Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Corporations
  • Date Filed: July 9, 2020
  • Case #: 19-511
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 926 F.3d 1146 (9th Cir. 2019)
  • Full Text Opinion

Petition granted limited to the following question: Whether the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system, (“ATDS”) in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 191 (“TCPA”) encompasses any device that can “store” and “automatically dial” telephone numbers, even if the device does not “us[e] a random or sequential number generator.”

Respondent sued Petitioner for sending him sporadic notification text messages using an ATDS in violation of 47 U.S.C. §151. This statute outlaws a person who calls without prior consent to certain lines using an ATDS. The district court concluded that Respondent incorrectly alleged that Petitioner sent messages using ATDS. Petitioner moved to dismiss the suit because the court precedent held that an ATDS is required to store numbers “to be called,” while Petitioner called Respondent as a result to another action. The district court dismissed the suit and Respondent appealed. Prior to this suit, the circuit court held that any device that can “store numbers to be called” and “dial [the] numbers” amounts to an ATDS. Marks v. Crunch San Diego, LLC, 904 F.3d 1041, 1052 (9th Cir. 2018). The Ninth Circuit subsequently reversed the district court's decision because of Marks. Petitioner argues that other circuit courts held that a technology qualifies as ATDS if the number generation capability is present. Petitioner argues that the circuit court's holding violated the principles of punctuation and grammar, essentially making this an issue of statutory interpretation.

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