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PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 327
PRINTER'S NO. 1321
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
313
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY BOSCOLA, COSTA, HUGHES, FONTANA, FARNESE, SCHWANK,
BROWNE, MENSCH, BREWSTER, HAYWOOD, TARTAGLIONE, BAKER,
BARTOLOTTA, RAFFERTY, RESCHENTHALER AND VULAKOVICH,
FEBRUARY 15, 2017
SENATOR GREENLEAF, JUDICIARY, AS AMENDED, NOVEMBER 14, 2017
AN ACT
Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in protection from abuse, further
providing for relief and providing for shared telephone
plans.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 6108 of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a subsection to read:
§ 6108. Relief.
* * *
(i) Shared telephone plans.--
(1) If a plaintiff is a party to a telephone plan
contract held by and in the name of the defendant, or a
relative of the defendant, in any protection order or consent
agreement approved by the court in accordance with subsection
(a), the court shall:
(i) order the defendant to remove the plaintiff as a
party to such a telephone plan contract within three
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calendar days; and
(ii) order the defendant to pay any surcharge, early
termination fee or any other penalty that may incur as a
result of removing the plaintiff as a party to the
telephone plan contract.
(2) Failure to remove the plaintiff from the shared
telephone plan shall be subject to the penalties as
prescribed in sections 6113 (relating to arrest for violation
of order) and 6114 (relating to contempt for violation of
order or agreement).
(3) As used in this subsection, the following words and
phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
paragraph unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Shared telephone plan." A package of services offered
to subscribers at a set monthly access fee or rate by a
telecommunications service provider, including, but not
limited to, voice, messaging, data, Internet access and
television content under a telephone plan contract.
"Telecommunications service provider." A company,
including a provider of cable television, that supplies
customers with telecommunications services, including land
line and wireless telephone services, Internet access, data
and the delivery of television content.
"Telephone plan contract." A shared telephone plan that
allows a customer to share minutes and other services with
another individual under one account or contract with a
telecommunications service provider, regardless of whether
the plan is a shared-minute or family plan contract.
Section 2. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 6108.6. Shared telephone plans.
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(a) General rule.--
(1) A telecommunications service provider shall allow a
person who is under a telephone plan contract with the
provider and who is a victim of domestic violence involving
another person under the same telephone plan contract to opt
out of the contract without charge. A request to opt out of a
telephone plan contract shall be in writing and shall include
any of the following documents, which shall relate to the
domestic violence:
(i) A valid police report.
(ii) A valid protection from abuse order.
(iii) A signed affidavit from a licensed medical or
mental health care provider, an employee of a court
acting within the scope of employment, a social worker, a
rape crisis counselor, a domestic violence counselor or
an advocate acting on behalf of an agency that assists
domestic violence victims.
(2) A request to opt out of a telephone plan contract
shall be made in good faith, and the telecommunications
service provider shall waive the otherwise applicable fees or
charges for the person requesting to opt out of the contract.
(3) A person seeking accommodation under this section
may request, and if requested shall be provided at no
additional cost to that person, a new telephone number within
24 hours from the time the request is made.
(b) Deadline for providing documents.--Any document provided
to a telecommunications service provider by a person seeking to
opt out of a telephone plan contract in accordance with
subsection (a) must be:
(1) provided to the telecommunications service provider
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at the time the request to opt out is made; and
(2) issued no more than six months before the opt-out
request.
(c) Retention and confidentiality of documents.--A
telecommunications service provider that receives a written
request accompanied by the necessary documentation to opt out of
a telephone plan contract in accordance with this section may
retain the documentation or return it to the person seeking to
opt out. Any documentation provided to a telecommunications
service provider by a victim of domestic violence shall be
considered confidential communications and, if retained by a
telecommunications service provider, shall be subject to the
confidentiality requirements under Federal or State law.
(d) Applicability.--This section shall apply to telephone
plan contracts entered into on or after the effective date of
this section.
(e) Definitions.--For the purposes of this section, the
terms "telecommunications service provider" and "telephone plan
contract" shall have the meanings given to them in section
6108(i)(3) (relating to relief).
Section 3. This act shall take effect as follows:
(1) The addition of 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108(i) shall take
effect immediately.
(2) This section shall take effect immediately.
(3) The remainder of this act shall take effect in 60
days.
SECTION 1. SECTION 6108(A) OF TITLE 23 OF THE PENNSYLVANIA
CONSOLIDATED STATUTES IS AMENDED BY ADDING A PARAGRAPH TO READ:
§ 6108. RELIEF.
