New Jersey recently amended its “Do Not Call” statute, making it easier for telemarketers to place calls within the State.  Previously, New Jersey’s Do Not Call law was both strict and specific, and written in such a way as to make most telemarketing calls to cell phones unlawful.  However, last week Governor Chris Christie signed bill S.1382, which relaxes New Jersey’s prohibition on telemarketing calls.

Prior New Jersey Do Not Call Law

Before the recent amendment, telemarketers were strictly prohibited from calling cellular telephones in the State of New Jersey.  The law was written so that unless the consumer expressly consented to receive a telemarketing call, the only permissible telephone calls to consumer cellular telephones were those transmitted by the cellular telephone service provider, and only if the calls related to the subscriber’s cellular telephone service.  Accordingly, under the prior New Jersey statute, all non-solicited telemarketing calls were prohibited, not simply those using an automated telephone dialing system.

New Jersey’s Amended Do Not Call Law

Under the new law, companies, and not just cellular telephone service providers, may place telemarketing calls to cellular telephones.  However, to fall within the protection of the amendment, the telemarketing company (or the entity on behalf of whom the call is placed) must have an existing business relationship with the consumer.  Alternatively, telemarketing calls may be placed to cellular telephones in response to consumer written requests.

Know Your Rights

Although companies must always abide by the restrictions contained within the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and the Telemarketing Sales Rule, it is equally important to stay abreast of state telemarketing law developments as well.  For example, we recently warned our readers about Connecticut’s new, tough TCPA-type law.   With the prospect of potential expensive liability for unwitting violations, it is advisable to retain experienced counsel in order to help navigate the various state and federal telemarketing laws.