Texas Joins FCC And Six States In Effort To Halt Unlawful Robocalls

Paxton announced that Texas joined six other attorneys general in a federal lawsuit against John C. Spiller, II, and Jakob Mears, along with their Texas-based companies Rising Eagle Capital Group LLC and JSquared Telecom LLC...

Staff Report

Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton is the lawyer for the State of Texas and is charged by the Texas Constitution to:

  • defend the laws and the Constitution of the State of Texas
  • represent the State in litigation
  • approve public bond issues

To fulfill these responsibilities, the Office of the Attorney General serves as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government, issues legal opinions when requested by the Governor, heads of state agencies, and other officials and agencies as provided by Texas statutes.

The Texas AG sits as an ex-officio member of state committees and commissions and defends challenges to state laws and suits against both state agencies and individual employees of the State.

Many Texans look to the Office of the Attorney General for guidance with disputes and legal issues.

The agency receives hundreds of letters, phone calls, and visits each week about crime victims’ compensation, child support, abuse in nursing homes, possible consumer fraud, and other topics.

To find out more about the Texas Attorney General, visit the official website at https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/.

Texas Joins FCC and Six States in Effort to Halt Unlawful Robocalls

AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that Texas has joined six other attorneys general in a federal lawsuit against John C. Spiller, II, and Jakob Mears, along with their Texas-based companies Rising Eagle Capital Group LLC and JSquared Telecom LLC.

In coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the coalition of states seeks to put an end to unlawful telemarketing campaigns that bombard consumers with millions of abusive robocalls in violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, as well as each state’s respective telemarketing laws.

“I thank the FCC and attorneys general involved with this enforcement initiative for their dedication to stopping deceptive and abusive robocallers from targeting our citizens. Robocalls, especially those that spoof Caller ID information and violate specific do-not-call lists, are a blatant invasion of privacy,” said Attorney General Paxton. “My office will continue to work diligently to stop those who disregard privacy and seek to take advantage of Texans.”

Over the past two years, Spiller and Mears have initiated billions of abusive robocalls through the two companies named in the lawsuit. The calls, made to both residential and cellular phone lines, immediately confront consumers with pre-recorded messages pitching healthcare products or automobile extended warranties.

Millions of calls reached consumers who have placed their phone numbers on their state and/or national do-not-call registries. Spiller and Mears are also accused of trying to hide their identity and falsifying – or spoofing – caller ID information to make recipients believe the calls are coming from someone they may know.

Texans who believe they have encountered deceptive trade practices, scams or illegal telemarketing practices should call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online.

The states joining Texas in this lawsuit are Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio.

Read a copy of the filing here

Fifth Circuit Strikes Down Requirements Imposed on Texas Prison’s Ability to Protect Inmates, Staff from COVID-19

AUSTIN – The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit today vacated a district court’s injunction, which imposed burdensome requirements against prison officials that unnecessarily exceed several measures already implemented by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

The requirements reflect outdated guidance from the CDC that has since been revised in light of increasing scientific knowledge.

“I am pleased the Fifth Circuit vacated the district court’s patently unlawful injunction and we look forward to prevailing in further proceedings in district court,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton. “The TDCJ has already gone above and beyond in its efforts to protect inmates from COVID-19, and prison officials need flexibility, not immovable requirements based on yesterday’s knowledge.”

Read a copy of the order here

AG Paxton Joins 52 AG Coalition Applauding FCC Efforts to Aid Law Enforcement and End Illegal Robocalls

AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton yesterday joined a coalition of 52 attorneys general in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), applauding an amendment to rules created under the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act) which now allows efforts to trace the origin of suspected unlawful robocalls and coordinate with state attorneys general.

“Texans’ private phones are being taken over by constant robocalls that invade their privacy and often attempt to defraud them of their hard-earned money. I applaud the FCC for taking steps to ensure that law enforcement offices receive the information and assistance needed to carry out these investigations,” said Attorney General Paxton.

Just last year, fifty-one attorneys general and fifteen voice service providers agreed to a set of anti-robocall principles that take the fight directly to robocallers and scammers and empower citizens to take back their privacy.

Read a copy of the letter here.

AG Paxton Commends Fifth Circuit for Blocking District Court Decision Mandating Unlawful, Universal Mail-In Balloting

AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today commended the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for its unanimous decision blocking the federal district court in San Antonio’s unlawful order, which allowed anyone?in Texas to vote by mail using protections specifically created to aid those with an actual disability or illness.

“I applaud the Fifth Circuit for staying the federal court’s erroneous decision and preventing widespread mail-in balloting while the case proceeds. Allowing universal mail-in ballots, which are particularly vulnerable to fraud, would only lead to greater election fraud and disenfranchise lawful voters,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The unanimous Fifth Circuit ruling puts a stop to this blatant violation of Texas law.”

Read a copy of the order here

Notification of Opinion

Official Request RQ-0322-KP
Authority of the Texas Facilities Commission and the State Preservation Board in relation to a Bill of Rights monument authorized by House Concurrent Resolution No. 111, adopted by the Eightieth Legislature.

Official Opinion KP-0314
House Concurrent Resolution 111, passed by the 80th Legislature, gives the State Preservation Board and the Texas Facilities Commission discretion concerning the construction of a Bill of Rights monument.

Notification of Opinion

Official Request RQ-0320-KP
Whether over-the-road buses traveling on interstate highways in Texas are subject to the tandem axle weight limitations established in Transportation Code subsection 621.101(a)(2)

Official Opinion KP-0313
The federal exemption for over-the-road buses does not preempt Texas Transportation Code section 621.101; therefore, over-the-road buses traveling on Texas interstate highways are subject to the tandem axle weight limits in subsection 621.101(a)(2).

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