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Showing 19 posts in TCPA.

SCOTUS Decides Federal Debt is not Exempted from TCPA, While FCC Autodialer Declaration Further Alters TCPA Landscape

With a major U.S. Supreme Court decision leading the way, recent developments continue to reshape the landscape of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). More ›

FCC Clarifies Autodialer Definition, Including in Bulk Text Message Context

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently issued a Declaratory Ruling clarifying the definition of an autodialer. Exactly what constitutes an autodialer under the TCPA has been a burgeoning topic in consumer litigation. The TCPA prohibits any person from texting or calling a cellular telephone number using an automatic dialing system (“autodialer” or “ATDS”) without prior express consent. The TCPA defines an ATDS as equipment which has the capacity to (A) to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and (B) to dial such numbers. More ›

La Boom! Second Circuit Detonates Expanding Circuit Split over Auto-Dialer Definition Under TCPA

Hinshaw continues to monitor the deepening circuit split over what constitutes an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which restricts certain automated calls and text messages. To say there has been substantial debate by the courts and FCC concerning what constitutes an ATDS would be putting it lightly. And, just when it seemed a majority position was emerging, the playing field seems to have leveled with the Second Circuit's decision in Duran v. La Boom Disco, Inc. More ›

Circuit Split Created as Eleventh and Seventh Circuits Narrowly Interpret Definition of Auto-Dialer Under the TCPA

We now have a split among federal circuits regarding the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS), under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which limits automated calls and text messages. What constitutes an ATDS has been debated both by the FCC and courts for quite some time. In 2008 and 2015, the FCC found that all predictive dialers were automated telephone dialing systems under the TCPA. In Marks v. Crunch San Diego in 2018, the Ninth Circuit, held that the TCPA applies to devices with the capacity to automatically dial telephone numbers from a stored list or devices that dial telephone numbers produced from a random or sequential number generator. Now, in Glasser v. Hilton Grand Vacations and Gadelhak v. AT&T Services, Inc., the Eleventh and Seventh Circuits have taken the opposite approach and found that an ATDS only includes equipment that dials randomly or sequentially. More ›

Lack of Standing Is Not Dead as a Defense to TCPA Actions

The Eleventh Circuit, in Salcedo v. Hanna, has concluded that receipt of a single unsolicited text, allegedly sent in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the "TCPA"), does not constitute a sufficient "concrete injury" to confer standing under Article III of the United States Constitution. More ›

Emerging Trend: Another Federal Court Finds that Predictive Dialers Fall Outside the TCPA's Definition of an ATDS

In 2018, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued ACA International, et al. v. FCC that set aside key determinations of the FCC's interpretations of what qualifies as an automated telephone dialer service (ATDS). The D.C. Circuit concluded that the focus of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's (TCPA) definition of an ATDS should be on the device's "present capacity" to store and produce telephone numbers, as opposed to its "potential functionalities" or "future possibility." Since this decision, courts have remained split as to what qualifies as an ATDS, although there is a growing trend of courts concluding that a predictive dialer is not an ATDS unless it has the present capacity to store and produce phone numbers randomly and sequentially. On July 30, 2019, the Northern District of Texas joined that trend with its decision in Adams v. Safe Home Security Inc. More ›

U.S. Supreme Court Balks on Judicial Deference to FCC in TCPA Case, While Concurrence Led by Justice Kavanaugh Looks to Swing

TCPA litigators have been closely monitoring the U.S. Supreme Court's docket waiting for a ruling in the PDR Network case. At stake is what kind of judicial deference should be given to the FCC's interpretation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Specifically, the Court was set to decide whether the Hobbs Act required the District Court to accept the FCC's legal interpretation of the TCPA. Numerous decisions at both the District Court and Circuit levels have held that trial courts have no discretion to review an FCC order interpreting the TCPA, meaning that courts must provide these orders complete deference. More ›

"Estoppel on Steroids" ‒ Does the Hobbs Act Require the District Court to Accept the FCC's Rule Interpreting an "Unsolicited Advertisement" under the TCPA?

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument on appeal from the Fourth Circuit's decision issued in PDR Network, LLC v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic, Inc. The issue is whether a district court must accept the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) rule interpreting an "unsolicited advertisement" under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The district court held that PDR Network, LLC did not violate the TCPA when it faxed an unsolicited advertisement to Carlton & Harris Chiropractic for a free Physicians' Desk Reference. In doing so, the district court declined to apply the FCC's 2006 rule that interpreted an unsolicited advertisement under the TCPA to include fax messages that promote goods or services at no cost. On appeal, however, the Fourth Circuit reversed concluding that the district court should have applied the FCC's rule because the Hobbs Act, which establishes judicial review for final orders of certain federal agencies, requires a party to first challenge an agency rule with the respective agency before challenging the rule in court. The Supreme Court is left to decide whether the district court has authority to hear PDR's challenge to the FCC's rule in its defense of this TCPA lawsuit without any prior agency challenge. More ›

ACA International Continues Setting Precedent Regarding Autodialers: Second and Third Circuits Follow Suit in Adopting a Narrowed Definition

The Second Circuit, in King v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., and the Third Circuit, in Dominguez v. Yahoo!, Inc., relied upon the D.C. Circuit's decision in ACA International v. FCC in limiting the definition of an autodialer under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Dominguez found that Yahoo's text message system did not fit the definition of autodialer, while King emphasized that only a device that currently has the ability to perform autodialing functions can qualify as an autodialer system. More ›

TCPA Developments: Consumer's Attempt to Revoke Consent to Text Messages Found to be Unreasonable

In Nicole Rando v. Edible Arrangements, International, LLC, a consumer sued Edible Arrangements under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) arguing that the company sent her text messages after she had revoked her consent. The New Jersey federal court granted Edible's Motion to Dismiss, finding that the consumer's revocation was not "reasonable." The consumer was prompted to text "STOP" if she wished to revoke her consent, but the consumer responded instead with long sentences such as "Thank you. I'd like my contact info removed" or "I asked to be removed from this service a few times. Stop the messages." More ›

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