Motion for summary judgment in TCPA case denied

The defendant in the In re Collecto, Inc. multidistrict litigation proceeding brought an ill-considered and ill-fated motion for summary judgment, arguing that the FCC did not have authority to construe the definition of an “automatic telephone dialing system” under 47 U.S.C. § 227(a)(1).

Arguing against an administrative agency’s interpretation of a statute is usually an uphill battle, but arguing against the FCC’s decisions before a district court inevitably runs afoul of the Hobbes Act, which provides the “court of appeals . . .has exclusive jurisdiction to enjoin, set aside, suspend (in whole or in part), or to determine the validity of . . . all final orders of the Federal Communication Commission[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 2342(1). The defendant had some other arguments as to why the Court should not enforce the Hobbs Act (notwithstanding its categorical language) but those argument were not well-taken either. On February 10, the Court denied the defendant’s motion.

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