Amended in Assembly April 30, 2015

Amended in Assembly April 22, 2015

Amended in Assembly April 13, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1407


Introduced by Assembly Member Atkins

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(Coauthor: Assembly Member Cristina Garcia)

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(Coauthor: Senator Pan)

February 27, 2015


An act to addbegin delete Part 8 (commencing with Section 296) to Division 2 ofend deletebegin insert Section 6347 toend insert the Family Code, relating to family law.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1407, as amended, Atkins. Family law: protective orders: wireless telephone numbers.

Existing law authorizes a court to issue an ex parte protective order enjoining a party from engaging in specified acts against another party, including, among other things, threatening or harassing that party. Existing law also authorizes a court to include these protective orders and other orders in a judgment entered in specified proceedings, including, among others, a proceeding for the dissolution of marriage. A violation of these court orders constitutes contempt of court, which is punishable as a misdemeanor.

This bill would, commencing July 1, 2016, additionally authorize a court,begin delete during the pendency of specified proceedings, or in a judgment entered in those specified proceedings,end deletebegin insert after notice and a hearing,end insert to issue an order directing a wireless telephone service provider to transfer the billing responsibility and rights to a wireless telephone number or numbers to a requesting party. The bill would require that order to be a separate order directed to the wireless telephone service provider that lists the name and billing telephone number of the accountholder, the name and contact information of the person to whom the number or numbers will be transferred, and each number to be transferred to that person. The bill would require, upon transfer of billing responsibility for and rights to a wireless telephone number, the requesting party to 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. The bill would prohibit a cause of action against a wireless telephone service provider, its officers, employees, or agents, for actions taken in accordance with the terms of the court order. The bill would require the Judicial Council to, on or before July 1, 2016, develop any forms or rules necessary to effectuate these provisions.

By expanding the scope of an existing crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(a) For many victims of domestic violence, a wireless telephone
4is their lifeline to the community resources, life-saving services,
5and support network they need to leave their batterer and abusive
6environment. For the majority of victims, shelter in a confidential
7safehouse is a last resort, and, in fact, unnecessary. Victims are
8going about their lives, working, and taking care of their children,
9as they are making plans and determining their next steps to safely
10leave their abuser. Many victims are able to access counseling
11services and obtain legal assistance, such as securing a restraining
12order, without entering into a safehouse. For these victims, a
P3    1wireless telephone serves as a critical tool for making appointments
2and communicating with their advocates.

3(b) Allowing a victim of domestic violence to retain the use of
4an existing wireless telephone number and access to the contacts
5and other information that may be contained in an existing wireless
6telephone is important for both the safety and emotional support
7of the victim. This can be a problem if the domestic violence victim
8is not the accountholder for the wireless telephone, as only an
9accountholder has the authority to release the telephone number
10or numbers contained in the account.

11(c) According to a Wall Street Journal article, in 2011 just under
1271 percent of households had a landline in the home, down from
13a little more than 96 percent of households 15 years earlier. Cellular
14telephone ownership among adults reached 89 percent in 2011, up
15from approximately 36 percent in 1998.

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16(d) When two parties are divorced, for safety reasons, a custodial
17parent may need to monitor a child’s cellular telephone. This
18practice would be impossible when the accountholder for the
19wireless telephone is not the custodial parent.

end delete
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20

SEC. 2.  

Part 8 (commencing with Section 296) is added to
24
21 Division 2 of the Family Code, to read:

22 

23PART 8.  Wireless Telephone Numbers

24

 

25

296.  

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26begin insert

begin insertSEC. 2.end insert  

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begin insertSection 6347 is added to the end insertbegin insertFamily Codeend insertbegin insert, to read:end insert

27begin insert

begin insert6347.end insert  

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(a) Commencing July 1, 2016, in order to ensure that
28the requesting party can maintain an existing wireless telephone
29number, and the wireless numbers of any minor children in the
30care of the requesting party, the court may issue an order, afterbegin delete a
31noticed motion and hearing during the pendency of a proceeding
32described in subdivision (f), or include an order in a judgment in
33a proceeding described in subdivision (f),end delete
begin insert notice and a hearingend insert
34 directing a wireless telephone service provider to transfer the
35billing responsibility for and rights to the wireless telephone
36number or numbers to the requesting party, if the requesting party
37is not the accountholder.

38(b) (1) The order transferring billing responsibility for and
39rights to the wireless telephone number or numbers to a requesting
40party shall be a separate order that is directed to the wireless
P4    1telephone service provider. The order shall list the name and billing
2telephone number of the accountholder, the name and contact
3information of the person to whom the telephone number or
4numbers will be transferred, and each telephone number to be
5transferred to that person. The court shall ensure that the contact
6information of the requesting party is not provided to the
7accountholder in proceedings held pursuant to Division 10
8(commencing with Section 6200).

9(2) The order shall be served on the wireless service provider’s
10agent for service of process listed with the Secretary of State.

11(3) begin deleteWhenever it is impossible for end deletebegin insertWhere end insertthe wireless service
12providerbegin delete toend deletebegin insert cannotend insert operationally or technically effectuate the order
13due to certain circumstances, including, but not limited to, any of
14the following, the wireless service provider shall notify the
15requesting party within 72 hours of receipt of the order:

16(A) When the accountholder has already terminated the account.

17(B) When differences in network technology prevent the
18functionality of a device on the network.

19(C) When there are geographic or other limitations on network
20or service availability.

21(c) (1) Upon transfer of billing responsibility for and rights to
22a wireless telephone number to a requesting party pursuant to
23subdivision (b) by a wireless telephone service provider, the
24 requesting party shall assume all financial responsibility for the
25transferred wireless telephone number, monthly service costs, and
26costs for any mobile device associated with the wireless telephone
27number.

28(2) This section shall not preclude a wireless service provider
29from applying any routine and customary requirements for account
30establishment to the requesting party as part of this transfer of
31billing responsibility for a wireless telephone number and any
32devices attached to that number, including, but not limited to,
33identification, financial information and customerbegin delete preferences,
34except that the wireless service provider shall not charge the
35requesting party with any initiation or start-up fee.end delete
begin insert preferences.end insert

36(d) This section shall not affect the ability of the court to
37apportion the assets and debts of the parties as provided for in law.

38(e) No cause of action shall lie against any wireless telephone
39service provider, its officers, employees, or agents, for actions
P5    1taken in accordance with the terms of a court order issued pursuant
2to this section.

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3(f) This section applies to proceedings held pursuant to any of
4the following:

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5(1) Division 6 (commencing with Section 2000).

end delete
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6(2) Division 8 (commencing with Section 3000).

end delete
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7(3) Division 10 (commencing with Section 6200).

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8(g)

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9begin insert(end insertbegin insertf)end insert The Judicial Council shall, on or before July 1, 2016, develop
10any forms or rules necessary to effectuate this section.

11

SEC. 3.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
12Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
13the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
14district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
15infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
16for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
17the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
18the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
19Constitution.



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