SW Legal studies in Business

State Law Restricting Use of Telephone Autodialer for Messages Can Apply Broadly

Indiana high court held that the state law restricting the use of autodialers, unless allowed by a recipient of such calls, applies to commercial and non-commercial calls. An injunction would be issued against the makers of such calls.


Consumer Protection

Key Words

Autodialer Calls, Commercial Messages; Non-commercial Messages

C A S E   S U M M A R Y

The state of Indiana has a law that restricts the use of autodialers. The purpose is to protect the privacy and efficiency of telephone customers by generally banning the use of autodialers that deliver pre-recorded messages. The law requires that a caller have permission of the recipient of such calls to use autodialers. American Family Voices (AFV), an autodialer company, contended that it did not violate the law when it sent non-commercial messages. AFV claimed the statute was only directed at commercial messages. The state sought an injunction to prohibit the use of non-commercial messages. The trial court dismissed the request. The state appealed, and the matter was transferred to the Indiana high court.


Reversed and remanded. The language of the statute is clear. The plain meaning is that autodialer calls are prohibited, without permission of the recipient of such calls, whether the calls are for commercial or non-commercial purposes. An injunction against such calls may be granted to the state.


State v. American Family Voices, 898 N.E.2d 293 (Sup. Ct., Ind., 2009)

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