Mais v. Gulf Coast Collection Bureau, No. 13-14008 (11th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. 227, against a hospital-based radiology provider and its debt collection agent for making autodialed or prerecorded calls. The collection bureau, Gulf Coast, contended that the calls fell within a statutory exception for "prior express consent," as interpreted in a 2008 declaratory ruling from the FCC. The district court concluded that the FCC's interpretation was inconsistent with the language of the TCPA and, regardless of the 2008 FCC Ruling, did not apply on the facts of this case. The court concluded, however, that the district court lacked the power to consider the validity of the 2008 FCC Ruling and erred in concluding that the FCC's interpretation did not control the disposition of the case. In these circumstances, plaintiff's claim falls squarely within the FCC order. Consequently, the TCPA exception for prior express consent entitled Gulf Coast to judgment as a matter of law. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's grant of partial summary judgment to plaintiff and remanded with instructions.