On May 5, 2018, a broad range of 18 industry groups led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, including ACA International and members of the financial services industry, petitioned the FCC to seek clarity on the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system in light of the D.C. Circuit’s March 16, 2018 decision in ACA Int’l. v. FCC, which vacated the FCC’s prior ATDS interpretation as unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious.
As we reported last month, on the heels of the D.C. Circuit’s ruling in ACA Int’l v. FCC, the D.C. Circuit has created a tabula rasa for the FCC’s treatment of reassigned numbers under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The FCC now seeks to clarify the interplay between that decision and the Commission’s ongoing efforts to establish one or more reassigned number databases.
Last week, Democrat Mignon L. Clyburn announced that she will be stepping down from her position as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission before its next scheduled meeting on May 10. Commissioner Clyburn was first nominated to serve on the FCC by President Barack Obama in August 2009, and she completed her second term with the agency last summer. President Donald Trump and the Senate will be responsible for filling her seat with a Democratic appointee to restore the 3-2 Republican-Democratic split and thereby keep with the custom that three of the FCC’s five commissioners be affiliated with the party of the President.
Bottles of Ink: Court Observes that FCC’s Recent “Regulatory Crusade” Has Only Made the TCPA Murkier
It should come as no surprise to readers of this blog that the TCPA is the subject of regular criticism by judges across the country. See e.g. Dominguez v. Yahoo!, Inc., No. 13-1887, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11346, at *20 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 27, 2017) (calling the FCC’s 2015 Omnibus “a ‘mongrel’ – with no offense to dogs.”). The ambiguities in the FCC’s rulings on the TCPA’s exceptions for healthcare-related calls are the most recent subject of judicial critique of the TCPA.
This coming Thursday will mark the one-year anniversary of the oral argument in the big ACA, Int’l appeal of the FCC’s Omnibus TCPA ruling. District courts handling TCPA cases under the shadow of the ACA, Int’l appeal appear to have run out of patience with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal, or at least lost their faith that the ruling will be made swiftly. This is reflected by the increasingly number of denials of defendant motions to stay TCPA cases pending the outcome of the ACA Int’l appeal.
No More Playing Hookie: FCC Finds That The TCPA’s Emergency Purposes Exemption is Broad Enough to Allow Schools to Report Truancy to Parents (and Other Important Rulings)
Huck Finns of America beware. There will be a lot less time spent at the ole’ fishing hole during schools hours starting next year thanks to a declaratory ruling from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued on August 4, 2016. Effective immediately schools and teachers may leverage automated technologies to send text alerts and pre-recorded messages to parents to swiftly inform them of their child’s unexcused absences.