• On September 6, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the FCC to respond within 30 days to the petition for writ of mandamus filed by CompTel and other parties to require the Commission to conclude the special access rulemaking initiated in 2005. The petitioners argue that “[t]he FCC has failed to perform its core function of ensuring that the rules governing special access result in just and reasonable rates, terms and conditions, notwithstanding increasing evidence of the severe harms to competition, the national economy, and consumers resulting from the agency's inaction.” Under court rules, an agency has no obligation to respond to a mandamus petition absent court order. In re CompTel, No. 11-1262 (D.C. Cir.).
  • On August 30, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed an Ohio trial court’s dismissal of a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit. The trial court had concluded that “the plain language of the TCPA creates a private right of action in state – not federal – court.” The Sixth Circuit disagreed, but noted that “jurisdiction of federal courts over private TCPA claims has been the subject of much debate.” The Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits all have held that the TCPA does not create federal-question jurisdiction for private claims. The Sixth Circuit, however, held in 2010 that federal jurisdiction exists, and relied on that decision here rather than adopt the later, unpublished opinion on which the district court relied for the opposite conclusion. The appeals court remanded the case back to the trial court to proceed with the case. Charvat v. NMP, LLC, No. 10-3390 (6th Cir.).