California has an Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA) to protect the interests of its citizens. Among its provisions are prohibitions against recording telephone calls unless both parties to the call agree to it. The complaint for this class action claims that Payment Management Services USA, LLC violated this law in recording conversations with consumers without permission.
The complaint for this class action is all persons in California whose cellular telephone conversations were recorded without their consent by Payment Management or its agents, between June 3, 2018 and June 3, 2019.
CIPA is part of the California Penal Code. It says, “Every person who, without the consent of all parties to a communication, intercepts or receives and intentionally records, or assists in the interception or reception or intentional recording of, a communication transmitted between two cellular radio telephones, a cellular radio telephone and a landline telephone, two cordless telephones, a cordless telephone, and a landline telephone, or a cordless telephone and a cellular radio telephone” violates the law.
The law allows up to $5,000 for each violation.
Around February 28, 2019, plaintiff Samuel Parthemer returned a call from Payment Management. He apparently used his cell phone and spoke to a company representative. During the conversation, they discussed Parthemer’s financial obligations, and Parthemer also disclosed his debit card information.
Unfortunately, the call was being recorded. The company representative did not tell Parthemer this at the beginning of the call or at any other time, and he was not given an opportunity to accept or refuse the recording.
Parthemer did not know that the call was being recorded. The complaint says, “At no time before, during, or after the call was [Parthemer] warned, told, advised or otherwise given any indication by [Payment Management], its employees or agents, that the call was recorded.” The complaint claims he learned about the recording only when his attorney called the company and learned that it does record incoming and outgoing consumer calls.
The complaint puts forth two counts: illegal recording of cellular phone conversations and invasion of privacy[,] intrusion into private affairs. Among the things the complaint asks for from the court are an injunction to stop the company from recording calls without permission. It also requests special, general, compensatory, and punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and “[a]ny other relief the Court may deem just and proper.”