Legal Update 2020
Instructor: John Henderson
Robocalls Were Not Exempt Under TCPA Rules
Chinitz v. NRT West, Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27134 (N.D. Cal., February 20, 2019) (2019)
United State District Court for the Northern District of California
Facts: Chinitz listed his home for sale online. After the listing expired, he began receiving calls from a real estate brokerage. The calls stared with a recorded message, before a live caller joined the call. Chinitz alleges that this activity violated the Tele- phone Consumer Protect Act which prohibits solicitation calls to a residential telephone line "using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message." The broker argued that the recording did not contain any "advertisement" for any property, goods or services that would constitute "telemarketing" under the TCPA regulations.
Issue: Were the robocalls exempt from the TCPA?
Held: No. The regulations apply to any prerecorded message that "includes or introduces" an advertisement or telemarketing. Because the prerecorded messages always preceded the live follow-up call to Chiitz, they "introduced" the telemarketing calls to pitch the broker's services, and thus are prohibited by the TCPA.