The South Carolina Telephone Privacy Protection Act

In May 2018, Governor Henry McMaster signed the South Carolina Telephone Privacy Protection Act, S.C. Code Ann. § 37-21-10, et seq. (the “SCTPPA”).  The law went into effect immediately.  Notably, it creates state private rights of action and remedies for certain “telephone solicitations.” Recipients of telephone calls that violate the statute may be entitled to injunctive relief and to “recover actual losses in addition to” $1,000 in statutory damages for each violation.  Further, a court can increase the damages award “to an amount not exceeding [$5,000] for each violation” upon a finding of a “wilful violation.”  A prevailing party may also be awarded attorney’s fees and costs.

The SCTPPA references the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 42 U.S.C. § 227, and defines “telephone solicitation” to correlate with the federal law and regulations promulgated under it.  The SCTPPA expressly exempts “political campaign-related” calls and text or media messages; however, it is implied that the law also exempts calls that are not telephone solicitations, e.g. calls made by tax-exempt, nonprofits seeking donations.

What specifically is prohibited under the law?

1.    Telephone solicitations between 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.

2.    Telephone solicitations that do not identify promptly:  (a) the name of the caller and entity directing the call, (b) the caller’s telephone number and address, (c) the purpose of the call, and (d) the option to be placed on the entity’s “do not call” list.

3.    Attempts to “defraud, harass, cause harm or wrongfully obtain anything of value” or to manipulate the caller’s identity, such as circumventing caller identification technology.

4.    Telephone solicitations to a telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Telemarketers have defenses under the law, including an affirmative defense that they have “established and implemented, with due care, reasonable practices and procedures to effectively prevent telephone solicitation” prohibited under the SCTPPA.  The defense expressly includes use of a National Do Not Call Registry list obtained within a thirty-one day period before the solicitation.  Further, the SCTPPA expressly includes a defense that the violation was not intentional and resulted from “bona fide error.”

For more information about this recent law, please contact the Tinkler Law Firm at (843) 853-5203 or by submitting an inquiry here.

William Tinkler
King Street Office Space for Rent

Office space at the intersection of King and Queen Streets in Downtown Charleston, South Carolina, is immediately available for $600 a month. This office is conveniently located by both the Charleston County and federal courthouses, and is ideal for a solo practitioner looking to work in an environment with other attorneys. The office includes access to a conference room.

Please call (843) 853-5203 or submit an inquiry here for additional information.

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William Tinkler
Snowden Community Advocacy

Residents of the Snowden Community, acting on behalf of the Snowden Advocacy Group, have retained the Tinkler Law Firm to help guide them through the process of lobbying certain governments and public utilities as the Group fights to stop Mount Pleasant Waterworks from forcing residents of the Snowden Community to annex into the Town to receive sewer service.

Snowden is one of the last remaining historical African American communities east of the Cooper River and was settled in the mid-1800s before Reconstruction.  The properties in the community have been passed down through generations. Despite Mount Pleasant’s rapid growth over the last 20 years, Snowden has managed to keep its rural characteristics.

Currently, one-third of the properties in Snowden do not have access to sewer service and many of the septic tanks are old and failing, and present health and environmental problems. Sewer infrastructure for those properties is finally being put down, but the Waterworks is now requiring homeowners—mostly low to middle income—to annex into the Town to receive the much-needed sewer service. This requirement is a shift in policy from nearly 15 years ago when sewer was first introduced to the community. That project was funded by a federal grant and intended for the entire community.

The Town does not provide the sewer service.  Therefore, there is no justification for requiring annexation, which will lead to significant increases in property taxes for Snowden’s residents and government by a Town Council that does not reflect the interests of this historic community.

The Group is raising funds for their cause at www.gofundme.com/preserve-snowden. Any remaining funds not used for its lobbying efforts will help defray the costs for low income residents seeking to tie into the sewer.

William Tinkler
In The News: Opioid Litigation

On March 29, 2019, Charleston’s Post & Courier quoted Paul Tinkler in its report, “How a $270 million opioid settlement in Oklahoma could spell good news for SC counties.” “It proves, frankly, that these cases are very serious cases,” Tinkler said. “I’m glad that most of the counties in South Carolina have decided to sign on.” The Tinkler Law Firm is on the team of attorneys fighting to recover opioid-related losses for South Carolina’s counties.

William Tinkler
Favorable South Carolina Court of Appeals Opinion

In February 2019, attorneys with the Tinkler Law Firm received a favorable* opinion from the South Carolina Court of Appeals. In South Carolina Department of Social Services v. Wiseman, the court found our clients had not abandoned their adopted teenage child when they refused to allow her to return to their home and requested DSS intervention. The court reasoned that their “actions were compelled by the force of circumstances and dire necessity rather than any intent to abandon” their child.

*Past results are specific to the facts of each case and should not be used to predict the results of future cases.

William Tinkler
Personal Injury Case Settled

In December 2018, attorneys with the Tinkler Law Firm settled a personal injury case for $3,100,000.* Our client was catastrophically and permanently injured when his truck was rear-ended by another truck that was traveling too fast for conditions in Berkeley County. The Tinkler Law Firm retained an accident reconstruction expert to prove that the adverse driver was speeding.

*Past results are specific to the facts of each case and should not be used to predict the results of future cases.

William Tinkler