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Litigation

District Court Rules that Predictive Dialer is Not an ATDS

A District Court in South Carolina has issued a ruling in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit that addresses one of the most important uncertainties in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Facebook v. Duguid. At issue is whether or not predictive dialers fit within the narrow definition of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) that SCOTUS adopted in its momentous decision two months ago.

TCPA Violations: What Constitutes Harm?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was signed into law in 1991. For perspective, that’s one year before the invention of SMS text messaging. Yet, this thirty-year-old piece of legislation remains the centerpiece of federal telemarketing regulation deep into the smartphone era. As a result, a significant portion of the responsibility for the evolution and clarification of regulatory efforts has been carried out through court opinion.

What Is a Robocall?

The practical consequences of telemarketing regulation and the outcomes of telemarketing litigation often turn on how key terminology in regulatory legislation and rules is interpreted. As seen with the ongoing debate over how to interpret the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) definition of “automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS),” this can be an issue even with terms that are explicitly defined in federal statutes. For a term such as “robocall” that lacks a clear definition, this can be significantly more complicated.