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Are You Preserving Your Rights When You Register under Charitable Solicitation Laws?

Charitable solicitation laws require charities and their agents to register before the charity issues communications asking for contributions. That is unquestionably a prior restraint on First Amendment rights, but courts so far have managed to convince themselves that this particular prior restraint doesn’t violate the First Amendment.

I’m not convinced that will hold true in the future, especially as courts come to learn how charity regulators abuse their powers and actually violate the laws they claim to enforce.

When you file your state registrations, do you preserve your rights? Here is a disclaimer I use every time I file my renewals:

This is filed under duress and protest, and without waiver of rights, claims, causes of action and defenses, including those based on jurisdiction.

I not only use that disclaimer in my cover letters, I use it as a footnote whenever states require my signature under oath and penalties of perjury. Many state registration forms are already in violation of the law, or demand answers under poorly worded questions. In fact, some forms that require signatures under oath aren’t even authorized by law to make that demand. Nevertheless many states condition issuance of licenses on registrants’ signing under penalties of perjury. It’s a bit of a trap.

Why should registrants be subject to penalties of perjury when the forms themselves often violate the law or ask “trick” questions?

I’d like to question a few charity regulators under oath and penalties of perjury.

Protect your rights!

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