Supreme Court Won't Revive Robotexting Lawsuit Against Meta

The Supreme Court has left in place a decision dismissing a claim that Meta Platforms violated an anti-robotexting law by sending unsolicited messages to a Facebook user about his friends' birthdays.

As is typical, the court didn't give a reason for refusing to hear appeal.

The move brings an end to a legal battle dating to 2016, when Colin Brickman sued the company for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which restricts companies' ability to use autodialers make phone calls or send text messages.

Meta successfully argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed on the grounds that its text-sending system isn't an “autodialer” because it doesn't randomly generate the numbers that are dialed.

The statute defines “autodialer” as equipment that is able “to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator” and “to dial such numbers.”



The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said in its ruling that Meta's messaging system didn't randomly or sequentially generate the numbers it texted, and therefore wasn't covered by the robotexting-law.

Brickman's lawyers then urged the Supreme Court to take up the dispute, arguing that the 9th Circuit interpreted the definition of “autodialer” too narrowly.

Counsel contended in their petition for review that the term doesn't only cover systems that generate numbers, but also applies when messaging systems store numbers randomly or sequentially. Brickman's lawyers added that robocalls and texts to numbers in a marketing lists would never be covered by the robotexting law, if the restrictions only applied to systems that made calls to randomly or sequentially generated numbers.

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