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7th Circuit allows Indiana to enforce ban on out-of-state robo-calls

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Indiana is allowed to enforce the statute that restricts out-of-state robo-calls while an appeal on the issue is ongoing.

On Monday, the Indiana attorney general filed a motion to stay the injunction ordered Sept. 27 by U.S. Judge William Lawrence in Indianapolis which blocked the state’s enforcement of the Indiana Automatic Dialing Machine Statute, or Indiana Code 24-5-14-1. Lawrence ruled the state statute is preempted by a more lenient federal law and can’t be enforced against out-of-state callers. That was a victory for the Illinois-based nonprofit Patriotic Veterans that had argued its First Amendment right was being violated because it couldn’t make politically related calls leading up to elections.

Lawrence denied a motion to stay earlier this month, but now this appellate order means Indiana can again enforce the statute.

“This is truly great news – the holiday season for the people of Indiana will include the peace and quiet we have come to enjoy, without the threat of abusive robo-calls,” AG Greg Zoeller said in a statement. “This court action follows the withdrawal of a bill before Congress that would have allowed robo-calls to cell phones. The people of Indiana who appreciate our Do Not Call laws have much to celebrate.”

Last week, U.S. Rep Lee Terry, R-Nebraska, pulled the legislation he sponsored that would have allowed these calls to be made to cell phones. Zoeller traveled to Washington, D.C., to lead an effort against the bill, known as the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011. A joint letter was sent by nearly all state attorneys general asking Congress to oppose the bill.

The future of the Indiana auto-dialer law remains unclear until the 7th Circuit considers the appeal. Briefing is set to conclude by the end of December, according to the federal court docket.

 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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