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Florida’s Mini-TCPA Litigation Focuses on Text Messaging

Palm trees alongside Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida

Posted by Chris Alarie on Wed, 09/01/2021 - 08:42

Since Governor Ron DeSantis signed it into law on June 30, Florida’s new telemarketing law—officially known as CS/SB1120 but colloquially known as Florida’s Mini-TCPA—has been a source of concern for marketers in Florida and marketers who contact Florida residents. The first batch of mini-TCPA litigation has justified those concerns, particularly regarding text message marketing.

Looking at more than a half dozen class actions—Cooper v. Batteries Plus, LLC; Merl v. Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.; Gomez v. Idental Group, PLLC; Patton v. Pizza Hut, LLC; Garcia-Cortez v. Prospect Home Finance, Inc.; Gonzalez v. StreetStrider International, LLC; and Errante v. Blades Direct, LLC—that have been filed under Florida’s Mini-TCPA in the two months since it took effect on July 1 and they all follow a similar pattern: a marketer sends a text message to an individual and the individual files a class action alleging that the message violates the law’s restrictions on autodialed calls without prior express written consent.

What’s particularly notable is that, in each of these cases, the alleged violations would likely not be violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Facebook v. Duguid. However, the Florida law’s extremely broad definition of what constitutes an autodialer and its private right of action allow for such lawsuits at the state level. While all of these class actions are ongoing, it is clear that callers who conduct text message campaigns in Florida need to be stringent in their consent standards.