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Consumer Groups File Brief Supporting En Banc Request in Text Message TCPA Case

A handful of consumer groups have submitted an amicus brief and motion for leave to have it entered into the record as the plaintiff in Salcedo v. Hanna seeks to have his case re-heard by the entire Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in an en banc hearing.

A panel of Eleventh Circuit judges ruled in late August that the receipt of a single text message without the proper consent under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act is not enough to give someone standing to sue, which could impact the arguments made by plaintiffs in virtually every TCPA case. The Eleventh Circuit has not yet decided if it will re-hear the case as requested by the plaintiff.

The motion for leave and the amicus brief were filed last week by the National Consumer Law Center, Consumer Federation of America, National Association of Consumer Advocates, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center. A copy of the documents can be accessed by clicking here.

Looking at the worst-case scenario, the brief paints a dim picture of individuals no longer able to use their phones because of the flood of text messages.

“The panel’s holding that a single text message is too minor an annoyance to amount to a concrete injury is unsound,” the consumer groups wrote in their brief. “Text messages are often sent as part of massive telemarketing campaigns, reaching hundreds of thousands of consumers. If every business in the United States could send just one text message with impunity, cell phones would be flooded with unwanted messages, defeating the purpose of the TCPA. The text message function would be rendered unusable as a means of communication, as any messages consumers sent or received would be lost in a sea of telemarketing messages.”

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