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Robocall Debt-Collection Exemption Struck Down (1)

April 24, 2019, 3:43 PM

Companies can’t robocall cell phones to collect government-backed debt, a federal court has ruled.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit April 24 struck down as unconstitutional an amendment to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which restricts the use of autodialers to make telemarketing calls. The amendment exempts calls made to collect government debt.

The decision marks the first time a court has held that the 2015 amendment to the nearly three-decade-old law violates the First Amendment. The ruling to remove the exemption could quash concerns that other circuit courts might decide to invalidate the entire statute.

“The ...

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