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Bais Yaakov of Spring Valley v. Richmond, American International University In London, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

September 16, 2014

BAIS YAAKOV OF SPRING VALLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHMOND, THE AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY IN LONDON, INC., Defendant.

Aytan Yehoshua Bellin, Esq., Bellin & Associates, LLC, White Plains, New York, Counsel for Plaintiff.

Roger Furman, Esq., Los Angeles, California, Counsel for Plaintiff.

Joan M. Gilbride, Elizabeth A. Butler, Kaufman, Borgeest & Ryan, LLP, New York, New York, Counsel for Defendant.

OPINION

CATHY SEIBEL, District Judge.

On March 12, 2014, I granted in part and denied in part Defendant's motion for summary judgment in a bench ruling. ( See Minute Entry 3/12/2014.) This opinion sets forth the reasons for those decisions, which I also explained at the March 12, 2014 bench ruling.

I. Background

The following facts are based on the parties' Local Civil Rule 56.1 statements and supporting materials, and are undisputed except as noted. I set forth only those facts relevant to my decision.

Plaintiff is a high school located in Monsey, New York. ( See P's 56.1 ¶ 1.)[1] Defendant is an international accredited university, based in London, that provides undergraduate and graduate studies. (Atkinson Aff. ¶ 2.)[2]

On November 27, 2012, Plaintiff received a one-page fax from Defendant about an informational session Defendant planned to hold. (P's 56.1 ¶ 3; Complaint, (Doc. 1), Ex. A ("Richmond Fax").) At the top of the fax, the question, "Are your students interested in an International College Education?" appears. ( See Richmond Fax.) The fax then lists the date, time and place of the informational session, notes that "[a] Richmond Representative will be available to discuss the application process, scholarships and undergraduate programs, " and provides contact information so students can RSVP for the informational session. ( Id. ) The bottom of the fax provides some background on Defendant:

Richmond is a private independent American university accredited in the United States.... Richmond is also accredited in the UK.... Richmond's academic program, which encompasses business, communications, international relations, journalism, and the arts, reflects the American tradition of broad-based core studies. Living and studying together, our students from over 100 countries are ready for a world where the ability to communicate effectively across national and cultural boundaries is as valuable as traditional academic achievement. A Richmond education offers a global perspective. It examines the patterns of similarities and differences between cultures and provides students with an intercultural focus.

( Id. )

During a typical informational session, Nicholas Michael Atkinson, Defendant's Director of Admissions for North America, discusses various aspects of a Richmond education, including financial aid and the application process. (P's 56.1 ¶ 9.) During the informational sessions, Mr. Atkinson also answers any questions attendees may have. ( Id. ¶ 10.) If, during an informational session, it becomes apparent to Mr. Atkinson that Richmond does not appear to be the proper school for an attendee, he will so advise the attendee. ( Id. ¶ 11.)

On July 1, 2013, Plaintiff filed a complaint asserting claims under both the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") and New York General Business Law ("GBL") § 396-aa. (Doc. 1.) On January 10, 2014, after limited discovery, Defendant ...


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