FTC to Resume Implementing and Enforcing Do-Not-Call Registry; FCC Will Also Enforce
Late Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit cleared the way for the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to resume implementing and enforcing the national Do-Not- Call database (“DNC Registry”), when it stayed the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, which previously had struck down the DNC Registry on First Amendment grounds. (See Update dated Sept. 30, 2003, for additional information about prior court rulings and other aspects of the FCC’s and FTC’s donot- call rules.). In granting the FTC’s motion to stay the lower court’s ruling, the Tenth Circuit found that the FTC had demonstrated a substantial likelihood that the DNC Registry would be found not to violate telemarketers’ First Amendment rights. The 10th Circuit will further consider the constitutionality of the DNC Registry on an expedited basis, and will hear oral arguments regarding the merits on Nov. 10, 2003.
Pending the Tenth Circuit’s final decision, the FTC will resume operation and enforcement of the DNC Registry. Beginning at 8 a.m., EDT, on Thursday, Oct. 9, consumers who had not previously done so may register their phone numbers with the DNC Registry. Beginning at 9 a.m., EDT, on Friday, Oct. 10, telemarketers will be able to access the DNC Registry. Consumers who signed up for the DNC Registry before Aug. 31 will be able to file complaints regarding violations of the DNC Registry beginning Saturday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. Consumers who signed up for the DNC registry on or after Sept. 1 must wait three months before filing a complaint. The FCC has announced that it will also continue to accept complaints and share information with the FTC, and consumers therefore may file a complaint with either agency.
Please contact us if you have any questions about these developments or telemarketing regulation generally.