T-Mobile South, LLC v. BonetAnnotate this Case
This appeal arose from a dispute between the Alabama Commercial Mobile Radio Services ("CMRS") Board (CMRS Board) and T-Mobile South, LLC and PowerTel Memphis, Inc. (collectively, T-Mobile) two providers of wireless telephone services, regarding emergency "911" service charges for purchasers of prepaid wireless service. From May 2003 through May 2005, T-Mobile paid the 911 service charge on behalf of its prepaid CMRS connections. In June 2005, T-Mobile ceased paying the 911 service charge for its prepaid connections. but resumed paying the service charge in 2007. T-Mobile never collected the service charge from any of its prepaid customers. T-Mobile requested a refund of CMRS service charges it had paid the CMRS Board from May 2003 through May 2005. The CMRS Board denied the request. T-Mobile then filed a declaratory judgment action against the CMRS Board and the members of the CMRS Board individually and in their official capacities, seeking a judgment declaring that the service charge did not apply to prepaid wireless service. The Board filed a motion to dismiss, which the trial court subsequently denied. The trial court eventually entered an order denying T-Mobile's summary judgment motion and granting the Board's motion. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the legislature's intent was to impose the service charge on all CMRS connections, including those provided by T-Mobile to its prepaid customers. And under Alabama law, T-Mobile was not excused from paying the service charges. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the trial court's judgment.