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Appeals Court Returns Indiana Robocall Case To Lower Court


Photo: Ken Banks

Indiana prohibits automated, unsolicited political calls.

A federal appeals court has given new life to Indiana’s ban on some robocalls.

The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a U.S. District Judge William Lawrence was wrong to conclude that federal law superseded the state‘s regulation of certain automated calls.

The appeals court ruling says that Indiana’s telephone privacy laws are not preempted by the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The lower court is now being ordered to reconsider whether the law violates callers’ right to freedom of speech.

“This decision confirms the position we have been advocating for over a decade in every forum where our telephone privacy laws have been challenged,” said Attorney General Greg Zoeller in a statement. “Federal law bearing on telemarketing simply does not preclude broader state prohibitions.”

The Indiana law says that telemarketers, including those calling on behalf of campaigns and political groups, are allowed to make automated calls to households only if they first obtain consumer‘s permission.

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