Chennette v., Inc.

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Standing
  • Date Filed: 10-04-2022
  • Case #: 20-35962
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Fletcher, C.J. for the Court; Bress, C.J. concurring; & Ikuta, C.J. dissenting.
  • Full Text Opinion

Plaintiff's standing under TCPA 47 U.S.C. § 227(c), stating that businesses cannot use telephone solicitations if “[a] residential telephone subscriber [] has registered his or her telephone number on the national do-not-call registry,” was permitted based on statutory presumption favoring protection.

Plaintiffs appealed the district courts’ dismissal of their complaints of telephone solicitations under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). Plaintiffs’ claims were dismissed for lack of statutory standing under 47 U.S.C. § 227(b). Article III standing was assumed, and the question presented under § 227 (c) was not heard. Plaintiffs assigned error to the district court’s holding that they did not fall under the “zone of interests” protected under § 227(b). Plaintiffs argued the phone numbers were covered under the TCPA as residential. In response, Defendants argued Plaintiffs’ phone numbers were not residential numbers because they were used for personal and business purposes. Under TCPA 47 U.S.C. § 227(c), telephone solicitations are improper if “[a] residential telephone subscriber [] has registered his or her telephone number on the national do-not-call registry.” The Court reviewed arguments for Article III and Statutory standing under § 227 (b) and (c), de novo. The Court found plaintiffs Article III standing is a matter for proof at later stage proceedings, indicating that Plaintiffs’ do have sufficient standing under Article III. Regarding statutory standing under § 227(b) and (c), the Court found that the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") presumes that a phone is a residential phone until evidence is presented to demonstrate it is not. Additionally, FCC has generally provided protection to numbers on the do-not-call registry. Accordingly, the Court held that Plaintiffs had standing under (b) and (c) because Plaintiff's phones were presumed to be residential phones until Defendants proved otherwise. Reversed and remanded.

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