Court Grants Rutledge’s Intervention Request to Stop FCC Order
March 31, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been granted by the D.C. Circuit. The lawsuit, which was brought by the State of Oklahoma, challenges an FCC order that would effectively limit the amount of money that Arkansas and other local units of government may recover from Inmate Calling Systems (ICS).
“It is important for Arkansas to add its voice in strong opposition to the FCC’s order,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “By being a part of this litigation, I will work to ensure that local budgets and law enforcement agencies across this State are not burdened with a costly, unlawful order from the federal government. I am confident that in the end the Courts will invalidate this order, which failed to consider cost permanently.”
On March 7, the D.C. Circuit granted in part a motion to stay the order.
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.
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, in a constitutionally-suspect power grab, the new caps will apply to all intrastate calls, not just interstate calls.
Rutledge, along with Attorneys General from Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana and Missouri, filed the motion to intervene last month.