In Palm Beach Golf Center–Boca, Inc. v. Sarris, — F.3d —-, 2014 WL 5471916 (11th Cir. 2014), the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that the TCPA is a “bounty” statute that affords Article III standing in federal courts even without actual injury.
The TCPA provides standing under this theory because it is a “bounty” statute, specifically providing a prevailing plaintiff $500 in statutory damages for each unlawful fax sent, as well as treble damages under certain circumstances for intentional violations of the statute. Chapman, 747 F.3d at 491 (“Nor does entitlement to statutory damages [under the TCPA] require any showing of injury of any sort, for such damages not only serve to compensate for injuries difficult to estimate in dollar terms, but also, like statutory compensation for whistleblowers, operate as bounties, increasing the incentives for private enforcement of law.”); Schlueter v. Latek, 683 F.3d 350, 356 (7th Cir.2012) (“There are plenty of bounty-hunter statutes, see, e.g., … 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(3) (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) (unsolicited text messages or fax advertisements).”); Critchfield Physical Therapy v. Taranto Grp., Inc., 293 Kan. 285, 298, 263 P.3d 767, 778–79 (2011) (relying on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s holding that the TCPA’s statutory damages scheme operates as a bounty). Through the TCPA, Congress intended to curb specific conduct, expressly prohibiting, among other things, the “use of any telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send, to a telephone facsimile machine, an unsolicited advertisement,” conduct alleged here of Defendant. TCPA, 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(C) (2006).FN6 Thus, under this theory, Palm Beach Golf has Article III standing as a result of Congress’s assignment to Plaintiff of the United States’ injury resulting from Sarris, D.D.S.’s alleged violation of the TCPA’s fax ban.