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SCOTUS declines Indiana robo-call case

October 2, 2012

The Supreme Court of the United States came back for its 2012 session Monday and decided it will not take the appeal filed by a provider of prerecorded telephonic messages seeking to overturn enforcement of a ban on automated robo-calls in Indiana.

FreeEats.com Inc. used an artificially intelligent calling system to contact residents throughout the country on behalf of its clients, including Economic Freedom Fund. The messages were political in nature. In 2006, Indiana filed a complaint alleging FreeEats.com had violated the state’s Autodialer Law. FreeEats.com contended the law violates the Indiana Constitution’s free speech clause.

The trial court ruled in favor of FreeEats.com, denying in part and affirming in part a preliminary injunction request from FreeEats.com. But the Indiana justices in a 4-1 decision in December 2011 held that the state can continue enforcing a ban on automated robo-calls, finding the law serves a significant government interest in trying to prevent unwanted calls.

Justice Frank Sullivan dissented, believing the statute at question imposes an unconstitutional material burden on political speech under the state and federal constitutions.
 
The U.S. justices also declined certiorari Monday in a dispute between the Family and Social Services Administration and a decertified intermediate care facility. In March, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s denial of restitution to New Horizon Development Center for the months it did not receive Medicaid reimbursement from the state.

It operated for nine months after its certification was revoked following an inspection and sought the money from the state to cover costs to care for patients until all could be transferred to other facilities.

Bryan Brown, the Kansas attorney who was denied admission to the Indiana bar, will not have his case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Brown sued various state actors after he was referred to the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program for an evaluation. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in February held his suit was barred because of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.  

The complete order list from the SCOTUS is available online.

 

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