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Free call deliverability test
Close up image of a smartphone screen displaying notifications about new voicemail

Earlier this month, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the receipt of a single ringless voicemail (RVM) was sufficient to satisfy the Article III requirements for standing in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action. This is consistent with how courts have handled RVM calls but continues the patchwork application of Article III standing interpretations in TCPA litigation.

This Sixth Circuit decision in Dickson v. Direct Energy overturns a lower court decision that had held that the single RVM was insufficient for Article III standing. The RVM aspect of this ruling is not especially surprising, as courts have consistently held that RVM is regulated by the TCPA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a rule last year formally codifying this interpretation.

The issue of whether or not the receipt of a single call or text message (or RVM) is sufficient harm to confer Article III standing is a bit more of an open question. But there certainly is precedent for a single violation being sufficient harm to confer standing upon a plaintiff for a TCPA lawsuit.