BOBBIE JAMES, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated; CRYSTAL GIBSON, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated; BETTY KING, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated; BARBARA SKLADANY, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated; MARK SKLADANY, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated; MILAN SKLADANY, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated; DR. JOHN F. CROW, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated
GLOBAL TELLINK CORP; INMATE TELEPHONE SERVICE; DSI ITI LLC Global TelLink Corporation and DSI-ITI LLC, Appellants
Submitted Under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) November 3, 2016
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District
of New Jersey (D.C. No. 2-13-cv-04989) District Judge:
Honorable William J. Martini
E. Cecchi, Esq. Lindsey H. Taylor, Esq. Carella, Byrne,
Cecchi, Olstein, Brody & Agnello James A. Plaisted, Esq.
Lin C. Solomon, Esq. Pashman Stein Walder Hayden Counsel for
J. Herrington, Esq. Greenberg Traurig 1840 Century Park East
Suite Philip R. Sellinger, Esq. Aaron Van Nostrand, Esq.
Greenberg Traurig Counsel for Defendants-Appellants.
Before: CHAGARES, HARDIMAN, and SCIRICA, Circuit Judges
HARDIMAN, CIRCUIT JUDGE
Tel*Link Corporation, Inmate Telephone Service, and DSI-ITI
LLC (collectively, GTL), appeal the District Court's
order denying their motion to compel arbitration against
Bobbie James and other putative class action plaintiffs who
used GTL's prison phone services. The question presented
contained on GTL's website, even though they never
visited it. Because the District Court properly held that
Appellees did not agree to arbitrate, we will affirm.
provides telecommunications services that enable inmates at
state and local correctional facilities to call family,
friends, attorneys, and other approved persons outside the
prisons. GTL is the sole provider of these services in New
Jersey. Users can sign up for an account and deposit funds
either through GTL's website or through an automated
telephone service that uses an interactive voice-response
system with standardized scripts and prompts.
who create an account through the website are shown a copy of
"Accept" to complete the process. Those who create
an account by telephone receive the following audio notice:
Please note that your account, and any transactions you
privacy statement posted at www.offenderconnect.com.
revised on July 3, 2013.
App. 125. Unlike web users, those who set up accounts by
telephone are not required to indicate their assent to the
class-action waiver, and users have 30 days to opt out of
both of these provisions. They also state that using the
telephone service or clicking the "Accept" button
on the website constitutes acceptance of the terms, and users
have 30 days to cancel their accounts if they do not agree to
in this case are inmates and their relatives or friends who
used GTL's services. Four of them opened accounts by
telephone, and one opened an account through GTL's
website. In August 2013, Plaintiffs filed a
putative class action alleging that GTL's charges were
unconscionable. They alleged violations of the New Jersey
Consumer Fraud Act, the Federal Communications Act (FCA), the
Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, and various New Jersey
state laws. GTL moved to dismiss or stay the matter, arguing
that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had primary
jurisdiction. In September 2014, the District ...