Medley v. Dish Network

Case Type:
Case Status:
Affirmed in part and Reversed in part
18-13841 (11th Circuit, May 01,2020) Published
The Circuit Court found that the District Court erred in finding the Pause debt was not discharged in the plaintiff's bankruptcy. The Agreement was deemed rejected as a matter of law under the Bankruptcy Code during the plaintiff's bankruptcy; as a result, Dish had a prepetition breach of contract claim for the debt as a general unsecured creditor; that claim was discharged when the bankruptcy court entered the discharged order.
Procedural context:
The district court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant Dish. The district court characterized the Pause debt and the satellite services debt as separate debts, findings that the services debt was discharged, but the Pause debt was not. The court reasoned that the Agreement was an executory contract that was not deemed rejected under bankruptcy law because Medley failed to list it on her Schedule G. Since the agreement was not deemed rejected, The Pause charges accrued after the petition were not discharged.
Appellant Linda Medley entered into a 24-month agreement with Dish to receive satellite television services in exchange for monthly payments. The agreement included an option to participate in a Pause Program. For a $5.00 fee, the Pause program allowed customers to suspend the services and the charges for those services for up to nine months during the term of the agreement. Participation on the Pause Program entails the extension of the commitment by the number of days of the suspended services. Eleven months into the agreement Medley tried to cancel her services but informed of the early termination penalty decided to request the PAuse program. Two months after Medley filed for chapter 7 and listed the amount owed under the agreement with Dish in her Schedule F, but failed to disclose the agreement in Schedule G as an executory contract. After Medley obtained the discharge of her debts, Dish started sending emails and called her on the phone trying to collect the Pause fees. Medley's counsel notified the bankruptcy discharged and requested Dish to stop the calls and the emails; also warning of the violation of the TCPA's prohibition and the revocation of the ATDS. Medley filed suit in the Middle District of Florida raising claims under the FCCPA and the TCPA.
Jill Pryor, Grant and Royal (sitting by designation)

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