Justia U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Communications Law
Murphy v. DCI Biologicals Orlando, LLC
Plaintiff filed a putative class action against DCI, alleging that DCI violated the Telephone Communications Practice Act, 47 U.S.C. 227, by sending plaintiff two text messages. The court concluded that plaintiff gave his prior express consent to be contacted by voluntarily providing his cell phone number to DCI. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's claims because plaintiff’s complaint alleges, on its face, facts that demonstrate prior express consent. View "Murphy v. DCI Biologicals Orlando, LLC" on Justia Law
Palm Beach Golf Center-Boca, Inc. v. John G. Sarris, D.D.S., P.A.
Plaintiff filed suit against defendant, a Florida dental practice, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. 227(b)(3) and common law conversion, after receiving an unsolicited one-page fax advertisement from defendant. On interlocutory appeal, the district court entered a final judgment for defendant. The court concluded that this case is justiciable and that plaintiff has Article III standing; on the merits, because In re DISH Network, LLC did not address the TCPA's junk-fax-ban provision, the district court's reliance on it, to hold that a plaintiff must establish vicarious liability in order to recover under the statute when a third party sends unsolicited fax advertisements on behalf of the advertiser, was misplaced; because the FCC's construction of the statute is a reasonable interpretation of Congressional intent under the TCPA and does not conflict with the statute's underlying legislative history, the court must defer to the Agency's construction of the statute; in this case, the record contains sufficient evidence for a jury to find that the fax at issue was sent on behalf of defendant; and therefore, the court reversed the district court's judgment on the TCPA claim and remanded for further proceedings. The court also concluded that the district court erred in granting summary judgment to defendant on the conversion claim. The court reversed and remanded as to that claim. View "Palm Beach Golf Center-Boca, Inc. v. John G. Sarris, D.D.S., P.A." on Justia Law
Posted in: Communications Law
Mais v. Gulf Coast Collection Bureau
Plaintiff filed suit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. 227, against a hospital-based radiology provider and its debt collection agent for making autodialed or prerecorded calls. The collection bureau, Gulf Coast, contended that the calls fell within a statutory exception for "prior express consent," as interpreted in a 2008 declaratory ruling from the FCC. The district court concluded that the FCC's interpretation was inconsistent with the language of the TCPA and, regardless of the 2008 FCC Ruling, did not apply on the facts of this case. The court concluded, however, that the district court lacked the power to consider the validity of the 2008 FCC Ruling and erred in concluding that the FCC's interpretation did not control the disposition of the case. In these circumstances, plaintiff's claim falls squarely within the FCC order. Consequently, the TCPA exception for prior express consent entitled Gulf Coast to judgment as a matter of law. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's grant of partial summary judgment to plaintiff and remanded with instructions. View "Mais v. Gulf Coast Collection Bureau" on Justia Law
Breslow v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Plaintiff, individually and on behalf of her minor child, filed suit alleging that Wells Fargo violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991's (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. 227(b)(1)(A)(iii), prohibition on autodialing cell phones without the express consent of the called party. Wells Fargo had called the cell phone number used by the child to collect a debt from a former customer who had listed the phone number on a Wells Fargo account application. Wells Fargo was unaware that the cell phone number was no longer assigned to the former customer and the former customer never revoked his consent or requested that Wells Fargo cease calling the number. The court concluded that "called party," for purposes of section 227(b)(1)(A)(iii) means the subscriber to the cell phone service or user of the cell phone called. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of partial summary judgment in plaintiff's favor. View "Breslow v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law
T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, GA
The City appealed the district court's order granting T-Mobile's motion for summary judgment and issuing an injunction on the basis that the City's denial of T-Mobile's requested cell phone tower permit violated the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. 322(c)(7)(B)(iii). The district court held that the City's short denial letter failed to satisfy the "in writing" requirement under the Act. Under the court's recent analysis in T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Milton, the court concluded in this instance that the documents at issue collectively were enough to satisfy the writing requirement under the Act. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded. View "T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, GA" on Justia Law
T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Milton, Georgia
This appeal concerned the City of Milton's decision to deny T-Mobile's applications for permits to build three cell phone towers. At issue was the writing requirement of the Telecommunications Act, 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)(B)(iii), which stated that "[a]ny decision by a State or local government or instrumentality thereof to deny a request to place, construct, or modify personal wireless services shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record." The court concluded that T-Mobile had access to documents - including transcripts of the planning commission's hearings, letters the city sent to T-Mobile, and detailed minutes of the city council hearings- before its deadline for filing the lawsuit and collectively, these documents they were enough to satisfy the writing requirement of section 332(c)(7)(B)(iii). Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment of the district court and remanded for further proceedings. View "T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Milton, Georgia" on Justia Law
Self v. BellSouth Mobility, Inc., et al
This case stemmed from the FCC's issuance of an order requiring telecommunications carriers to make payments into a Universal Service Fund for subsidizing services for certain categories of consumers. At issue was what should happen to the intrastate portion of the fees that the customers paid to reimburse the carriers for the payments they made to the fund. The court held that the district court correctly decided that it lacked jurisdiction to decide the claims. Because the district court lacked jurisdiction to review the FCC's orders at all, it lacked jurisdiction to decide whether the orders were invalid because they were outside the jurisdictional authority of the agency. View "Self v. BellSouth Mobility, Inc., et al" on Justia Law
LSSi Data Corp. v. Comcast Phone, LLC
Comcast appealed the district court's grant of preliminary injunctive relief, compelling the telecommunications company to provide its directory assistance listing data directly to LSSi. LSSi alleged that Comcast's refusal to provide LSSi, and similar companies, with direct access to its directory assistance listing data while providing this access to Targus constituted a violation of Sections 202, 222(e), and 251(b)(3) of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 202, 222(e), and 251(b)(3). Having concluded that LSSi failed to establish a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of its discrimination claims against Comcast, the court did not address the additional elements required for a preliminary injunction. Instead, the court vacated the preliminary injunction and remanded for further proceedings. View "LSSi Data Corp. v. Comcast Phone, LLC" on Justia Law
MCI Communications Services, Inc. v. CMES, Inc.
CMES was performing excavation work in Stone Mountain, Georgia when it severed an underground fiber-optic cable, owned by MCI, which caused an outage. MCI subsequently filed suit against CMES, seeking loss-of-use damages measured by the theoretical rental value of substitute equipment for the duration of the outage. On appeal, MCI challenged the district court's grant of summary judgment defeating its claim for loss-of-use damages. Because this case involved an unsettled question of Georgia law, the court certified the following question to the Supreme Court of Georgia: "Under Georgia law, may a telecommunications service provider whose cable is severed recover loss-of-use damages measured by the rental value of substitute cable when it has not rented such cable or otherwise incurred any monetary loss apart from the cost of repair?" View "MCI Communications Services, Inc. v. CMES, Inc." on Justia Law