Will Recent Auto-Dialer Decisions Help Rein In TCPA Litigation?

By: Gregory N. Blase

Have recent judicial decisions brought much needed sanity to the discussion of what constitutes an “automatic telephone dialing system” (“ATDS”) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”)? The short answer is: maybe.

How did we get to this point? The TCPA limits the ability to call anyone in the United States using an ATDS. The statute defines that term to include “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.” 47 U.S.C. § 227(a)(1). In recent years, companies have trended away from using dialers that dial numbers randomly or in sequential order, in favor of predictive dialers or manual dialers (i.e., those that require an agent to dial the called number by hand).

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