Indiana Law Interfering With Citizens' Free Speech Rights Found Unconstitutional

Jun 14, 2010, 12:51 ET from FreeEats.com

WASHINGTON, June 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Free political speech and the rights of the citizens of Indiana to communicate openly with each other about politics, government activity and elections received a big boost in Indiana, when on June 10, 2010, a Special Circuit Court Judge announced his decision in the case of the State of Indiana v. FreeEats.com, Inc., in favor of the Defendant, FreeEats.com, Inc., and its clients.

At issue was the application of Indiana's Automated Dialing Machines Statute ("ADMS") (Indiana Code 24-5-14) prohibiting "automated" calls and whether it applied to the "Artificial Intelligence Call" (AIC) systems employed by FreeEats. The state had sued FreeEats saying that its calls on behalf of one of its clients violated the ADMS. FreeEats sought an Order prohibiting Indiana from applying the ADMS law to its AIC systems and successfully argued that prohibiting the use of the more efficient, faster and less expensive "Artificial Intelligence Call" (AIC) processes it employs unduly restricted the ability of citizens to communicate about political and election matters, and violated the Freedom of Speech provisions of the Indiana Constitution and was, therefore, unconstitutional.

In addition, FreeEats argued successfully that the ability of the "Artificial Intelligence Call" (AIC) system to obtain consent from respondents is just as efficient and effective as the ADMS's requirements to use live operators with the added advantage of being at least (i) 10-times less expensive; and (ii) 25-times faster in getting the messages out to Indiana voters.  

In its ruling, released Thursday, June 10, 2010, the Court agreed, saying, "The state has identified that the sole purpose of the ADMS is a limitation on the total volume of automated calls. Such a limitation has the sole effect of limiting the political speech in question. It has no effect whatsoever on whether an individual receiver of the call might perceive the call to be annoying or a nuisance. Nor would the individual receiver of the call have a different opinion if the call were made by a live operator. Thus the effect of the ADMS to the extent that it requires such calls to be made by a live operator as opposed to an automated system, is to materially burden the political speech in question, not protect the peace and quiet of the Indiana residents in their homes."

This case was brought by former Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter. The parties are hopeful that current Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller will recognize the significant free speech benefits of the judge's decision and avoid prolonging costly litigation over a matter that is so important to the rights of the citizens of Indiana.

The Court's decision also recognized that the U.S. Supreme Court has recently weighed in on free speech issues of this type in a case referred to as the "Citizens United Decision" of January 21, 2010, determining that entities, such as businesses, have free speech rights in the United States.

Gabriel S Joseph III, President of FreeEats, dba ccAdvertising, and the developer of the unique "Artificial Intelligence Call" (AIC) system was pleased by the ruling, affirming, "With our unique and proprietary AIC system we can ensure that the requirements outlined in the Court's ruling will be implemented and that Hoosiers who were previously prohibited from participating in this important aspect of the political process will now have the opportunity to participate. ccAdvertising will continue to comply with all such requirements.  We are extremely pleased that the constitutionality of open and free communication under the United States and Indiana Constitutions has been upheld.  This ruling affirms that the ccAdvertising programs which ran in 2006, and which were the subject of this case, were legal at that time. We will ensure that any future programs that ccAdvertising may implement for its political clients in the state of Indiana will continue to operate within the freedom of speech guidelines this ruling has affirmed."

When asked if he anticipated the state might appeal, Mr. Joseph said, "ccAdvertising believes that the processes we use are the most effective form of political free speech in use in America today. That is why people notice when we run our programs, as they did in Indiana in September 2006, when this case was originally filed.  This is particularly true in the growth of the 'Smart Phone' (mobile phones) arena. For these reasons and many others, I am hoping that we can all agree that maintaining the rights of free political speech using this 'most effective' channel is a cause that will be protected and therefore, the state will look on this decision as a good and clear statement of every citizen's right to communicate freely about our essential political process."

About FreeEats.com - FreeEats.com is a privately-held, data-base company doing business as ccAdvertising and which is headquartered in Virginia using a proprietary "Artificial Intelligence Call" (AIC) technology for surveys, data acquisition, voter/client mobilization and activation. Its "Artificial Intelligence Call" (AIC) system allows FreeEats to ask multiple questions to which the responder gives voice answers rather than an alternate technology which uses telephone push buttons to indicate the responses.  FreeEats is scrupulous in its efforts to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

Contact:

Gabriel Joseph, President, FreeEats.com, Inc. and ccAdvertising

Phone:  703.234.2200

E-mail:  gjoseph@ccAdvertising.com



SOURCE FreeEats.com