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Saugus man wins $560 judgment in robocall suit

Posted: February 21, 2014 5:56 p.m.
Updated: February 21, 2014 5:56 p.m.

A Saugus man has won a judgment in his suit against a former school board candidate who allegedly contacted the man with an illegal campaign robocall before last November’s election.

Saugus resident Robert Arkow alleged he received an illegal robocall during the campaign with the message to vote for Chris Trunkey, who narrowly lost a race in the Saugus Union School District board election.

“I know these people have to get their message out, but you’re really hurting the whole process when you use robocalls,” Arkow said this week.

Robocalls are pre-recorded messages that are delivered by phone using an auto-dialer. They are typically used in political or advertising campaigns.

Arkow said the robocall he received was illegal because it was made to his cellphone without his consent, something he alleges is a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Arkow also said the robocall he received left no way to get in touch with Trunkey, which could be another violation.

“Clearly this is a warning to all politicians,” Arkow said of the judgment. “You’ve got to stop this.”

Arkow received a $560 judgment in the matter, a portion of the $3,000 he sought when he filed the suit.

“I received the court’s judgment in favor of Mr. Arkow for $560. That ruling is automatically stayed pending appeal,” Trunkey wrote in an email. “As Mr. Arkow filed suit for $3,000, the court dismissed the bulk of his case, and I don’t believe the judge ruled correctly on the one claim it did allow.”

Trunkey said Tuesday he is weighing whether to appeal the matter.

“It comes down to a data-processing error at the L.A. County Department of Elections,” Trunkey wrote. “Mr. Arkow included a notation on his voter registration form that was not read into (the Department of Elections) database which is shared with candidates.”

That notation, according to Arkow, was a note saying he did not give consent to receive calls.
Arkow said the judge did not give an explanation for why his ruling was less than the amount requested.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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