July 02, 2019 Top Story

Unsolicited Text Messages Drive Circuit Split

Expanded definition of dialing system includes devices that simply store telephone numbers

By Amy Mattson

Interpretation of the statute governing “robocalls”—or, in this case, texts—has given rise to a circuit split.

An automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) includes devices with the capacity to dial stored numbers automatically, regardless of how the device generates the numbers, ruled the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The decision creates a circuit split as to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) definition of an ATDS, after the Third Circuit held that such systems require random or sequential number generation.

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