Ind. AG applauds upholding of robo-call law

Bryan Cohen Dec. 30, 2011, 2:50pm


INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller applauded the Indiana Supreme Court's ruling on Thursday in favor of the state's ban on robo-calls to homeowners that determined that the Autodialer Law does not violate free speech.

The court's 4-1 decision came after contested the constitutionality of the state's law after the company robo-called state residents during a 2006 congressional campaign. Zoeller's office defended the law during the five year lawsuit.

"This ruling is a big win for Indiana consumers and the state's strict telephone privacy statute," Zoeller said. "Over the years we have worked diligently to ensure Hoosiers are not contacted at home with annoying, unsolicited automated calls. Indiana's Autodialer Law exists to prevent everyday citizens from receiving unwanted messages and we will continue to protect this law against any and all challenges."

The law states that telemarketers, including those calling on the behalf of political groups and campaigns, may make automated calls to households only if a live operator first obtains the permission of the consumer or if the recipient opts into receiving these types of calls.

"We also hold there is no reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of the entity's claim that the Autodialer Law's live-operator requirement materially burdens its right to engage in political speech in violation of the state constitution," the judges said.

Political candidates attempting to gain votes by robo-calling Hoosiers during the next election cycle will get a quick response from Zoeller's office. Disregarding the law may result in a lawsuit seeking civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation against those responsible.

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