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TCPA Class Action Brought Against President Trump’s Campaign

Donald Trump's Star on the Hollywood

Posted by Chris Alarie on Tue, 10/22/2019 - 09:32

To paraphrase Bob Dylan:

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to… be a defendant in a TCPA class action.

While some people may be under the mistaken impression that a non-profit entity such as a political campaign is immune from the regulations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a newly filed class action against the literal President of the United States of America demonstrates that this isn’t true.

The case—Dan Pederson, Connor Olson and Shell Wheeler v. Donald J. Trump For President, Inc., Case 0:19-cv-02735—was filed in the District Court for Minnesota and stems from alleged TCPA violations relating, in part, to President Trump’s October 10, 2019 campaign rally in Minneapolis. The plaintiffs allege that the President’s campaign used an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) to transmit text messages.

Two plaintiffs allege that they received unwanted texts from a ten-digit phone number regarding tickets for the aforementioned rally. The third plaintiff claims he received a SMS message asking him to reply affirmatively in order to receive further campaign-related communications. All three plaintiffs claim that they are registered Democrats who have no previous affiliation with or history of donating to President Trump’s campaign. The plaintiffs are asking the court to certify a nationwide class with members numbering in “the hundreds of thousands if not more.”

While this is a relatively minor legal matter by the President’s usual standards, it is still a clear indication that any political campaign can still potentially be targeted for TCPA litigation.