In Simmons v. Charter Communs., Inc., No. 15-cv-317, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42091 (D. Conn. March 30, 2016), the District of Connecticut granted summary judgment in favor of Charter Communications in a putative class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (“TCPA”). Simmons alleged that Charter violated the TCPA by contacting him four times over a two week period, despite the fact that his telephone number was registered on the national do-not-call registry. Simmons sought to represent a class of similarly situated persons.
The underlying facts in Simmons are detailed, but two holdings of the district court are of particular significance. First, the court held that Charter was entitled to summary judgment under the “safe harbor” of 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(c), because Charter called Simmons by accident (because it reasonably, though erroneously, believed that it was contacting an existing customer), and Charter had otherwise established reasonable policies and procedures to avoid calling individuals on the do-not-call registry.
Second, Simmons also alleged that he instructed Charter not to call him anymore during one of the calls, but that Charter still called him after making this do-not-call request. Simmons alleged that Charter’s conduct violated 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(d)(3), which requires telemarketers to record and honor a consumer’s specific do-not-call request made to a company. The district court, however, rejected this argument, noting that subsection (d)(3) only required that a telemarketer honor a do not call request “within a reasonable time from the date such request was made,” not to exceed 30 days. Charter honored the plaintiff’s request within two weeks, which the court held was reasonable as a matter of law, as it was “half the period deemed by the regulation to be the outer limits of reasonableness.”