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Sprint Communications v. APCC Services Inc.

Docket No.: 07-552
Certiorari Granted: Jan 4 2008
Argued: April 21, 2008
Decided: June 23, 2008

PartyNames: Sprint Communications Company, L.P., et al. v. APCC Services, Inc., et al.
Petitioner: Sprint Communications Company, L.P., et al.
Respondent: APCC Services, Inc., et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Sprint Communications Company, L.P., et al.
v.
APCC Services, Inc., et al.
554 U.S. ____ (2008)
Background:

Federal regulations require petitioner telephone companies to make certain payments to the owners of payphones ("payphone service providers" or "PSPs"). This case arises from the PSPs' assignments to other companies - respondents here - of the right to litigate their dispute with petitioners over the amount of compensation. After the PSPs assigned their claims to respondents "for purposes of collection" and agreed to finance the litigation, respondents sued petitioners "on behalf of" the PSPs. Under the assignments, respondents can gain or lose nothing from the outcome of the case because all the proceeds will go to the PSPs. A divided panel of the D.C. Circuit nonetheless held that respondents have standing to sue petitioners.

Question Presented:

The question presented is: Whether the assignment of a claim "for purposes of collection" confers standing on assignees which have no personal stake in the case and which avowedly litigate only "on behalf of" the assignors.

Question:

Do third-party companies hired by pay-phone operators to collect compensation for coinless long-distance calls have standing to sue telecommunication companies over the amount of the fees?

Note:

EXPEDITED BRIEFING SCHEDULE

Holding: affirmed
Vote: 5-4
Opinion By:
Read SPRINT COMMUNICATIONS V. APCC SERVICES INC. opinion (PDF)
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