TCPA Supreme Court Decision
(Photo Credit: William Chizek/Depositphotos)

What was your phone like 30 years ago? Were you even born 30 years ago?

It’s been three decades since the piece of legislation known as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) became law, and it’s clearly poised to get a lot of attention in 2021 because of another year of Supreme Court activity.  

Insiders and court watchers know what’s going on with the statute, which was written in 1991 as a way to protect consumers’ phones and fax machines from overzealous marketers. Back then cell phones were still roughly the same size as our new little dog Maggie. 

Most Americans know about the “Do Not Call List,” which was established through the legislation, but maybe don’t know that TCPA is the only federal law governing cell phones.

It’s true. So, even if this is your first time hearing about the TCPA, you should pay attention to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the law. It should come later this year. We here at Top Class Actions are watching with interest to see what develops, but mostly so we can tune our dials and keep serving the TCA community in the best way possible. 

To catch you up, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on a case called Facebook vs. Duguid in December. The case is about robocalls, or whether the definition of an “automatic telephone dialing system” in the statute constitutes any device that can “store” and “automatically dial” telephone numbers, even if the device does not “us[e] a random or sequential number generator,” according to SCOTUSblog.

Basically, Noah Duguid sued Facebook in 2014 over automated text messages the company sent him, but Facebook says it didn’t use an autodialer, according to the law. Facebook, the big multibillion-dollar international company felt confident enough, (and well funded enough) to push its case. 

Facebook might be correct, on a technicality, but it means the Supreme Court will have to decide between a couple of tough options because the law is so antiquated. On one extreme, they may decide to agree with Facebook; but that opens up consumers to a flood of automated text messages hitting their phones in the near future. On the other extreme lies the possibility that the Supremes could create a situation where normal cell phone activity — like using auto-reply for a text message — becomes technically illegal.

It’s a big mess. If you want to take a deep dive into the whole issue, the guys over at TCPA World do a great job keeping up with every twist and turn. If you want to see if you qualify for a case or a settlement check here.

So what does this mean for TCPA Class Actions Lawsuits as a whole? Probably a lot. 

Literally, thousands of TCPA cases have been filed since I started Top Class Actions, and hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent resolving them. The cases generally follow a similar pattern. Plaintiffs’ lawyers file lawsuits against companies that send text messages or robocalls through automatic telephone dialing systems to people who didn’t give their consent to be communicated with in that way. 

Basically phone spam. It’s suuuper annoying, which is something that has not changed since 1991.

So what happens if auto-dialers get taken out of the equation? One theory is that if TCPA’s teeth are dulled on the federal level, the cases will slide into state courts, where similar laws remain powerful. Another is that the suits may simply focus more on “Do Not Call List” offenses instead of automatic dialer offenses. 

Whichever way the Supreme Court comes down, it’s a good bet that the legal industry that’s built up around TCPA cases will have a bit of turbulence.

Turbulence usually is not that bad though. It can be scary, but it’s just a bumpy ride, and TCPA cases are going to continue. 

Top Class Actions can help no matter which way it goes. 

We’ve been writing about TCPA cases and settlements since 2008, and we’ve helped find many plaintiffs and claimants along the way. 

Our vast and engaged audience at Top Class Actions stays in tune with changes in laws related to class action lawsuits. We help educate as many consumers as we can about their rights, and when those rights are altered. 

Suffice it to say, Top Class Actions’ readers will be there no matter which way the Supreme Court decides. 

– Scott Hardy


Scott Hardy is President and CEO of Top Class Actions. 

Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.

18 Comments

  • Kim Reicher August 16, 2021

    This is a daily occurrence even though I have placed myself on the do not call list several times. I have blocked #’s only to have them call from a different number minutes later. I have some saved, Texts messages the same, emails. It’s ridiculous. Please add me.

  • Venette Landreth July 28, 2021

    Please add me I get these calls all the time and have some voice mails Thanks

  • Elzada Dounley July 23, 2021

    Please add me too.

  • Jesse Green March 17, 2021

    I get too many robo calls from insurance scams

  • patty canafax February 27, 2021

    add me i get many calls a day

  • Julia Robinson February 24, 2021

    Add me and my husband we get (HEARD YOU WERE LOOKING FOR A LOAN ON CELL PHONES) HOME PHONE SS SCAMMERS AND THEY HAVE CALLED SO MANY TIMES THEY CUSS AT US BECAUSE WE TELL THEM WE KNOW YOU ARE A SCAMMER

  • Marietta Pugliese February 23, 2021

    Please add me. I get 5-6 calls every day. Several of them for student loans. I’ve never had a student loan.

  • Christeen Howard February 23, 2021

    I get calls all day long from SS scams, Medicare scams, Microsoft, Comcast, car warranty etc. I could go on and on. Do Not Call register does not work.

  • T. February 23, 2021

    I continue getting unwanted calls. One of the worse is the car warranty calls. I don’t have that car anymore, and now I am getting calls regarding my current car. These warranty services are not from the dealership or bank that I used in purchasing my vehicle. This is a scam warranty company.

  • RICHARD P TSCHERNJAWSKI February 23, 2021

    I get calls all day plus texts

  • Helen Marie Burns February 23, 2021

    I get robo calls frequently,I block the phone numbers they call back with different number

  • Annette Barnes February 23, 2021

    I for pages of call every day

  • Cindy Wilson February 23, 2021

    I would have a list 200 miles long on all the robo calls. Add me.

  • Shelia Martin February 23, 2021

    I have a list of unwanted calls that would stretch 100 miles!
    I hate these calls! I have been on the DO NOT CALL list for 20 years or more!
    This is an invasions of my privacy!

  • Yolanda Mitchell February 23, 2021

    Add me it wont stop

  • Annette Barnes February 23, 2021

    I got pages and pages unwanted call and I keep the phone number write down. Please add me to the list

  • Elaine E Rachal February 23, 2021

    Maxed out with unwanted robo calls. This was supposed to be fixed a long time ago.

  • Latasha Troutman February 23, 2021

    YES AND I’M STILL GETTING UNWANTED CALLS FOR 20 YEARS I HAVE HAD THIS SAME NUMBER AND STILL TO THIS DAY I GET UNWANTED CALLS EVEN WHEN I HAVE REPORTED THOSE NUMBERS

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