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Revised Georgia Telemarketing Law Takes Effect on July 1, 2024

On May 6, 2024, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 73 (“SB 73”) into law. SB 73 amends Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia (“OCGA”), Georgia’s telemarketing law, with the goal of curbing the proliferation of unsolicited telemarketing calls to State residents. Among other revisions, SB 73 amended Georgia’s telemarketing law to: 1) remove the “knowing” requirement for violation of the law; and 2) expand statutory liability beyond the party that called/texted to the advertisers. 

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) is a federal statute designed to protect consumer privacy by restricting certain types of telemarketing communications. The TCPA has been subject to wide-ranging interpretation and, consequently, inconsistent enforcement by courts in various Federal Circuits. Perhaps seeking uniformity in their own jurisdictions, states, such as Georgia and Florida, have passed their own telemarketing laws, commonly referred to as “Mini-TCPAs.” 

Prior to this May 6th amendment, Georgia’s telemarketing law did not previously contain a provision contemplating vicarious liability. Senator Tillery, who introduced SB 73, made clear that telemarketing companies will no longer avoid liability “by contracting with companies outside of state lines and even our nations borders.”  

Please note that the new amendments to Georgia’s telemarketing law take effect on July 1, 2024

What Effect Does SB 73 Have on Georgia Telemarketing Practices? 

The most significant effect that the updated Georgia telemarketing law will have is the extension of liability to the party(ies) that benefit from telemarketing calls/text messages that violate the statute. SB 71 updates the operative provision from: 

“No person or entity shall make or cause to be made any telephone solicitation to the telephone line of any residential, mobile, or wireless subscriber in this state . . .” 

to 

“No person or entity shall make or cause to be made on behalf of any person or entity any telephone solicitation to the telephone line of any residential, mobile, or wireless subscriber in this state . . .” 

This change is extremely important because plaintiffs that filed lawsuits prior to Georgia amending its telemarketing law had to establish agency in a court of law for vicarious liability to attach to advertisers on whose behalf violative calls/texts were placed/sent. Now, Georgia telemarketing plaintiffs can directly pursue the parties that stand to gain from the calls/texts, which are generally larger companies. 

SB 73 also modifies Georgia’s telemarketing law to remove the “knowing” requirement. Pursuant to the new amendments, ignorance of the law is no longer a valid defense. Even if defendants are unaware that the subject telemarketing conduct violated the law, they will still be liable.  

SB 73 further modifies Georgia’s telemarketing law to specifically allow plaintiffs to bring their claims as part of a class action and recover reasonable attorneys fees. This amendment has massive implications for putative defendants from a liability standpoint.  

On a positive note, an industry-favorable amendment to the statute was included. SB 73 now contains an additional defense to Georgia telemarketing lawsuits, allowing defendants to escape liability if “the telephone solicitation was made to a residential, mobile, or wireless subscriber whose telephone number was provided in error by another subscriber so long as the defendant to such action did not know, or have reason to know, that the telephone number was provided in error.” Put another way, if a Georgia consumer provides an incorrect telephone number when subscribing to receive marketing communications, companies will no longer be liable for dialing/texting that incorrect number without consent. 

Hire Experienced Telemarketing Attorneys to Comply with Georgia’s Telemarketing Laws 

It is important to note that SB 73 passed in the Georgia Senate with a vote of 56 to 0. We understand that this may have been the first measure to pass with full support of the entire Senate body. Clearly, the interests of Georgia’s legislators are in line with the federal government’s; as both continue to amend applicable regulations to stem the tide of unsolicited telemarketing communications. 

Businesses should remain proactive in ensuring compliance with not only Georgia’s telemarketing laws, but other state “Mini-TCPAs” and federal regulations. The attorneys at Klein Moynihan Turco have years of experience in all aspects of telemarketing law and are well-equipped to assist your company with its marketing campaigns. 

If you require assistance with telemarketing law compliance or related litigation defense, please email us at info@kleinmoynihan.com or call us at (212) 246-0900. 

The material contained herein is provided for information purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney. 

Attorney advertising 

Photo by Marjan Grabowski on Unsplash

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Florida TCPA Action Survives Motion to Dismiss 

Are FTSA Lawsuits Here to Stay? 

FTSA Amendment Bill Could Bring Clarity  

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David Klein

David Klein is one of the most recognized attorneys in the technology, Internet marketing, sweepstakes, and telecommunications fields. Skilled at counseling clients on a broad range of technology-related matters, David Klein has substantial experience in negotiating and drafting complex licensing, marketing and Internet agreements.
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