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Monday, February 17, 2020

Unwanted texts to Democrats land Trump's campaign in court

Federal Court

By Marian Johns | Nov 5, 2019


MINNEAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) – Three Minnesota residents who allege they have never donated to the Trump For President Campaign or attended a campaign rally have filed a lawsuit over allegations they received illegal text messages from the campaign.

Dan Pederson, Connor Olson and Shell Wheeler filed a class action complaint on Oct. 18 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota against Donald J. Trump for President Inc. alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). 

According to the suit, the plaintiffs received unsolicited text messages in October regarding tickets to a campaign rally, were directed to the campaign website or were sent text messages regarding the hearings and investigations into President Trump. The messages are sent using an automatic dialing system (ATDS), the suit states. 

The plaintiffs allege they are registered Democrats with no affiliation to the Trump campaign, have never donated to the campaign and never attended a rally.

"Trump For President routinely sends text messages to wireless telephones with automatic telephone dialing equipment without the wireless users' prior express consent, in violation of the TCPA," the plaintiffs allege in their suit. 

The TCPA came into law into 1991 to punish telemarketers who made unwanted calls but has become increasingly controversial due to its application by plaintiffs lawyers seeking statutory penalties. Each call can cost a defendant either $500 or $1,500, so damages can add up quickly.

The plaintiffs seek monetary relief of up to $1,500 for each violation, trial by jury and other just relief. They are represented by Thomas Lyons Jr. of The Consumer Justice Center PA in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota, and Ronald Marron, Alexis Wood and Kas Gallucci of Consumer Advocates in San Diego.

U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota case number CV-02735-JRT-HB

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U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

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