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If You Don't See a Unsolicited Fax Sent to Your Fax Machine, Were You Harmed Anyway?

The common sense answer would seem to be "of course" followed by "dude, why do you still have a fax machine"?

But fancy lawyers sometimes get our wires crossed, and that's what seems to have happened here:
Despite reaching the merits of Palm Beach Golf’s TCPA claim, the District Court further held that Palm Beach Golf lacked Article III standing because it was unable to demonstrate that it had suffered an injury in fact. The District Court concluded that “nowhere in the statute does Congress express an intent to circumvent the requirement that a plaintiff have Article III case-or-controversy standing to bring a claim, which requires that the plaintiff demonstrate a distinct and palpable injury to himself.” Because there was no evidence that any employee of Plaintiff’s saw or printed the transmitted fax, the District Court concluded that Palm Beach Golf was unable to demonstrate that it had suffered a sufficiently concrete injury to establish standing under Article III.

So if a bunch of unsolicited faxes arrive at your fax machine overnight and get tossed by the building cleaning crew in the morning, no one has an injury?

The 11th says not quite:
Palm Beach Golf insists that it was error for the District Court to hold that, because it failed to prove that the fax was printed or seen, it lacked Article III standing. For Plaintiff, the specific injury targeted by the TCPA is the sending of the fax and resulting occupation of the recipient’s telephone line and fax machine, not that the fax was actually printed or read. We agree....We find that Palm Beach Golf has Article III standing sufficient to satisfy the injury requirement because it has suffered a concrete and personalized injury in the form of the occupation of its fax machine for the period of time required for the electronic transmission of the data (which, in this case was one minute).
Sheesh, glad we got that straightened out.

(Now get rid of that stupid fax machine already.)


  1. Very disappointing decision by Kathy.

  2. Also, please silence your cellphones, pagers and 8-track tapes.

  3. Long live the Fax! I love mine. I have a document from a 3rd party I need a client to sign. I put it in the machine, push some buttons, client gets it, signs and sends back.
    Sometimes old school stuff works better than new fangled technology.
    No need to scan it, worry if client needs a pdf or jpg, is it 300 dpi? 500? No need to get e-mail address, worry about forgetting to send attachment, can client print it, can they scan it to send it back?
    Fax machines are great!

  4. @11:11

    You are that person keeping me waiting in line because you, 25 years after the invention of the debit card, have to pay with a check. Aren't you?

  5. Spencer's WorldMarch 10, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    I've got to get me some of those fax lawsuits. Right up my alley.

  6. also eliminates the additional 5 day rule for service by email in state court

  7. I love the guys that fax requests for admissions in late December so the deadline is cut back 5 days, when my staff is a skeleton crew, and then they file a motion to deem them admitted and for sanctions when my temp assistant didn't calendar the deadline properly during the firm xmas party. Welcome to State Court in South Florida!

  8. 11:11 says:
    No checks. CASH is King.


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