Thursday, October 15, 2015

consumer - Telephone Consumer Protection Act - standing - regular user

Leyse v. Bank of America National Assn. – 3d Circuit – October 14, 2015



A “regular user” of a phone line, such as the roommate of the intended recipient of a robocall advertising for credit cards, held to have  standing to sue under the TCPA, 47 USC 227, even though the roommate was not the “called party” or “intended recipient.”


The TCPA, 47 U.S.C. § 227, as well as its associated regulations prohibits any person from, among other things, “initiat[ing] any telephone call to any residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called party, unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes or is exempted by rule or order by the FCC.”


The court held that the roommate came within the “zone of interests’ that the TCPA was meant to protecr, given the interests and purposes of the statute.  It held that the evidence made it  “clear that the Act’s zone of interests encompasses more than just the intended recipients of prerecorded telemarketing calls. It is the actual recipient, intended or not, who suffers the nuisance and invasion ofprivacy. This does not mean that all those within earshot of an unwanted robocall are entitled to make a federal case out of it. Congress’s repeated references to privacy convince us that a mere houseguest or visitor who picks up the phone would likely fall outside the protected zone of interests. On the other hand, a regular user of the phone line who occupies the residence being called undoubtedly has the sort of interest in privacy, peace, and quiet that Congress intended to protect.