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Nonprofit Fundraiser Sues Connecticut Over Burdensome, Invasive Regulations

A West Virginia-based nonprofit fundraiser has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Connecticut over that state’s unusually burdensome rules that require him to tell state officials what he is planning to say to prospective donors a full 20 days in advance of donor contact. The lawsuit, Kissel v. Seagull, was filed Jan. 31 in federal court in Connecticut. The plaintiff is Adam Kissel of Charleston, West Virginia. The defendant, Michelle H. Seagull, is being sued in her official capacity as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. Daniel N. Ortner, an attorney with the Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation, a public interest law firm that is representing Kissel free of charge, said Connecticut is “restricting the ability of people to go out and fundraise money for charities.” Most states require a paid solicitor to register and some require the posting of a bond, but Connecticut goes far beyond what most …