Attorneys Karen Stafford and Cassandra Meyer were victorious in their recent Class Action Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) case.
Plaintiff, on behalf of himself and the alleged class, filed suit against a real estate company alleging violations of the TCPA based on receiving an unsolicited text message. While the case was pending, the United States Supreme Court agreed to accept review of a Ninth Circuit case that broadly defined an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) to include any device that can store and dial numbers (including cell phones)–Facebook v. Duguid. The Arizona District Court granted our Motion to Stay the case pending the Supreme Court’s decision in the Facebook case. As you may have seen on the news, the Supreme Court overruled the Ninth Circuit’s decision and specifically narrowed the definition of an ATDS to include only those devices that actually generate phone numbers, not those that can just store and dial numbers. This was the first Supreme Court decision to specifically address this definition and resolve what had become a split among the federal jurisdictions. Based on the Supreme Court’s decision, we filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that Plaintiff failed to allege the use of an ATDS, nor could he based on the alleged facts. The Court agreed and granted Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, dismissing Plaintiff’s claims with prejudice. This was the first decision in Arizona to specifically apply the Supreme Court’s newly-clarified definition of an ATDS and to expressly address a footnote in the Supreme Court’s Facebook decision that Plaintiff argued left the question open as to whether an ATDS must have the ability to actually generate phone numbers, rather than just dial numbers from a pre-prepared list. The Arizona District Court rejected Plaintiff’s argument and held that an ATDS must be able to generate phone numbers, and any device that does not generate phone numbers is not an ATDS under the TCPA.