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.  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”).
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.
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.
In a case of first impression in the courts of appeal, the Third Circuit recently expanded the rights of consumers under the TCPA, holding that consumers may revoke their consent to be called on their wireless phones and that there is no time limitation on when they may do so. Gager v. Dell Financial Services, LLC, — F.3d –, 2013 WL 4463305 (3d Cir. Aug. 22, 2013).