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Federal judge limits Indiana ban on robo-calls

September 28, 2011

Indiana's attorney general says he'll fight a federal judge's ruling limiting Indiana's ban on political robo-calls to in-state phone calls only.

U.S. District Judge William Lawrence in Indianapolis ruled that federal law pre-empts the Indiana's ban when it comes to interstate phone calls. The ruling says Indiana can still bar in-state robo-calls.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Wednesday he plans to appeal the ruling.

Patriotic Veterans Inc. filed a lawsuit last year saying the law violated the First Amendment and federal telecommunications laws. Lawrence did not rule on the constitutionality of the state measure in his decision Tuesday.

The ban allows Zoeller to seek fines of up to $5,000 for each violation. However political campaigns can still place robo-calls if a live operator obtains a person's permission first.

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