You cannot, however, file a lawsuit in Federal District Court regarding complaints related to accessibility requirements for Americans with disabilities under Section 255 of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. ' 255, and telecommunications relay services for persons with hearing or speech disabilities under Section 225 of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. ' 225. The Communications Act gives the FCC and the state commissions jurisdiction over complaints related to these issues.
Whether you choose to file a lawsuit or a legal action at the FCC, you will have the burden of providing evidence and making the legal arguments necessary to prove your case. As a result, we strongly encourage you to contact legal counsel for information on how to proceed with legal action.
- Federal District Court: You may bring a lawsuit for the recovery of damages in a United States District Court under section 207 of the Communications Act. 47 U.S.C. ' 207. Again, we advise you to contact legal counsel for information on how to file a legal action in a federal district court; OR
- Federal Communications Commission: You may elect to file a legal action at the FCC under Section 208 of the Communications Act. 47 U.S.C. ' 208. In addition, a filing fee must be submitted with this type of complaint. This type of legal action is most often filed when the complainant -- the person or entity filing the complaint -- seeks a written Commission ruling which requires a carrier to pay damages resulting from an unlawful action. Because the Commission resolves this type of complaint in a manner similar to a court proceeding, we strongly encourage consumers to seek the advice of legal counsel before filing an action. Typically, corporations file this type of legal action against telecommunications carriers.
The rules governing the filing of this type of legal action can be found in sections 1.720-1.736 of the FCC's rules. 47 C.F.R. ' 1.720-1.736.
Additional information about filing legal actions at the FCC is included in our brochure entitled Filing a Formal Complaint with the Federal Communications Commission Against a Telecommunications Common Carrier.