Text message platform is not ATDS, according to Florida federal district court.
A district court ruling handed down on Feb. 25 provides some positive precedent for accounts receivable management companies in the 11th Circuit that use the Twilio text-messaging platform.
Text messages sent via Twilio do not fall within the ambit of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, ruled in a summary judgment in Northrup v. Innovative Health Ins. Partners, LLC. The court held that neither 212CRM—which the defendant used for contact management—nor the Twilio text-messaging platform qualified as an ATDS “as a matter of law because (1) neither had the capacity to randomly or sequentially generate numbers, and (2) both require[d] human intervention” in order for the defendant to initiate a text message.
Notably, the summary judgment ruling represents the first district court opinion in the 11th Circuit to follow Glasser v. Hilton Grand Vacations Co., LLC, which set a powerful circuit precedent with its ruling that an ATDS must both have the capacity to use random or sequentially generated numbers and must dial those numbers automatically.
The Glasser opinion, which represented a key victory for ACA’s judicial advocacy efforts under the Industry Advancement Fund, signaled a return to commonsense textual statutory interpretation in TCPA auto-dialer cases following the success of ACA International v. FCC. The effects of Glasser as seen in the Northrup decision demonstrate how judicial advocacy in the circuit courts can cascade down to lower courts and sever an entire line of frivolous cases in a given circuit. ACA expects a similar effect on this very same issue in 7th Circuit in the wake of the recent Gadelhak v. AT&T Servs., No. 17-cv-01559 (March 29, 2019) decision.
Members may read more coverage of the TCPA precedent in the Glasser case from ACA International member Michael Barnhill, partner with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.
ACA will provide more coverage and analysis of the summary judgment in Northrup v. Innovative Health Ins. Partners, LLC in an upcoming Members Attorney Program article. Subscribe to ACA Daily for updates.