that Betz alleged new facts in any response to the Order, Magistrate [*3] Judge Harvey instructed Betz to "aver these facts under oath or otherwise demonstrate them by admissible evidence." ( Id.) On July 20, 2018, Betz responded to the Order and provided additional exhibits. (See Pl.'s Resp. to Order to Show Cause ("Pl.'s Resp."), ECF No. 11.)
Before this Court at present is the Report and Recommendation ("R&R") that Magistrate Judge Harvey filed on August 24, 2018, with respect to Betz's motion for a default judgment. (See R&R, ECF No. 12.)2 The R&R reflects Magistrate Judge Harvey's opinion that Betz's motion should be denied, and that Betz's complaint should be dismissed, for lack of personal jurisdiction. (See id. at 3-12.) The R&R evaluates Betz's submissions and concludes that Aidnest's alleged contact with the District of Columbia is insufficient to establish the requirements of D.C.'s long-arm statute, see D.C. Code § 13-423(a)(1)-(4), and in particular, that Betz failed to establish that Aidnest "(i) regularly does or solicits business in the District, (ii) engages in any other persistent course of conduct in this jurisdiction, or (iii) derives substantial revenue from goods used or consumed, or services rendered, in the District[,]" see id. § 13-423(a)(4); (R&R, at 8-12.) The R&R further informs the parties that [*4] either party may file written objections to its conclusions (see id. at 12-13), and that by failing to do so, the aggrieved party "may waive [its] right of appeal from an order of the District Court that adopts such findings and recommendation[s]." (Id. at 13 (citing Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 106 S. Ct. 466, 88 L. Ed. 2d 435 (1985)).)
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2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183632 *; 2018 WL 5307375
NAEEM BETZ, Plaintiff, v. AIDNEST, Defendant.
Prior History: Betz v. Aidnest, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183982 (D.D.C., Aug. 24, 2018)
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