Skip to main content

TCPA Litigation Update — The TCPA’s Constitutionality After Barr v. AAPC

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in Barr v. AAPC, courts found that violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) occurring between 2015 and July 2020 cannot be enforced because the law was unconstitutional at the time. In December 2020, a court in the Middle District of Florida found that the “Supreme Court concluded that the TCPA was an unconstitutional content-based restriction as written when the statute was amended in 2015. To remedy the unconstitutional statute, the Supreme Court severed the government-debt exception from the TCPA and left the remainder of the TCPA intact.” Hussain v. Synergy, et al., Case No. 5:20-cv-00038-JSM-PRL, Doc. 74 (M.D. Fl. Dec. 11, 2020). To date, this holding has been adopted by district courts in the Sixth and Eleventh Circuit.

In recent weeks, however, attorneys general from several states have urged the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court ruling dismissing a TCPA case on these grounds. In Lindenbaum v. Realgy, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio reasoned that the TCPA couldn’t be enforced during that period because the Supreme Court said in 2020 that it was unconstitutional for Congress to amend the law in 2015 with a government debt exception. In a recent Amicus Brief, the attorneys general ask for the reversal of the Lindenbaum decision.

Whether the Sixth Circuit will agree with the attorneys general is unknown and largely dependent on the panel. Nevertheless, that decision will have no bearing on the cases currently being decided in the Eleventh Circuit. We will closely monitor any developments from the Sixth Circuit and other district courts as this line of cases continues to make headway across the nation.

 

Subscribe To Viewpoints

Technology, Communications & Media Thumbnail

Monthly TCPA Digest — February 2021

February 17, 2021 |Article

Authors

Joshua Briones

Member / Managing Member, Los Angeles Office

Joshua Briones is a commercial litigator who defends consumer class actions for Mintz. He's represented clients in a wide range of industries, including financial services, life sciences, manufacturing, and retail, in cases involving false advertising, unfair trade practices, and other claims.

Matthew Novian

Associate

Matthew J. Novian is a Mintz attorney who handles complex commercial litigation, including consumer protection matters. In his active pro bono practice, he counsels clients on matters related to immigration and domestic violence.