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Glasser v. Hilton Grand Vacations Co., LLC

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

January 27, 2020, Decided

No. 18-14499, No. 18-14586

Opinion

 [*1304]  SUTTON, Circuit Judge:

After they each received over a dozen unsolicited phone calls, some about repaying a debt, others about buying vacation properties, Melanie Glasser and Tabitha Evans sued the companies that called them for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Both women allege that the companies placed the calls through "Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems," which the Act regulates and restricts. Because neither phone system used randomly  [*1305]  or sequentially generated [**3]  numbers and because the phone system in Glasser's appeal required human intervention and thus was not an auto-dialer, the Act does not cover them.

In 1991, Congress enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Pub. L. No. 102-243, 105 Stat. 2394. The law makes it illegal to "make any call . . . using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice" to "emergency telephone line[s]," to "guest room[s] or patient room[s] of a hospital," or "to any telephone number assigned to a paging service[] or cellular telephone service" without the "prior express consent of the called party." 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A). It defines an "automatic telephone dialing system" as "equipment which has the capacity—(A) to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and (B) to dial such numbers." Id. § 227(a)(1). The law's prohibition on using auto-dialers does not apply to residential land lines. Id. § 227(b)(1)(B). The Act enforces these requirements with penalties, including $500 for each illegal call. Id. § 227(b)(3)(B). If the caller "willfully" or "knowingly" violated the prohibition, the court may award $1,500 or more per call. Id. § 227(b)(3).

Melanie Glasser and Tabitha Evans entered the picture in 2013. Over the course of about [**4]  a year, they each received over a dozen unsolicited phone calls to their cell phones. Hilton Grand Vacations Company, LLC, a timeshare marketer, called Glasser thirteen times about vacation opportunities. The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, a loan servicer, called Evans thirty-five times about unpaid student loans. Neither Glasser nor Evans consented to the calls.

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948 F.3d 1301 *; 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 2481 **; 28 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. C 770; 2020 WL 415811

MELANIE GLASSER, Plaintiff-Appellant, versus HILTON GRAND VACATIONS COMPANY, LLC, Defendant-Appellee.;TABITHA EVANS, Plaintiff-Appellee, versus PENNSYLVANIA HIGHER EDUCATION ASSISTANCE AGENCY, Defendant-Appellant.

Prior History:  [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. D.C. Docket No 8:16-cv-00952-JDW-AAS.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. D.C. Docket No. 3:16-cv-00082-TCB.

Glasser v. Hilton Grand Vacations Co., LLC, 341 F. Supp. 3d 1305, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162867 (M.D. Fla., Sept. 24, 2018)Evans v. Pa. Higher Educ. Assistance Agency, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 227631 (N.D. Ga., Oct. 17, 2018)Evans v. Pa. Higher Educ. Assistance Agency, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 218018 (N.D. Ga., June 11, 2018)

CORE TERMS

dial, numbers, sequential, generator, telephone number, random, autodialer, randomly, telephone, modifies, stored, automatically, phone, technology, verbs, prerecorded, qualify, storage, automatic telephone, telemarketers, message, artificial, words, summary judgment, superfluity, recordings, coverage, vacation, Marks, majority opinion

Civil Procedure, Preliminary Considerations, Justiciability, Case & Controversy Requirements, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Standing, Elements, Standing, The Judiciary, Governments, Legislation, Statutory Remedies & Rights, Antitrust & Trade Law, Consumer Protection, Telemarketing, Interpretation, Judgments, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review