Kansas Judge Sides with Seventh, Eleventh Circuits in Defining ATDS

A District Court judge in Kansas has granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act case, becoming the latest to wade in and choose sides on how an automated telephone dialing system is defined.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Hampton v. Barclays Bank Delaware can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff defaulted on a $5,000 personal loan that was originated by the defendant. The plaintiff filed numerous disputes with credit reporting agencies after the loan was reported delinquent, and then filed suit against the lender, alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the TCPA.

The Tenth Circuit, which includes the District Court of Kansas, has not yet weighed in on the ATDS debate, but Judge Daniel Crabtree of the District Court in Kansas decided that the definition put forth by the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits made more sense than the ones put forth by the Ninth and Second Circuit.

The TCPA defines an ATDS as “equipment which has the capacity (A) to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and (B) to dial such numbers.”

Concluding that the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits have “exhaustively” analyzed the statute and that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling was ambiguous, Judge Crabtree decided that the Tenth Circuit would follow the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits and granted the defendant’s summary judgment motion.

“The uncontroverted summary judgment facts show that the Calling System exclusively used phone numbers taken from a database of customers and thus lacked the capacity to function as an ATDS,” he wrote.

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