ACA International, along with Midland Credit Management and Encore Credit filed amicus briefs with the Supreme Court yesterday, arguing that the court should hear arguments in a case that seeks to define what constitutes an automatic telephone dialing system under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Joining ACA International and Midland in filing amicus brief supporting Facebook were the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Credit Union National Association, and the Retail Litigation Center.
Duguid sued Facebook after he received text messages regarding suspicious attempts to access his account with the social media giant. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Facebook, largely using the definition of an ATDS that it set in Marks v. Crunch San Diego. Under that definition, an ATDS is any device that has the capacity to store numbers to be called, which the groups argue “significantly alters congressional language” of the TCPA.
“Undoubtedly, Americans would be surprised to learn that every day they were violating a federal statute simply by placing a call using their smartphones,” ACA International wrote in its brief. “The smartphone that stores numbers and dials them without further human intervention is squarely within the rearticulated definition in the Ninth Circuit’s opinion. Americans would be violating the TCPA by making a call from their contact list even though that method of making a call is convenient and ordinary and is easily the most accurate way of dialing a phone number.”
Citing an “epidemic” of litigation by plaintiffs alleging violations of the TCPA because they were called on their cell phones using an ATDS, Midland and Encore urged the Supreme Court to hear the case because the Supreme Court’s intervention “is badly needed to bring lower courts back in line with the statute Congress enacted.”