TITLE 6
Commercial Law – General Regulatory Provisions

CHAPTER 6-47
Internet Access and Advertising by Facsimile

SECTION 6-47-1


§ 6-47-1 Advertising by fax.

(a) No person or entity conducting business in the state of Rhode Island shall transmit by facsimile (fax), or cause to be faxed, documents consisting of unsolicited advertising material for the lease, sale, rental, gift offer, or other disposition of any realty, goods, services, or extension of credit unless:

(1) In the case of a fax, that person or entity must establish a toll-free telephone number that a recipient of the unsolicited faxed documents may call to notify the sender not to fax the recipient any further unsolicited documents.

(2) In the case of faxed material, the statement shall be in at least nine-point (9) type. The statement shall be the first text in the body of the message and shall be of the same size as the majority of the text of the message.

(b) Upon notification by a recipient of his or her request not to receive any further unsolicited fax, no person or entity conducting business in the state of Rhode Island shall fax or cause to be faxed any unsolicited documents to that recipient.

(c) As used in this chapter, "unsolicited fax" means any document or documents consisting of advertising material for the lease, sale, rental, gift offer, or other disposition of any realty, goods, services, or extension of credit that meet both of the following requirements:

(1) The documents are addressed to a recipient with whom the initiator does not have an existing business or personal relationship.

(2) The documents are not sent at the request of, or with the express consent of, the recipient.

(d) As used in this chapter, "fax" or "caused to be faxed" does not include or refer to the transmission of any documents by a telecommunications utility or internet service provider to the extent that the telecommunications utility or internet service provider merely carries that transmission over its network.

(e) The recipient of an unsolicited fax, transmitted in violation of subsection (b) of this section, may bring a civil action in superior court against the person or entity that transmitted the unsolicited fax or caused it to be transmitted in violation of subsection (b). Any transmission of an unsolicited fax in violation of subsection (b) shall be considered a violation of chapter 13.1 of this title, known as the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and may subject the person or entity that transmitted, or caused to be transmitted, the unsolicited fax to prosecution by the attorney general pursuant to chapter 13.1 of this title. In any such action by either the recipient of such unsolicited fax or the attorney general on behalf of the recipient or recipients, damages may be awarded in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation, not to exceed a total of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). The attorney general may, in such circumstances as he or she may deem appropriate, aggregate multiple claims against a person or entity alleged to have committed multiple violations of this section and maintain a class action on behalf of all recipients of the unsolicited faxes. In any action brought under this section, the court may award, in addition to the relief provided in this section, reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1999, ch. 479, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 425, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 528, § 34.)