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Jul 24, 2003
CONTACT: Pam Pressley - 310-392-0522 x307
Consumer Group Hails Court Decision as Victory for Consumer Privacy
California Appellate Court Upholds Right of Californians to Sue Junk Faxers Under Federal Law Banning the Practice, Law Ruled ConstitutionalLos Angeles, California -- Yesterday a Los Angeles appellate court ruled that Californians have the right to enforce a federal law banning the sending of unwanted advertisements to their fax machines. The court also upheld the federal junk fax law as constitutional over the arguments of junk faxers who claimed that the ban violates their First Amendment rights. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR), a non-profit, consumer education and advocacy organization based in Santa Monica, hailed the court decision as a major victory for privacy protection.
FTCR attorneys filed a friend of the court brief in the case decided yesterday, Kaufman v. ACS. The appellate court decision will also allow a pending lawsuit that FTCR brought on behalf of the public in 2001 against a local fax broadcaster, "Faxertise", and other junk fax advertisers to go forward in Los Angeles Superior Court.
"This decision means that junk faxers must stop stealing Californians' toner and paper, tying up our home and business fax lines, and waking us up in the middle of the night with their annoying and unwanted fax ads," stated Pamela Pressley, attorney for FTCR. "Junk faxers can no longer hide behind a now-repealed, more permissive California junk fax law, the Constitution, or claims that the federal law doesn't apply in California. The endless junk fax assault on California fax machines must now end."
FTCR receives dozens of junk fax ads per day at its offices and has received hundreds of complaints from consumers and small business owners who have been unable to stop the continuous flow of unwanted junk fax ads. In 2001, FTCR brought two lawsuits to enforce the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which bans the sending of unsolicited fax ads and requires the sender to pay $500 per illegal fax. One of the cases was settled when the junk faxer agreed to stop sending junk faxes to anyone in the state. The other, against Faxertise, was stayed pending the outcome in the appeal decided yesterday.
"Now that there is no question that the federal law prohibits junk faxing in California, we expect that the defendants in our case will agree to stop sending unwanted fax ads once and for all," stated Pressley.
To learn more about how to stop junk faxing and the lawsuits brought by FTCR, visit FTCR's JUNK FAX Web page at www.stopjunkfaxing.org.
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