ILNews

Justices to hear 'robocalls' arguments Monday

IL Staff
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court travels to Terre Haute Monday for arguments in a case dealing with "robocalls." The issue in State of Indiana v. American Family Voices, Inc., Jim Gonzalez, and John Does 2-10, is whether pre-recorded, automated "robocalls" with political content can be limited under Indiana's Automatic Dialing Machine Statute, Indiana Code Section 24-5-14-5. The case stems from complaints about American Family Voices' use of automated calls; the attorney general's office filed an action against the group in September 2006 in Harrison Circuit Court. The Circuit Court granted American Family Voices' motion to dismiss the complaint, leading to the state seeking immediate transfer of the case to the Supreme Court. The central committees of the Indiana Democratic and Republican parties have filed briefs arguing that political pre-recorded calls are legal.
At issue is whether the 1988 state law banning these calls - which the attorney general first started enforcing in 2006 - applies only to commercial or sales-related calls, or whether it extends to include political-related calls.

Since 2004, the state has filed numerous suits against companies or reached agreements over alleged violations of federal or state statutes regulating automated and pre-recorded calls, including Eyeglass World LLC, Promise Keepers, and the Economic Freedom Fund. In September 2007, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed FreeEats.com, Inc. v. State of Indiana and Steve Carter, Attorney General, No. 06-3900, a suit filed by FreeEats.com Inc. that challenged Indiana's prerecorded telephone messages statute. The federal appellate court ruled because a state court was already considering the issue, it could provide an adequate legal remedy. FreeEats.com filed the federal action seeking an injunction to stop the state's enforcement of the statute after the attorney general filed a state claim against a company that hired FreeEats.com to make the pre-recorded calls to Hoosiers. Arguments begin at 1 p.m. in the Tilson Auditorium in the Hulman Center at Indiana State University, 200 N. Eighth St., Terre Haute.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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