Truth in Caller ID Act Preempts State Law

Commentary

A Mississippi court has ruled that the federal Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009, which is part of the TCPA, preempts conflicting state caller identification law.  Teltech Systems v. Barbour.  The court noted that it would be impossible for a business to conduct calling anywhere in the country without risk of liability under the Mississippi statute and therefore held that it had the practical effect of regulating commerce outside the state of Mississippi and was, therefore, unconstitutional and preempted by federal law.

Comment:  Add one more jurisdiction to the list of states holding that the TCPA preempts conflicting state law.  Until the Supreme Court resolves the question, however, businesses must take into account state and federal law provisions with regard to TCPA compliance. The Mississippi Public Service Commission actively enforces the state’s “do-not-call” list which is more restrictive than the federal list. It would be interesting to apply the Teltech decision to that state list, as a reviewing court might find the Mississippi rules do not apply to interstate calls (i.e., they are preempted).

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Telemarketing Connections Newsletter December 2011