On May 2, the Florida legislature passed amendments to the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act (FTSA) that would drastically narrow its scope and presumably cut down on the number of class actions filed pursuant to it. The bill will take effect immediately after it is signed by Governor DeSantis.
Among other things, the proposed amendments would:
- Make the prohibitions applicable only to unsolicited calls. The FTSA would not apply to calls made pursuant to an existing business relationship or in response to an inquiry.
- Limit the definition of an autodialer to an automated system that both automatically selects and dials telephone numbers.
- “Automated system” is currently defined under the statute as an “automated system for the selection or dialing of telephone numbers.”
- Create a 15-day safe harbor for text solicitations. Solicitors would have 15 days to cease texting (other than a confirmation text) after receiving a do-not-text request from a would-be plaintiff and would not be liable for texts in that 15-day period.
- The FTSA time limits (no marketing communications after 8 p.m.) and contact limits (three attempts per 24 hours) would still apply during the 15 day period.
- Broaden the signatures that qualify as an e-signature. The FTSA previously required a signature that complied with the E-SIGN Act; the amendment expands signatures to include an “act” as a “signature” where the act demonstrates express consent. This includes checking a box indicating consent or responding affirmatively to text messages, an advertising campaign, or an email solicitation.
- Apply retroactively to any class action not certified on or before the effective date of the amendment.
Troutman Pepper will continue to monitor this legislation as well as similar statutes in effect in Oklahoma and Maryland and will provide updates as they occur.