(A) GENERAL RULE.--THE COURT MAY GRANT ANY PROTECTION ORDER
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OR APPROVE ANY CONSENT AGREEMENT TO BRING ABOUT A CESSATION OF
ABUSE OF THE PLAINTIFF OR MINOR CHILDREN. THE ORDER OR AGREEMENT
MAY INCLUDE:
* * *
(2.1) GRANTING THE TRANSFER OF AN EXISTING WIRELESS
TELEPHONE NUMBER, INCLUDING THE WIRELESS TELEPHONE NUMBERS OF
MINOR CHILDREN IN THE CARE OF THE PLAINTIFF, TO THE PLAINTIFF
WHEN THE BILLING RESPONSIBILITY FOR AND RIGHTS TO THE
WIRELESS TELEPHONE NUMBER BELONG TO THE DEFENDANT AS THE
ACCOUNT HOLDER. THE FOLLOWING APPLY:
(I) THE ORDER SHALL BE A SEPARATE ORDER THAT IS
DIRECTED TO THE WIRELESS TELEPHONE SERVICE PROVIDER. THE
ORDER SHALL LIST THE NAME AND BILLING TELEPHONE NUMBER OF
THE DEFENDANT, THE NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION OF THE
PLAINTIFF TO WHOM THE WIRELESS TELEPHONE NUMBER WILL BE
TRANSFERRED AND THE WIRELESS TELEPHONE NUMBER TO BE
TRANSFERRED TO THE PLAINTIFF. THE COURT SHALL ENSURE THAT
THE CONTACT INFORMATION OF THE PLAINTIFF IS NOT PROVIDED
TO THE DEFENDANT IN PROCEEDINGS HELD UNDER SECTION 6112
(RELATING TO DISCLOSURE OF ADDRESSES).
(II) THE ORDER SHALL BE SERVED ON THE WIRELESS
SERVICE PROVIDER. THE WIRELESS SERVICE PROVIDER SHALL
ESTABLISH PROTOCOLS TO RESPOND TO THE ORDER ISSUED UNDER
THIS SUBPARAGRAPH.
(III) IF APPLICABLE, THE WIRELESS SERVICE PROVIDER
SHALL NOTIFY THE COURT AND PLAINTIFF WITHIN THREE
BUSINESS DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THE ORDER THAT THE WIRELESS
SERVICE PROVIDER CANNOT OPERATIONALLY OR TECHNICALLY
EFFECTUATE THE ORDER DUE TO CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES,
INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING:
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(A) THE DEFENDANT HAS ALREADY TERMINATED THE
ACCOUNT.
(B) DIFFERENCES IN WIRELESS NETWORK TECHNOLOGY
PREVENT THE FUNCTIONALITY OF A DEVICE ON THE NETWORK.
(C) THERE ARE GEOGRAPHIC OR OTHER LIMITATIONS ON
THE WIRELESS NETWORK OR SERVICE AVAILABILITY.
(IV) UPON TRANSFER OF BILLING RESPONSIBILITY FOR AND
RIGHTS TO THE WIRELESS TELEPHONE NUMBER TO A PLAINTIFF
UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH, THE PLAINTIFF SHALL ASSUME ALL
FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE TRANSFERRED WIRELESS
TELEPHONE NUMBER, MONTHLY SERVICE COSTS AND COSTS FOR THE
MOBILE DEVICE ATTACHED TO THE WIRELESS TELEPHONE NUMBER.
(V) WIRELESS SERVICE PROVIDERS SHALL APPLY ROUTINE
AND CUSTOMARY REQUIREMENTS FOR ACCOUNT ESTABLISHMENT FOR
THE PLAINTIFF AS PART OF THE TRANSFER OF BILLING
RESPONSIBILITY FOR WIRELESS TELEPHONE NUMBERS AND ANY
MOBILE DEVICES ATTACHED TO THE WIRELESS TELEPHONE NUMBERS
UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO,
IDENTIFICATION, FINANCIAL INFORMATION AND CUSTOMER
PREFERENCES.
(VI) NOTHING IN THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE CONSTRUED
TO AFFECT THE ABILITY OF THE COURT TO APPORTION THE
ASSETS AND DEBTS OF THE PLAINTIFF AND DEFENDANT AS
PROVIDED BY THE LAWS OF THIS COMMONWEALTH OR THE ABILITY
TO DETERMINE THE TEMPORARY USE, POSSESSION AND CONTROL OF
PERSONAL PROPERTY UNDER THIS CHAPTER.
(VII) NO CAUSE OF ACTION SHALL BE BROUGHT AGAINST A
WIRELESS TELEPHONE SERVICE PROVIDER OR THE WIRELESS
TELEPHONE SERVICE PROVIDER'S OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES OR
AGENTS FOR ACTIONS TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF
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AN ORDER ISSUED UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH.
(VIII) THE UNIFIED JUDICIAL SYSTEM OF PENNSYLVANIA
SHALL, NO LATER THAN JULY 1, 2018, DEVELOP ANY FORMS OR
RULES NECESSARY TO EFFECTUATE THIS PARAGRAPH.
* * *
SECTION 2. THIS ACT SHALL TAKE EFFECT JULY 1, 2018, OR
IMMEDIATELY, WHICHEVER IS LATER.
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