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Judge upholds Colorado's no-call telemarketing law

By The Associated Press

DENVER — A federal judge has upheld Colorado's no-call law that bars telemarketers from phoning residents whose numbers appear on a state registry.

Colorado Citizens for Free Speech, a group headed by mortgage company owner Jeffrey Burke, had argued the law was an unconstitutional regulation of commercial speech.

"The court's ruling keeps in place this landmark law that protects the privacy of Colorado's citizens in their homes," Attorney General Ken Salazar said in a statement. U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn issued his Aug. 27 ruling, made public yesterday.

The group argued the law was inconsistent because it allows calls by companies that have an established business relationship with residents and exempts political and charitable entities.

In dismissing the case and awarding court costs to the state, Blackburn said the no-call registry met a substantial government interest and was reasonable.

State and federal no-call lists prohibit telemarketers from calling phone numbers in the registries. After three violations of the no-call list, telemarketers can be fined as much as $2,000 for each unwanted phone call.

About 1.63 million Colorado residents had registered their phone numbers with the Colorado no-call list as of July 31. The national Do Not Call Registry had 62 million numbers registered as of June 18.

Similar laws have been challenged in other states.

In September, another U.S. District judge in Denver found the federal no-call list unconstitutional because it didn't apply to charities, temporarily halting the Federal Trade Commission's enforcement of the law.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the FTC to implement the law while a challenge moved through the courts.


10th Circuit backs federal do-not-call list

Panel rejects telemarketers' claims that registry violates free speech, is unfair because it doesn't apply to charitable or political solicitations. 02.17.04

8th Circuit upholds N.D. do-not-call law
Panel reverses lower-court decision, rules 2-1 that telemarketing statute 'does not substantially limit charitable solicitations, and is not unconstitutionally overbroad.' 12.08.05


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