Court Holds Manual Clicker Application Not an ATDS Based on FCC’s 2003 Predictive Dialer Ruling

This article first appeared (yesterday) on TCPAland and is republished here with permission.

The post-ACA Int’l rulings on ATDS functionality continue to pile up at a clip of about one new ruling every 1-2 weeks.  The newest in the series is last week’s ruling out of the Northern District of Georgia – Maddox v. Cbe Group, No. 1:17-CV-1909-SCJ, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88568 (N.D. Ga. May 22, 2018) (“Maddox”).  There, the court granted Defendant’s summary judgment motion on the basis its Manual Clicker Application (“MCA”) was not an ATDS.  But it did so in reliance on the 2003 FCC predictive dialer ruling, and based on its finding that making calls with the MCA required “human intervention”.

In reaching this conclusion, the court started by examining ATDS precedent and found a few things.  The court recognized that under the TCPA “the essential feature of an ATDS is that it uses a random or sequential number generator,” but that the FCC made “short-shrift” of that requirement (i.e. ignored it) in its 2003 ruling when it held that a system can qualify as an ATDS if it “relies on a given set of phone numbers.”

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