Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice announcing that it was seeking comment on a Petition for Declaratory Ruling that the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) filed in September.  In its filing, the CBA asked the FCC to clarify that a “called party” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the FCC’s implementing rules “refers to the intended recipient of the call” rather than the person whose number was called.  

The TCPA and the FCC’s implementing regulations require a caller to obtain the prior express consent of the “called party” before making an autodialed call (or one that uses an artificial or pre-recorded message) to a wireless phone number.  Accordingly, FCC action on CBA’s Petition could have broad implications in TCPA litigation if the agency shifts the legal analysis from the identity of the called party to the intent of the caller.