Alert May 29, 2012

Seventh Circuit Upholds TCPA Violations for Automated Calls to Reassigned Numbers

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld a lower court opinion holding that a bill collector violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when it used automated dialers to place calls to cell phone numbers without the consent of the current subscribers, even though a previous subscriber may have granted such consent.  The Court’s opinion turned on whether the term “called party” refers to the current subscriber or the intended recipient.  The plaintiffs argued for the former interpretation, the defendants the latter.  The Court ultimately concluded that, although not defined in the statute, the term “called party” means the current subscriber because the current subscriber must give consent, and, therefore, that consent lapses upon number reassignment.  Click here for the opinion.