SENATE, No. 1884

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 15, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Permits court to order transfer of billing responsibility for, and rights to, wireless telephone number to certain victims of domestic violence or stalking.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning protections for certain victims of domestic violence or stalking and supplementing Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    In addition to any other relief granted pursuant to the provisions of the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,” P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.) or section 3 of P.L.1996, c.39 (C.2C:12-10.1), the court may issue an order directing a wireless telephone service provider to transfer the billing responsibility for and rights to a wireless telephone number to the victim, if the victim is not the account holder. 

 

     2.    a.  The order transferring billing responsibility for and rights to the wireless telephone number to a victim shall be a separate order that is directed to the wireless telephone service provider. The order shall list the name and the billing telephone number of the account holder, the name and contact information of the person to whom the telephone number will be transferred, and each telephone number to be transferred to that person.  The court shall ensure that the contact information of the victim is not provided to the account holder in proceedings held pursuant to P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.). 

     b.    The order shall be served on the wireless service provider’s agent for service of process listed with the Secretary of State.

     c.     The wireless service provider shall notify the victim and the court within 72 hours of receipt of the order if the provider cannot operationally or technically effectuate the order due to certain circumstances, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

     (1)   The account holder has already terminated the account;

     (2)   Differences in network technology prevent the functionality of a device on the network; or

     (3)   There are geographic or other limitations on network or service availability.

     If the wireless service provider cannot operationally or technically effectuate the order, the provider shall inform the court and the victim of any reasons for the provider’s noncompliance.

 

     3.    a.  Upon transfer of billing responsibility for and rights to a wireless telephone number to the victim pursuant to this act, the victim shall assume all financial responsibility for the transferred wireless telephone number, monthly service costs, and costs for any mobile device associated with the wireless telephone number. 

     b.    This section shall not preclude a wireless service provider from applying any routine and customary requirements for account establishment to the victim as part of the transfer of billing responsibility for a wireless telephone number and any devices attached to that number, including, but not limited to, identification, financial information, and customer preferences.

 

     4.    P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall not affect the authority of the court to apportion the assets and debts of the parties pursuant to law, or the authority of the court to determine the temporary use, possession, and control of personal property pursuant to section 13 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-29). 

 

     5.    No wireless telephone service provider or its officers, employees, or agents shall be liable for damages for actions taken in accordance with the terms of a court order issued pursuant to this act. 

 

     6.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

      This committee substitute would permit the court to issue an order directing a wireless telephone service provider to transfer a domestic violence or stalking victim’s wireless telephone number to that victim. This would enable the victim to maintain any existing wireless telephone numbers. The substitute would apply to victims of domestic violence as set forth in the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,” P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.) and victims of stalking who have obtained a permanent restraining order pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1996, c.39 (C.2C:12-10.1). The court order would transfer billing responsibility for, and rights to, any of the victim’s wireless telephone number to that victim, if the victim is not already the account holder

     In a separate order, the court would list the name and billing telephone number of the account holder, the name and contact information of the person to whom the telephone number will be transferred, and each telephone number to be transferred to that person.  The court would ensure that the contact information of the victim is not provided to the account holder in any domestic violence proceedings.

     The order would be served on the wireless service provider’s agent for service of process listed with the Secretary of State. The wireless service provider would notify the victim and the court within 72 hours of receipt of the order if the provider cannot operationally or technically effectuate the order for situations including, but not limited to, any of the following:

     (1) The account holder has already terminated the account;

     (2) Differences in network technology prevent the functionality of a device on the network; or

     (3) There are geographic or other limitations on network or service availability.

      If the provider cannot operationally or technically effectuate the order, the provider would inform the court and the victim of any reasons for the provider’s noncompliance.

     Upon transfer of billing responsibility for and rights to a wireless telephone number to the victim, the victim would assume all financial responsibility for the number, monthly service costs, and costs for any mobile device associated with the wireless telephone number or numbers. 

     The wireless service provider would not be precluded from applying any routine and customary requirements for account establishment to the victim as part of this transfer of billing responsibility and any devices attached to that number, including, but not limited to, identification, financial information, and customer preferences.

      This bill specifies that it would not affect the authority of the court to apportion the assets and debts of the parties pursuant to law, or the authority of the court to determine the temporary use, possession, and control of personal property pursuant to section 13 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-29). 

      The bill also provides that no wireless telephone service provider or its officers, employees, or agents would be liable for damages for actions taken in accordance with the terms of a court order issued pursuant to this bill.