Junk Faxes New California Law Challenged

Junk Faxes New California Law Challenged



I hate junk faxes. You hate junk faxes. we​ all hate junk faxes! California legislators passed a​ law banning them,​ but it​ has been delayed to​ a​ legal challenge.

Junk Fax Prevention Act

In 2005,​ the​ State of​ California passed the​ Junk Fax Prevention Act. Legislators were reacting to​ the​ bevy of​ businesses screaming about the​ junk faxes being received daily. the​ problem with junk faxes,​ besides being annoying,​ is​ they put wear and tear on​ fax machines as​ well as​ using up paper and toner. in​ passing the​ new law,​ legislators sought to​ help businesses. in​ truth,​ I imagine they just wanted to​ free up their own faxes,​ but I digress.

The Junk Fax Prevention Act was set to​ go into force on​ January 1,​ 2006. in​ a​ rather shocking move,​ the​ U.S. Chamber of​ Commerce filed for an​ injunction,​ which was granted. Joining the​ Chamber of​ Commerce is​ Xpedite Systems,​ a​ fax company. Filed in​ federal court,​ the​ injunction was granted and the​ law stayed from being enforced. a​ hearing on​ the​ matter will be held January 23,​ 2006 with the​ earliest resolution of​ the​ matter being January 30,​ 2006.

At the​ heart of​ the​ dispute is​ an​ exemption to​ the​ law known as​ the​ previous business relationship exemption. Under federal law,​ a​ person may send a​ fax to​ a​ person or​ business with which they have had a​ previous business relationship. the​ problem,​ however,​ is​ there is​ no particular test for determining a​ previous business relationship. the​ California law seeks to​ require proof of​ such a​ business relationship.

Ironically,​ the​ U.S. Chamber of​ Commerce was one of​ the​ biggest and boisterous supporters of​ the​ federal junk fax law. in​ a​ mysterious change of​ position,​ the​ Chamber of​ Commerce is​ now taking the​ position the​ California law is​ unduly burdensome on​ medium and small businesses.

This position is​ so much hogwash,​ a​ typical stance for the​ Chamber of​ Commerce. When evaluating such bland statement positions,​ it​ is​ always important to​ use common sense. in​ this case,​ a​ business sending faxes to​ clients is​ easily going to​ have proof of​ such relationships. Indeed,​ most businesses now communicate by email with their clients in​ lieu of​ a​ fax. if​ something written needs to​ go out,​ it​ is​ typically done by snail mail.

Intentionally or​ not,​ the​ only parties the​ U.S. Chamber of​ Commerce is​ protecting are the​ junk fax senders. What a​ shame. Let’s hope the​ court puts the​ Chamber in​ its place.




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