Court Says Telemarketers Must Comply With Utah Law

Court Says Telemarketers Must Comply With Utah Law

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that telemarketers must comply with Utah's do-not-call law, not just with the federal law.

"It says that out-of-state telemarketers can't thumb their nose at us, and that we do in fact have the authority to pursue those folks," said Francine Giani, executive director of the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.

Utah's do-not-call laws ban companies from using automatic dialers to call residences.

Integrated Credit Solutions of Florida challenged the $2,000 fine imposed on it for using an automatic dialer to solicit two Utah residents.

The company argued that Utah could not trump federal laws.

In a unanimous ruling Tuesday, the Utah court said there was no reason telemarketers could not comply with both state and federal laws.

Federal lawmakers don't have an exclusive interest when it comes to protecting consumers, they said.

Attorney Jeff Gross, who represented the company in the appeal, declined comment as he had not yet seen the opinion.

Assistant Attorney General Jeff Buckner, who represented the state in the appeal, said Tuesday's ruling ensures Giani's division can swiftly prosecute companies. Using federal laws is a more cumbersome process, he said.

"This gives us an immediate kind of ability to issue an out-of-state telemarketer a citation they have to respond to," he said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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