Sunday, January 22, 2012

Supreme Court Rules for Federal Question Jurisdiction Under TCPA

The U.S. Supreme Court has found the TCPA allows for federal question jurisdiction. The case is Mims v. Arrow Financial Services (Jan. 18, 2012)

The court held that "the District Court retains § 1331 jurisdiction over Mims's complaint unless the TCPA, expressly or by fair implication, excludes federal-court adjudication."

The court found that just because the TCPA grant jurisdiction to state courts, the removed federal jurisdiction. The TCPA's "language may be state-court oriented, but 'the grant of jurisdiction to one court does not, of itself, imply that the jurisdiction is to be exclusive'"

"Congress arguably gave States leeway they would otherwise lack to decide whether to entertain TCPA claims," the court wrote.

The court found Arrow's reliance on statements by Senator Ernest Hollings, the TCPA's sponsor, "is misplaced. The remarks nowhere mention federal-court jurisdiction or otherwise suggest that" the TCPA "is intended to divest federal courts of authority over TCPA claims."

"Even if Hollings and other TCPA supporters expected private actions to proceed solely in state courts, their expectation would not control this Court's judgment on § 1331's compass."