New Ruling Holds That Predictive Dialer Calls Are Not Robocalls

A Federal District Court in Illinois added their opinion to a growing list of entries finding predictive dialers are not covered under the TCPA.

The Background

In November 2016, Pinkus brought a case against SiriusXM alleging that by attempting to solicit him using an ATDS and leaving prerecorded messages, they were in violation of the TCPA.

SiriusXM had contracted six vendors to collect on the debt Pinkus accrued.

They alleged DialAmerica, one of their said vendors, breached its contractual duties by failing to hold SiriusXM harmless against the claims brought by Pinkus.

The Decision

Ultimately, both claims - the claim against SiriusXM and the claim against DialAmerica - were dismissed.

The official conclusion:

"Because the phrase “using a random or sequential number generator” refers to the kinds of “telephone numbers to be called” that an ATDS must have the capacity to store or produce, it follows that that phrase is best understood to describe the process by which those numbers are generated in the first place."

According to this decision, the functionality to dial numbers from a list is insufficient to state a claim under the TCPA since a random or sequential number generator had been identified as the defining characteristic of an ATDS.

What It Means For You

To sum up: dialers calling from a list do not qualify as an ATDS under the TCPA unless they generate numbers randomly or sequentially. This means users of what used to be considered a compliance risk can rest easy, at least for now. The case's ruling has already been upheld Gary v. TrueBlue, Inc. this week, so it's looking like courts will uphold it for the time being. As similar cases are brought forward, we will be sure to update you with any changes that might occur.