Rutledge: D.C. Circuit Grants Stay of Costly FCC Order

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March 07, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement after the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted in part a motion to stay an order of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that effectively limited the amount of money that Arkansas and other local units of government may recover from inmate calling systems (ICS).

“The stay from the D.C. circuit is welcome news for local budgets and law enforcement across Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Because of the court’s action, jails and prisons will not be shortchanged during the legal challenge to the FCC’s order. If this costly order had taken effect, the result would have been disastrous for many local communities.”

The court’s decision to stay in part the FCC order comes after Rutledge, along with attorneys general from Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana and Missouri, filed a motion last month seeking to intervene in order to join the lawsuit, State of Oklahoma v. FCC. The court has not acted on the request.

The FCC’s order, which caps rates and limits fees for ICS, ignores significant ICS- and security-related costs borne by the states and their need to recoup these costs from ICS providers. 

In the final order, the FCC caps inmate calls at 11 cents per minute for all local and long distance calls from state and federal prisons. In jails, prices will range from 14 cents to 22 cents per minute, depending on the size of the institution. The new cap accounts for a more than 50 percent decrease from previous limits. Additionally the new caps will apply to all intrastate calls, not just interstate calls.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on Nov. 4, 2014, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office.

Rutledge, a native of Batesville, Arkansas, is a graduate of Southside High School, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She began her legal career as Clerk for Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Josephine Hart, now Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. She was appointed Deputy Counsel for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and later served as Legal Counsel on the Mike Huckabee for President Campaign. She served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and in subsequent service as Attorney for the State of Arkansas’s Division of Children and Family Services. She also served as Deputy Counsel at the National Republican Congressional Committee before joining the Republican National Committee as Counsel. Prior to her election as Attorney General, she founded and practiced law at The Rutledge Firm, PLLC. Rutledge lives in Little Rock.