TCPA QUICK HITTER: Law Firm Not Liable for TCPA Violations Even Though Autodialer Might Have Been Used

Here’s a quick and fun one for you TCPAWorld.

The law firm Snell & Wilmer was recently sued because of debt collection calls allegedly made by one of its attorneys.

The Plaintiff in suing the firm contended that the calls were made using an autodialer and without consent, triggering the TCPA and its $500.00 per call statutory damage provision.

But the Court in Mehl v. Green, et al. 2022 WL 4056269 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 2, 2022) disagreed. It held that only random calls can trigger the TCPA–even if an autodialer was allegedly used:

Plaintiffs allege that each of the calls concerned either specific problems occurring at the subject property or the state court cases, id. at 9-12, thereby dispelling any notion that the calls were made randomly. Several courts have held that when a plaintiff provides their number—which is the only logical explanation in this case—a TCPA claim does not lie—even if the plaintiff claims that the defendant used an autodialer.

The analysis of Mehl is consistent with a number of courts post-Facebook that have suggested only calls to randomly-produced phone numbers trigger the TCPA. While that is not technically true–post-Facebook either production or storage of phone numbers using an ROSNG triggers the TCPA–the shorthand approach adopted by Mehl  undoubtedly reached the proper result as I am certain Snell lawyers aren’t firing up an autodialer to reach people.

Breaking down another recent case holding ATDS only applies to random numbers. For more GREAT content be sure to follow our You Tube channel!


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