Plaintiff Petitions SCOTUS on TCPA 'Autodialer' Ruling

The Supreme Court has been asked to review a September appellate court decision in which a U.S. Court of Appeals expanded the definition of an autodialer.

The Ninth Circuit's decision kept the autodialer definition largely in line with the one adopted by the FCC in its 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order. In March 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated the FCC's definition of autodialer and rejected the commission's interpretation of when a caller violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by calling a reassigned number. Similarly, the Second and Third Circuit Courts have adopted a narrower definition of the FCC's order.

In the lawsuit, Marks v. Crunch San Diego, the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Marks. Crunch San Diego filed the petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court asking it to review the decision. This request could delay the FCC's efforts to clarify the autodialer definition.

CUNA has actively worked with the FCC over the past three years to obtain more clarity and flexibility under the TCPA so credit unions are able to contact their members without fear of breaking the law.

Lawmakers have also urged the FCC to reform the TCPA. Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Ed Markey (D-MA) last Congress introduced the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act (S. 3655) in an effort to deter criminal robo-call violations.