Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

The TCPA provides a private right of action for violations and statutory damages in the amount of $500 for each violation and up to $1,500 for each willful violation. When multiplied against the number of calls, text messages or fax transmissions, potential damages in these cases can be significant; sometimes accumulating to over $100,000 in damages.

The TCPA was enacted in 1991, to protect consumers from aggressive telemarketers, and was codified as 47 U.S.C. Section 227.

Section 227(b)(1), in particular subsections (A), (B) and (C), which relate to calls or transmissions made using an automatic telephone dialing system ("ATDS"), an artificial or prerecorded voice or a fax machine. Calls made using an ATDS or artificial or prerecorded voice are commonly referred to as "Robocalls."

Section 227(b)(1)(A)(iii) prohibits the use of an ATDS or an artificial or prerecorded voice to make a non-emergency call without the prior express consent of the called party to a cellular phone or other similar device or service for which the called party is charged.

The TCPA defines an ATDS as "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."

Subsection (A), Section 227(b)(1)(B) generally prohibits making non-emergency calls with an artificial or prerecorded voice to residential phone lines without prior express consent. FCC regulations exempt some types of calls made under this section, including calls that are not made for a commercial purpose or that do not include or introduce an unsolicited advertisement or that are made to someone with whom the caller has an established business relationship.

Section 227(b)(1)(C) prohibits the use of fax machines, computers, or other devices to send unsolicited advertisements to fax machines, exempting cases where, for example, there is an established business relationship with the recipient and the fax contains a compliant opt-out notice.

If you have been receiving artificial or prerecorded voice messages, call us today for a free confidential consultation. Let us help you to stop the calls and evaluate the total amount of damages owed to you.

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