The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227 et seq., is a federal consumer protection law that prohibits certain marketing and collection calls. In particular, the statute limits unsolicited autodialer calls, or automated text messages to cell phones without prior consent by the consumer.
The TCPA places restrictions on the use of these automated dialers and prerecorded messaging systems. It is unlawful to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice to any telephone number assigned to a cellular telephone service.
The TCPA is effectively a strict liability statute. Each violation of the TCPA entitles the consumer to actual damages, or statutory damages of a minimum of $500 per call, whichever is greater. If the court finds that the defendant willfully or knowingly violated the statute, the Court may increase the statutory damages to $1,500 per call.