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District Court Rejects Argument That Ringless Voicemail Not Covered by TCPA

A woman holding a phone displayin a voice mail notification

A district court in Florida delivered the latest in a series of rulings that undermine the argument that ringless voicemail is not covered by Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations.

The court in the case—Gurzi v. Penn Credit, Case No: 6:19-cv-823-Orl-31EJK, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56582 (M.D. Fl. March 30, 2020)—rejected the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. In addition to arguing that voicemail is a Title III information service, the defendant had argued that ringless voicemail should not be subject to the TCPA because the platform never actually calls a phone number associated with a wireless carrier—rather, it simply deposits a message in the recipient’s voicemail.

The court did not find this argument to be compelling—essentially finding that, while ringless voicemail technically might not violate the letter of the law, it still violates the spirit. It determined that, because the plaintiff’s cellphone number was used in the transmission of a message that could be retrieved on a cellular device, the technology should still be subject to the TCPA.