California passed its California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA) as long ago as 1967. The complaint for this class action brings suit under this law alleging that Sequium Asset Solutions, LLC recorded telephone conversations with consumers without authorization or permission from the consumers.
The class for this action is all persons in California whose cell phone conversations were recorded without their consent by Sequium or its agents between December 28, 2017 and December 28, 2018.
CIPA replaced a previous California law that permitted the recording of telephone conversations with the consent of one party to the call. Under CIPA, all parties to the call must consent to the recording and the law applies to all calls involving cellular and cordless phones, not just confidential ones.
How did plaintiff Todd Giometti know that his call with Sequium was being recorded? When he called the company, on June 15, 2018, using his cell phone, the representative he spoke to asked for his name and date of birth. The conversation concerned financial obligations he allegedly owed to a different company. After he had spoken to the representative for about twenty seconds, he was finally told that the call was being recorded. The full call lasted about two minutes.
In November 2018, Giometti’s attorney called Sequium and spoke to a representative. During the course of the call, he asked the representative if the call was being recorded. The representative confirmed that all calls are recorded.
The complaint quotes the law as saying, “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 and intentional recordation of, a communication 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 provides for statutory damages of $5,000 for each such violation.
The complaint alleges both the illegal recording of the cellular phone conversation and invasion of privacy and intrusion into private affairs. It asks for statutory damages as well as “[s]pecial, general, compensatory and punitive damages[,]” attorneys’ fees and costs, injunctive relief, and any other relief the court may deem just and proper.