Blog: Northern District of Illinois Frames Opinion on ATDS using ACA Int’l v. FCC

Court finds texting system from AT&T is not an autodialer based on plain language of Telephone Consumer Protection Act, TCPAWorld reports.

4/8/2019 8:00 AM

Blog: Northern District of Illinois Frames Opinion on ATDS using ACA Int’l v. FCC

A summary judgment case in the Northern District of Illinois Gadelhak v. AT&T Servs., No. 17-cv-01559 (March 29, 2019) shows “AT&T’s texting system did not qualify as an ATDS because the system did not “store” telephone numbers “using a random or sequential number generator” as the numbers were dialed from a predetermined list,” writes Petrina A. McDaniel, partner at Squire Patton Boggs in Atlanta, in an article for TCPAWorld.

The decision, while many parties continue to debate the definition of an autodialer, shows “plain language of the TCPA still matters,” McDaniel writes.

“The lawsuit arose from AT&T survey texts sent to customers who had engaged in qualifying transactions with a customer service representative.  The plaintiff filed a putative TCPA class action against AT&T alleging that he received 5 survey text messages from AT&T in Spanish—though he was not a customer of AT&T or any of its affiliates, did not speak Spanish, and had registered his phone number on the DNC Registry. AT&T maintained that its system was only designed to text AT&T customers and that the plaintiff’s number ‘must have been erroneously listed’ on an account.”

McDaniel notes the court developed most of its ruling “around the D.C. Circuit’s decision in ACA International in determining the proper definition of an ATDS and the status of prior FCC orders on the definition.”

Read more analysis of the opinion in her article “Mucho Gracias! Northern District of Illinois Rejects Expansive Definition of Autodialer for Spanish Survey Texts” on

Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.

Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM