For several years, courts across the country have struggled to define the term “Automatic Telephone Dialing System” (“ATDS”) within the context of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”). The TCPA prohibits making calls or sending text messages “(other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using an [ATDS] or an artificial or prerecorded voice . . . to any telephone number assigned to a . . . cellular telephone service.” In the spring of 2020, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in Gadelhak v. AT&T Services, Inc., held that a device must either store or produce numbers using a random or sequential number generator to constitute an ATDS for TCPA liability purposes. In doing so, the Seventh Circuit contributed to the growing circuit split regarding the ATDS definition. Gadelhak has since appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court. Now, AT&T has asked the Supreme Court to stay Gadelhak’s appeal pending its anticipated decision on the same issue in Duguid v. Facebook.
What is the substance of the appeal?[Read More]