INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge ruled that the state's do-not-call list law
does not violate the First Amendment, rejecting a lawsuit filed by some
District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker issued the verdict in favor of the
state without a trial. The opinion in NCP Inc. v. Carter, dated Sept. 2, was made public late
Sept. 14 by the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of Indiana.
Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter said yesterday the decision would help
the state as it fights a challenge against the law filed with the Federal
"This is a good day for privacy interests of Hoosiers who have been enjoying
peace and quiet in their homes," he said. "I think a lot of telemarketers are
getting the message that citizens consider [telemarketing] a form of
Four nonprofit groups — the National Coalition of Prayer, the
Kentucky-Indiana Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Indiana Troopers
Association and the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police — sued the state in
April 2002, saying the anti-telemarketing law violated their right to free
speech and thwarted their ability to raise money.
A state appeals court upheld the law in July 2002, and the troopers' group
dropped out of the lawsuit last year.
Messages seeking comment were left with the charities.
Indiana's do-not-call law is one of the toughest in the nation, and allows
charities to make solicitation calls only if they use employees or volunteers to
make the calls. The charities that sued used professional telemarketers to
Carter said he was unsure whether the groups would appeal the decision, but
said the state was prepared to continue to defend the law.
The Consumer Bankers Association filed a petition with the FCC to pre-empt
Indiana's law. A public-comment period of the challenge ended in August.
FCC spokeswoman Rosemary Kimball said it would be several months until the
agency issued a decision.
About 1.7 million Indiana residents, representing nearly two-thirds of the
state's residential phone lines, have signed up to block their phone numbers
from telephone solicitations since the law took effect in January 2002.