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AARP Foundation Legal Advocacy

Docket: Consumer and Utilities

    

Case Name: Popowsky v. Pa. Pub. Util. Comm'n

Court: Commonwealth Ct. of Pa.    Docket: 1179 CO 2012

Read Summary AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The Commission's interpretation of the statute as permitting a utility to rely solely on spot market pricing for default utility rates, where the statute requires that the prices be based on a "prudent mix" of sources, will not be disturbed because the statute is ambiguous and the Commission has the technical expertise to interpret it.

Case Name: Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC v. King

Court: N.Y. Ct. App.    Docket: 503411

Read Summary AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: Debt collection was barred by statute of limitations as debt buyer was not entitled to a longer than the three year statute of limitations that applied to original creditor in Delaware.

Case Name: Rent-A-Center, West, Inc. v. Jackson

Court: U.S. Supreme Court   Docket: 09-497

Read Summary AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: Employment arbitration provision delegated to the arbitrator the decision about whether the provision was unenforceable, where challenge was to enforceability of the overall contract, not specifically to the enforceability of the arbitration provision itself.

Case Name: Reyes v. Zions First National Bank

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 3d Cir.   Docket: 13-8086

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Did district court improperly deny class certification seeking to hold bank accountable for knowingly facilitating millions of unauthorized ACH debits from victims' bank accounts?

Case Name: S. Alliance for Clean Energy v. Fla. Pub. Serv. Comm'n

Court: Fla. Supreme Court   Docket: SC-2465

Read Summary AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) 

Case Result: Court rejected the challenge, finding that recovery of preconstruction costs through customer rates in order to promote utility company investment in new nuclear power plants, even though plants might never be built, is a policy decision for the legislature.

Case Name: Stolt-Nielsen v. Animalfeeds Int'l Corp.

Court: U.S. Supreme Court   Docket: 08-1198

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) 

Case Result: If contract does not clearly permit a class action in arbitration, a party may not be forced to resolve a dispute in arbitration as a class action.

Case Name: Sykes v. Mel Harris

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 2d Cir.   Docket: 13-2742, 13-2747, 13-2748 (con)

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Is certification of class appropriate to challenge alleged scheme by debt buyers, law firm and process servers to obtain default judgments en masse by filing fraudulent affidavits of service and attesting to the accuracy of the debt, when debt information is inherently unreliable and is sold subject to explicit disclaimers as to its reliability and accuracy?

Case Name: Townsend v. Midland Funding

Court: Md. Ct. of Appeals   Docket: 24-C-13-001033

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) 

Case Result: In small claims court, no rules of evidence or even a competent witness is necessary for a debt buyer to obtain a judgment in a contested trial.

Case Name: Unifund CCR Partners v. Shah

Court: Ill. App. Ct. of Ill., 1st Dist.   Docket: 11-3658

Read Summary AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: After clarifying the obligation of the collector to provide sufficient evidence of an assignment of the debt as required by statute, the court determined the record on appeal was insufficient to permit review, and therefore affirmed the trial court judgment dismissing the case.

Case Name: Vassalle v. Midland Funding

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 6th Cir.    Docket: 11-4021

Read Summary AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: Nationwide class action settlement could not be approved as class representatives and settlement did not adequately protect the absent class members.

Case Name: White v. Conestoga Title Ins. Co.

Court: Pa. Supreme Court  Docket: 30 EAP 2010

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF) 

Case Result: Class action challenging title company's failure to provide its discounted title insurance rate in mortgage refinancing transactions was not allowed under common law as statute requires exhausting administrative remedies prior to filing suit, but claims under unfair and deceptive practices statute may proceed.

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Legal Cases

Find the most recent cases in which AFL has advocated in courts nationwide for the rights of older persons, and filed AARP’s amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs that help courts decide precedent-setting cases.

Strengthening Law and Policy through
Legal Advocacy

Our legal advocacy initiatives  - conducted by AARP Foundation Litigation (AFL) - reflect more than 15 years of work in federal and state courts across the country. Through our efforts, we support the Foundation’s four priority areas: Hunger, Income, Housing and Isolation, and ensure that those 50 and older have a voice in the laws and policies that affect their daily lives.