California fax ban bill halted by Judge

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Jan. 27, 2006 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Earlier this week, a federal judge renewed his earlier order delaying implementation of California's fax ban law.  SB 833 (Debra Bowen, D-Marina del Rey), passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor in 2005, intended to halt "junk faxes" by banning unsolicited faxes that included anything deemed to be an advertisement via fax machines unless prior permission is granted by the receiver.  A violation would have allowed people and businesses who received such faxes to sue the sender or advertiser, or both, for $500 per fax.

CMTA opposed the bill and requested a veto from the Governor because it did not exempt "existing business relationships."  Such an exemption would have mirrored federal law without undermining the Senator’s intent.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Xpedite Systems of Delaware, along with other proponents of the challenge, contend that Congress pre-empted California's law with its own legislation and that the state's requirement that businesses obtain permission before sending faxes violates federal interstate commerce laws. In an encouraging statement, Judge Morrison England Jr. said, " I don’t think there can be too much argument" that interstate faxes and the use of transmission lines falls under the realm of Congress. Doesn’t it appear Congress and the law&ldots;should pre-empt?" the judge asked.

In renewing his earlier order delaying implementation, the judge has set a hearing date of February 27th.
Read more Regulatory / Legal articles

Capitol updates archive 989898989