Financial Trade Groups Ask Supreme Court for Stable, Uniform TCPA Rules

The American Bankers Association, along with the Consumer Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America, filed a friend-of-the court brief on Thursday asking the Supreme Court to provide stability and uniformity to the Federal Communications Commission’s rules interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The TCPA places restrictions on how banks and other businesses may contact their customers.

The associations filed the brief in the case of PDR Network, LLC, et al. v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic, Inc., which concerns the application of the Hobbs Act, a law that provides a streamlined process for parties that seek to challenge the validity of an FCC order. The court is considering whether, under the Hobbs Act, a district court must defer to the FCC’s legal interpretations of the TCPA or may disregard the FCC’s interpretations.

The associations urged the Supreme Court to require district courts to follow the FCC’s interpretations, which would give banks greater certainty that their nationwide compliance programs will not be upended by a decision from a single federal district court. “The ability of the nation’s banks to communicate effectively with their millions of customers will be impaired if district courts are empowered, contrary to the Hobbs Act, to adopt a patchwork of conflicting interpretations of TCPA obligations without regard to the authoritative rules issued by the FCC,” the associations wrote.