DOJ: News Release

McGrath: Telemarketing Act Limitations Clear

HELENA – In an opinion released Thursday, Attorney General Mike McGrath said that telemarketers exempt from a registration and bonding component of state law must still adhere to other provisions of that law.

The 1999 Montana Legislature passed the Telemarketing Registration and Fraud Prevention Act and created a number of new requirements for Montana telemarketers. One section of the act mandates that telemarketers be registered and bonded with the state department of commerce. There are, however, numerous exceptions to the registration and bonding component of the act.

Dr. Peter Blouke, the former director of the Montana Department of Commerce, requested the attorney general’s opinion, asking if telemarketers exempt from the registration component of the law were also exempt from other parts of it.

The opinion said the exemptions applied exclusively to the registration and bonding requirements, citing the clarity of the language in the exemptions and in that section’s title, “Exemptions from registration and bonding.”

“It would be inconsistent with both the language of the provision and its title to extend the exemptions to other requirements of the act,” McGrath wrote. “Were the intent to exempt these business activities from all requirements of the Act, the legislature certainly would have done so.”

An attorney general’s opinion carries the weight of law unless a court overturns it or the legislature modifies the laws involved.

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