By Ani Gevorkian
Last week, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California issued an opinion regarding the definition of an “Automatic Telephone Dialing System” (“ATDS”) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). The opinion follows a small but growing number of cases holding that courts have their own ability to interpret the statutory definition of ATDS and need not follow the Federal Communication Commission’s interpretation of that term.
The case, Marks v. Crunch San Diego, involved a class action suit against gym-operator Crunch San Diego (“Crunch”) for its use of a third-party web-based platform to send promotional text messages to current and prospective member mobile phones. The plaintiff claimed he had received three unwanted text messages from Crunch over the course of about a month, in violation of the TCPA. The motion for summary judgment turned on the issue of whether the platform Crunch used could be classified as an ATDS. The court held that it could not.