Court Dismisses TCPA Action Because Plaintiff Refused to Plead Her Telephone Number

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On April 17, Judge Robert Bell of the Western District of Michigan found that a plaintiff does not state a claim under the TCPA if she does not plead the telephone number at which she allegedly had been called. See Strand v. Corinthian Colleges, Inc., No. 13-1235, 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 52963 (W.D. Mich. Apr. 17, 2014). The decision is a welcome one for defendants who have encountered counsel who only disclose a plaintiff’s telephone number as part of reciprocal (and inevitably asymmetrical) discovery.

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GroupMe Gets an FCC Green Light on Sending Administrative Texts to Confirm Interest in Joining Social Network Groups

Previous TCPA Blog posts have noted that the FCC has a growing backlog of petitions for rulemaking, expedited declaratory ruling, or petitions for clarification on numerous issues posed by the TCPA. [1] On a recent Friday, the FCC acted on two separate long pending petitions for expedited declaratory ruling.  This post highlights the FCC’s ruling on the petition filed by GroupMe, Inc./Skype Communications S.A.R.L. (“GroupMe”).

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FCC Grants Limited Package Delivery Notification “Prior Express Consent” Exemption

On March 27, 2014, the FCC granted, in part, a petition for expedited declaratory ruling filed by the Cargo Airline Association (“CAA”). (The FCC’s CAA Order can be found here.)  In its petition, the CAA asked the FCC: (1) to clarify that package delivery companies can rely upon representations from senders that the package recipient consents to receiving autodialed and prerecorded calls to a wireless telephone number for purposes of notifications regarding shipment of the package; (2) in the alternative, to declare that package delivery notifications are exempt from the TCPA’s requirement to obtain prior express consent before making autodialed or prerecorded calls to a wireless telephone number.

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N.D. Ohio Finds Putative Fax Blast Class Action Fails to Meet Commonality Requirement

A district court in the Northern District of Ohio recently denied a plaintiff’s motion for class certification in a TCPA blast fax case, finding that the proposed class failed to meet the commonality requirement under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a)(2).  Specifically, the court noted that “the proposed class includes entities that requested the facsimiles and/or had prior business relations” with the defendants and that the faxes sent to those entities did not violate the TCPA.  A copy of the opinion in Sandusky Wellness Center, LLC v. Wagner Wellness, Inc., et al., No. 3:12 CV 2257, 2014 WL 1224418 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 24, 2014), is available here.

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Court Finds That System Is Not An ATDS Unless It Can Generate (As Opposed To Merely Dial) Numbers On A Random or Sequential Basis

Judge Baylson of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently granted Yahoo! summary judgment in a case challenging Yahoo’s automatic email to text alert system because it did not use an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) when it forwarded emails as text messages.  In doing so, he applied the plain meaning of the statutory definition of ATDS, rejected an FCC opinion that had purported to broaden it, and disagreed with Judge Curiel in the Southern District of California, who denied a similar motion by Yahoo! just weeks ago.  See Dominguez v. Yahoo!, Inc., No. 13-1887, slip op. (E.D. Pa. Mar. 20, 2014); Sherman v, Yahoo!, Inc., No. 13-0041, slip op. (S.D. Cal. Feb. 3, 2014).  The decision is important because it limits the definition of ATDS to those systems that can generate (as opposed to merely dial) a list of numbers on a “random or sequential” basis.

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Another Court Holds That Definition of Automatic Telephone Dialing System Focuses on Present Rather Than Potential “Capacity”

As we have previously discussed, two recent decisions narrowly interpreted the term automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”), the definition of which will determine the fate of many TCPA claims.  See Hunt v. 21st Mortgage Corp., 2013 WL 5230061 (N.D. Ala. Sept. 17, 2013) and Stockwell v. Credit Management, L.P., No. 30-2012-00596110-CU-NP-CXC (Cal. Super. Ct. Oct. 3, 2013). (Our prior posts on those cases are available here and here). A district court in Washington recently followed this trend.

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