There’s a little business in San Diego called Susan M Greene Notary. It’s specifically located in Solana Beach and is owned by Susan Green. Note that his is not the same Susan M Green whom the California State Bar Association has located in Northern California. This Susan Greene is just a notary, not an attorney. This is an important distinction as you’ll soon see. Ms. Greene is joined in this duty by an Assistant named Joseph Click, JD. Yet it turns out he’s not the same Joseph Click who’s listed in the California State Bar Association either. According to Susan Green, he has a law degree, but has not actually passed the bar.
How did I learn all of this? Well, that’s quite a strange story. The beginnings of which are even stranger. You see, this story started in 1991 when George W. Bush signed the Telemarketing Consumer Protection Act. As part of that law, any company that called someone on the “do not call” list or any company who ended up using an autodialer to dial a cellphone or pager number is in violation of the law. As such, according to the law, the offending party owes the owner of the number compensation. Honestly, the idea that a consumer was due personal damages for the crime of a phone call bothered me a bit at the time, because it seemed possible for someone to make it there living to go after people who call them on the phone. It turns out that one such person was James Kinder.
In order to avoid retyping another news story, I’ll just refer you to the San Diego Reader where you can learn that:
- James Kinder was a former California Attorney who later resigned rather than be disbarred for numerous ethical offenses.
- In 1996, Kinder got the pager number (619)999-9999.
- He was immediately flooded with collection calls. As it turns out, in the age of computers, if a data entry clerk doesn’t know a number, they will tend to enter all 9s. Later the autodialer will actually dial the fake number.
- Mr. Kinder then decided to start suing the pants off of everyone who called his number. According to the story, he set up a sophisticated computer system (which he calls a pager) and keeps track of every single call made to this number by party calling, time, and date.
- After the 2006, TCPA Kinder had even more ammunition to go after people. He starting filing lawsuits by the hundreds. Of the cases that went to trial, he lost well, all of them as far as the story reads. However some parties would settle out of court for a few hundred dollars and that was enough to satisfy Mr. Kinder.
Fast forward to last week. My mother’s business, Market Research Dallas, gets a notice from a Susan M Greene who controls a certain phone number in San Diego. Yep, you guessed it: (619)999-9999. Someone at my mother’s firm (allegedly) called this number and here comes the shakedown artist. Except this time instead of James Kinder, it’s Susan M Greene.
Now here’s where I enter into the story. I begin an email correspondence with Susan Greene who started out alleging that Market Research Dallas violated the TCPA. She later conceded that there was no violation of the TCPA, but she was going to sue anyway for “negligent interference with perspective economics relations.” In a later claim, she added on some emotional distress, just for good measure.
Clearly, this is a shakedown, but curiously it’s not by Kinder. So what happened here. Well, as luck would have it, Susan M Greene emailed me this document which explains EXACTLY what happened here, as it appears to be the contract between the two of them. This document sets forth that Ms. Greene has agreed to pay James Kinder $1000 for the use of the number as of August of 2010, plus a monthly charge of $200 plus $.25 per call placed to that number. Not only that, #2 of the document states that Ms. Greene has entered into this deal because her business was “not doing well in the present economy.”
So this document details what anyone by now would have intuitively guessed: James Kinder has outsourced the dirty work of shaking people down to Susan Greene. Lovely. Well as you can imagine, I told her that on no uncertain terms would she get any money from us, when I get a strange phone call at my personal home number this afternoon. In it, a man identifying himself as Joseph Click tells me my phone address, what states I reside in, and that they are doing a search on what properties I own so that they can come after me.
Wow. That’s really something. At any rate, I’m sure this is a bunch of hot air. Furthermore, people that know me know that I’m not the kind to be bullied like this. Still, it’s a strange world. I posting this information here so that future parties can be better prepared to deal with this harassment.