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Hossfeld v. Gov't Emples. Ins. Co.

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Northern Division

February 25, 2015

ROBERT HOSSFELD and CHRISTOPHER, LEGG on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY (D/B/A/ GEICO), Defendant

Page 505

For Robert Hossfeld, Christopher Legg, Plaintiffs: Peter A Holland, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Holland Law Firm PC, Annapolis, MD; Alexander H Burke, PRO HAC VICE, Burke Law Offices LLC, Chicago, IL; Scott D Owens, PRO HAC VICE, Scott D Owens PA, Hallandale, FL.

For Government Employees Insurance Company, Defendant: George M Church, LEAD ATTORNEY, Miles and Stockbridge PC, Baltimore, MD; Keith L Gibson, Martin W Jaszczuk, PRO HAC VICE, Locke Lord LLP, Chicago, IL.

Page 506

MEMORANDUM OPINION

William D. Quarles, Jr., United States District Judge.

Robert Hossfeld and Christopher Legg (" the Plaintiffs" ) sued Government Employees Insurance Company (" GEICO" ) for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (" TCPA" ).[1] Pending are GEICO's motion to dismiss, the Plaintiffs' motion to file a surreply, and the Plaintiffs' motion for leave to initiate limited early discovery. No hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2011). For the following reasons, the pending motions will be denied.

I. Background[2]

In the amended complaint, the Plaintiffs allege that GEICO " used an automatic telephone dialing system to call the cellular telephones of [the] [P]laintiffs . . . in attempts to sell GEICO insurance policies." [3] ECF No. 29 (" Am. Compl." ) at ¶ 4. The Plaintiffs never consented to such calls. Id. at ¶ 5.

A. Call to Hossfeld

On February 12, 2014, at approximately 1:19 pm, Hossfeld received a call on his cellular telephone from number (301) 686-7207. Am. Compl. at ¶ 17. At the time, Hossfeld's cellular telephone number was on the National " Do Not Call" Registry. Id.

When Hossfeld answered the call, " [t]here was a distinctive pause on the line . .., which indicated to [Hossfeld] that a machine, rather than a human being, dialed the call." [4] Am. Compl. at ¶ 18. Hossfeld had the following conversation with the person who came on the line after the " distinctive pause:"

Caller: Hi, this is John Matthews, calling with regards to your interest in an auto insurance quote. Am I speaking with Shelly Morris? Hello?
Hossfeld: Hello[5]
Caller: Hi sir. This is John Matthews. How are you doing this afternoon?
Hossfeld: All right.
Caller: Oh. Sounds great. Sir, because you are an owner, you are entitled to a free insurance quote with a car insurance specialist to see if you can save

Page 507

money on your auto insurance premiums. Okay?
Hossfeld: Hrmph.
Caller: The best quote for you, sir, you will get the best bill, to save your money.
I have to ask some questions before we go ahead, like: Do you currently have a car insurance policy?[6]
You sir are over the age of eighteen years, correct?
Hossfeld: Correct.
Caller: Great. And sir, do you have a valid, active ...

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