BREAKING NEWS: DC Cir. Vacates Key Parts of FCC’s 2015 TCPA Order

In the action seeking review of the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 TCPA Order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled today that:

  1. The FCC’s ruling as to the types of calling equipment that fall within the TCPA’s restrictions would “subject ordinary calls from any conventional smartphone to the Act’s coverage, an unreasonably expansive interpretation of the statute.”  This portion of the FCC’s 2015 TCPA Order was set aside and vacated.
  1. The FCC’s “approach to calls made to a phone number previously assigned to a person who had given consent but since reassigned to another (nonconsenting) person” — often referred to as the “one-call safe harbor” — “is arbitrary and capricious.”  This portion of the FCC’s 2015 TCPA Order was also vacated.
  1. However, the D.C. Circuit upheld the FCC’s 2015 TCPA Order as “to revocation of consent, under which a party may revoke her consent through any reasonable means clearly expressing a desire to receive no further messages from the caller.”  This portion of the FCC’s 2015 TCPA Order was not vacated.
  1. In addition, the D.C. Circuit also upheld “the scope of the agency’s exemption for time-sensitive healthcare calls.”  This portion of the FCC’s 2015 TCPA Order was not vacated.

A copy of the opinion in ACA International v. FCC, et al. is available at:  Link to Opinion.

UPDATED: To read our indepth analysis of the ruling, click here.

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Eric Tsai practices in Maurice Wutscher’s Commercial Litigation and Consumer Credit Litigation groups, and in its Regulatory Compliance group. He concentrates his practice primarily on the defense of consumer and commercial financial services companies, including mortgage lenders and servicers, mortgage loan investors, third party debt collectors, and other financial services providers. He also counsels clients on regulatory compliance, licensing, and other consumer protection matters. Eric earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine. Prior to attending law school, he worked as a loan officer for national direct lenders. He earned his Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law and thereafter obtained a Master of Laws (LLM) in Taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law. Eric publishes extensively on various issues affecting consumer lending and litigation, including both federal and California-specific developments. He is licensed to practice law in California, Nevada, and Oregon, and is admitted in all United States District Courts in the State of California, the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, the U.S. Tax Court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is also a licensed real estate broker in the State of California.