Assembly members Moriarty (D-4), Bramnick (R-21), and Benson (D-14) have introduced a bill, A617, designed to cut back on the number of spam text messages received by cell phone users in New Jersey. NJCJI is working with the bill’s sponsors to amend the bill to take violations out of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act (CFA).
The CFA was enacted in 1960 to protect New Jersey citizens against deceptive business practices. As one of the first consumer protection laws in the country, it was heralded as a great success and served as the model for similar legislation in many other states. Over the years, the law has been amended by the legislature and expanded by the courts into an enormous and unwieldy piece of legislation. Compliance is difficult, especially for New Jersey’s small businesses. It is prone to abuse, incentivizes unnecessary litigation, and makes even technical violations extraordinarily costly to resolve. It is now a significant national outlier in the burdens it places on businesses and the court system.
Adding the text message bill to the CFA will incentivize consumers to file text message lawsuits under the CFA, which will further clog the courts and drive up the price of cellular service.