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D'Ottavio v. Slack Technologies

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

July 3, 2019

GINO D'OTTAVIO, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
SLACK TECHNOLOGIES, Defendant.

          ARI HILLEL MARCUS YITZCHAK ZELMAN MARCUS ZELMAN, LLC On behalf of Plaintiff

          PAUL JEFFREY BOND MARK S. MELODIA HOLLAND & KNIGHT LLP On behalf of Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff, Gino D'Ottavio, filed a putative class action alleging that Defendant, Slack Technologies, transmitted dozens of unsolicited commercial text messages to Plaintiff on Plaintiff's cellular telephone, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act(“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227 et seq., thereby invading Plaintiff's privacy; and

         WHEREAS, Slack filed an answer to Plaintiff's complaint denying his claims and lodging a counterclaim, claiming that Plaintiff abused a feature on Slack's website to deliberately send himself the texts at issue; and

         WHEREAS, on April 15, 2019, the Court granted Plaintiff's motion to dismiss his claims against Slack, but denied without prejudice Slack's motion for sanctions, as well as Plaintiff's counsel's motion to withdraw as counsel (Docket No. 36, 37); and

         WHEREAS, Slack's counterclaim remains pending for separate adjudication;[1] and

         WHEREAS, the Court directed Plaintiff to file a letter on the docket, either through his current counsel or independently, indicating whether: (1) he consents to the withdrawal of his lawyers; (2) he understands that he is still subject to Slack's counterclaims and request for sanctions against him; and (3) he wishes to represent himself pro se or obtain another attorney to represent him (Docket No. 36 at 8); and

         WHEREAS, the Court directed counsel for Plaintiff to provide a copy of the Opinion and accompanying Order to Plaintiff and file a certification of service to document that they did so; and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff's counsel complied with the Court's Order (Docket No. 40, 42), and counsel has refiled their motion to withdraw (Docket No. 43); and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff's counsel relates that after over 20 attempts to communicate with Plaintiff over the course of several months to no avail, counsel finally communicated with Plaintiff, and Plaintiff related:

1) “I do not consent to your motion to withdraw as counsel”;
2) “I understand the nature of the counter suit”;
3) “If Ari Marcus if permitted to withdraw I presently do not know how I will be proceeding.” purposes, a claim need only bear a logical relationship to the subject matter of the complaint). It appears that subject matter jurisdiction may continue under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) because Plaintiff is a citizen of New Jersey ...

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