NOTE: This text was converted to HTML/Web format from a copy of the electronic file used to print the official document that was submitted to the court. This text was not derived from the official printed document itself, and may not be considered a legal copy of the official document. Although the text itself is believed to be identical to that of the originating electronic file, the nature of HTML format makes the exact layout of the text on the page somewhat unpredictable. As a result, this text will not exactly duplicate the appearance of the official printed document, and page numbers in particular should be discounted.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
|AMERICAN CHARITIES FOR REASONABLE
FUNDRAISING REGULATION, INC., et. al.,
|v.||Case No. 97-2058 CIV-T-17
Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich
|PINELLAS COUNTY, et. al.,|
AFFIDAVIT OF RAYMOND J. GRACE
I, Raymond J. Grace, being duly sworn, do hereby affirm and swear that the following is true to the best of my knowledge and belief:
1. I am President of Creative Direct Response, Inc. (“CDR”). CDR is a Professional Fundraising Counsel duly registered as such in all states which require such registration. CDR’s only clients are charities located in the U.S. and Canada. As a Professional Fundraising Counsel, CDR provides counsel, advice, and consulting regarding our clients’ direct mail charitable appeals. CDR does not control our clients’ charitable solicitations or their mailing lists, nor does it ever have any dominion or control over any funds donated or received by our clients. CDR does not solicit charitable donations.
2. CDR does not do business in Pinellas County, has no offices in Pinellas County, has no clients located in Pinellas County, has no physical presence in Pinellas County, has no agents in Pinellas County, has appointed no agents with the authority to receive the service of process in Pinellas County, has entered into no contracts in Pinellas County, performs no services in Pinellas County, does not solicit business in Pinellas County and has no contact with any charities located within Pinellas County.
3. CDR does not while providing counsel, advice, and consulting regarding our clients’ direct mail charitable appeals purposefully focus or direct our clients to solicit specifically in Pinellas County as opposed to nationally (including Pinellas County).
4. CDR was contacted by Pinellas County and told that it must register in and pay a fee to Pinellas County, Florida as a Professional Fundraising Consultant. We were told by the County that in the event CDR failed to register and pay a fee (1) it could not provide counsel, advice, and consulting regarding our clients’ direct mail charitable appeals; and (2) our clients could not mail letters into Pinellas County educating the public about their causes and soliciting donations.
5. CDR attempted to register with Pinellas County. The County required CDR to list all of its clients, whether registered or not, which might send solicitations into Pinellas County. CDR listed more than ten such clients and submitted the registration forms and fees.
6. CDR’s clients were contacted by Pinellas County and told that they had to register and pay a fee or (1) they could not mail letters into Pinellas County educating the public about their causes and soliciting donations; and (2) they could not mail such letters if all of their Professional Fundraising Counsel and Professional Solicitors weren’t also registered.
7. One of CDR’s clients is a charity doing religious work that has supporters throughout the United States but only three supporters in Pinellas County. The charity told CDR that they did not wish to register in Pinellas County because the costs of such registration exceeded the support they were likely to receive from Pinellas County donors.
8. Officials of Pinellas County then refused to accept CDR’s attempted registration on the grounds that one of our clients wasn’t registered and then by certified letter revoked the registrations of the rest of our clients on the grounds that CDR wasn’t registered and telling them that continuing to solicit within Pinellas County was a violation of law.
9. This action caused significant consternation amongst the clients of CDR who received the certified letter and were concerned that the reputations of their charities would be adversely affected by being accused of violating “consumer protection” laws. Several charities expressed concern that they might not be able to contact their members and supporters in Pinellas County.
10. Ultimately, the charity doing religious work cooperatively but regretfully waived its rights to be free of such governmental intervention and did register. At that time CDR and the rest of its clients were permitted to register and all are currently registered in Pinellas County.
11. CDR depends upon the good will of its clients to register in the jurisdictions where such is required. However CDR cannot control: (1) any of its clients; (2) whether they register; (3) how they use CDR’s consulting advice or (4) whether they choose to solicit in Pinellas County or elsewhere. CDR’s role is as an advisor, counselor and consultant and its advice and counsel may be accepted or rejected by its clients.
Further your affiant sayeth not.
Raymond J. Grace, President
Creative Direct Response, Inc.
County of Anne Arundel, Maryland
Sworn to and subscribed before me a
Notary Public on this 9th day of June