The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants held the government-debt exception of the TCPA unconstitutional under the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause.  This means that going forward, companies that make “debt-collection” calls on behalf of the federal government can only do so with the prior express written consent of the called individuals.
Continue Reading TCPA’s 2015 Government-Debt Collection Exception Struck Down- Now What?

As we reported in our sister blog, “One ‘Chirp, Buzz, Or Blink’ Is Not Enough To Sue Under the TCPA”, a recent court decision makes it more difficult for plaintiffs to establish standing under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. In its decision, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a single text message from an attorney to his former client did not amount to sufficient harm to sue in federal court. The Court concluded that the allegations regarding the single text message were not enough to state a concrete injury-in-fact necessary for federal jurisdiction. The Eleventh Circuit’s ruling appears to conflict with a previous Ninth Circuit decision regarding the same issue.
Continue Reading A Single Text Message May Not Violate TCPA

The Sixth Circuit is the latest court to weigh in on the definition of ATDS under TCPA. The TCPA defines ATDS as equipment that has the capacity “to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and to dial such numbers.” Generally, the TCPA prohibits calls and text messages to cell phones using an ATDS without prior express consent.
Continue Reading Will More Clarity on Definition of ATDS Under TCPA Finally Be Here Soon?

Tiger Natural Gas, Inc. recently settled a class action privacy suit alleging that it illegally recorded sales calls with over 27,000 potential customers. Although Tiger hired a third party to handle its telemarketing, Tiger will pay $3.7 million on the claims as the advertiser with ultimate liability for non-compliance. According to the plaintiffs, neither company told the consumers the calls were recorded, as is required under California’s call recording law.
Continue Reading Utility Provider Settles Call Recording Lawsuit for $3.7 Million

In the recent case of Marks v. Crunch San Diego, LLC, 904 F.3d 1041 (9th Cir. 2018) the Ninth Circuit broadly interpreted the TCPA’s definition of automatic telephone dialing system (often referred to as ATDS) to include devices with the capacity to dial stored numbers automatically. The device at issue in Marks is called the “Textmunication” system, which the Court described as “a web-based marketing platform designed to send promotional text messages to a list of stored telephone numbers.” The defendant, Crunch Fitness, had communicated with current and prospective gym members by sending them text messages via the Textmunication system. The plaintiff, Jordan Marks, had signed up for a gym membership and subsequently received three text messages over an 11-month period. Marks sued Crunch Fitness and alleged that the text messages violated the TCPA.  The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Crunch Fitness after concluding that the Textmunication system did not constitute an ATDS because it presently lacked a “random or sequential number generator” and did not have the potential to add this feature.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Opens Door for More Expansive Meaning of ATDS in TCPA Cases