Amended in Senate July 6, 2015

Amended in Assembly May 21, 2015

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

(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chávez, Chu,begin insert Cooper,end insert Dodd, Cristina Garcia,begin delete and Eduardo Garciaend deletebegin insert Eduardo Garcia, and Maienscheinend insert)

(Coauthor: Senator Pan)

February 27, 2015


An act to add Section 6347 to 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, after notice and a hearing, 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 numberbegin insert or numbersend insert, the requesting party to assume all financial responsibility for the transferred wireless telephone numberbegin insert or numbersend insert, monthly service costs, and costs for any mobile device associated with the wireless telephone numberbegin insert or numbersend insert.begin insert The bill would not affect the ability of the court to apportion the assets and debts of the parties as provided for in law, or the ability to determine the temporary use, possession, and control of personal property, as specified.end insert 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,
P3    1and support network they need to leave their batterer and abusive
2environment. For the majority of victims, shelter in a confidential
3safe house is a last resort, and, in fact, unnecessary. Victims are
4going about their lives, working, and taking care of their children,
5as they are making plans and determining their next steps to safely
6leave their abuser. Many victims are able to access counseling
7services and obtain legal assistance, such as securing a restraining
8order, without entering into a safe house. For these victims, a
9wireless telephone serves as a critical tool for making appointments
10and communicating with their advocates.

11(b) Allowing a victim of domestic violence to retain the use of
12an existing wireless telephone number and access to the contacts
13and other information that may be contained in an existing wireless
14telephone is important for both the safety and emotional support
15of the victim. This can be a problem if the domestic violence victim
16is not the accountholder for the wireless telephone, as only an
17accountholder has the authority to release the telephone number
18or numbers contained in the account.

19(c) According to a Wall Street Journal article, in 2011 just under
2071 percent of households had a landline in the home, down from
21a little more than 96 percent of households 15 years earlier. Cellular
22telephone ownership among adults reached 89 percent in 2011, up
23from approximately 36 percent in 1998.

24(d) A 2014 National Public Radio Survey of 72 shelters in large
25cities and smaller towns across the nation found that 85 percent
26of the shelters worked directly with victims whose abusers tracked
27the victims using GPS. Seventy-five percent of the shelters worked
28with victims whose abusers eavesdropped on their conversations
29remotely by using hidden mobile applications.

30

SEC. 2.  

Section 6347 is added to the Family Code, to read:

31

6347.  

(a) Commencing July 1, 2016, in order to ensure that
32the requesting party can maintain an existing wireless telephone
33number, and the wireless numbers of any minor children in the
34care of the requesting party, the court may issue an order, after
35notice and abegin delete hearingend deletebegin insert hearing,end insert directing a wireless telephone service
36provider to transfer the billing responsibility for and rights to the
37wireless telephone number or numbers to the requesting party, if
38the requesting party is not the accountholder.

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

10(2) The order shall be served on the wireless service provider’s
11agent for service of process listed with the Secretary of State.

12(3) Where the wireless service provider cannot operationally or
13technically effectuate the order due to certain circumstances,
14including, but not limited to, any of the following, the wireless
15service provider shall notify the requesting party within 72 hours
16of receipt of the order:

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

18(B) When differences in network technology prevent the
19functionality of a device on the network.

20(C) When there are geographic or other limitations on network
21or service availability.

22(c) (1) Upon transfer of billing responsibility for and rights to
23a wireless telephone numberbegin insert or numbersend insert to a requesting party
24pursuant to subdivision (b) by a wireless telephone service
25provider, the requesting party shall assume all financial
26responsibility for the transferred wireless telephonebegin delete number,end delete
27begin insert number or numbers,end insert monthly service costs, and costs for any
28mobile device associated with the wireless telephonebegin delete number.end delete
29begin insert number or numbers. end insert

30(2) This section shall not preclude a wireless service provider
31from applying any routine and customary requirements for account
32establishment to the requesting party as part of this transfer of
33billing responsibility for a wireless telephone numberbegin insert or numbersend insert
34 and any devices attached to thatbegin delete number,end deletebegin insert number or numbers,end insert
35 including, but not limited to, identification, financial information,
36and customer preferences.

37(d) This section shall not affect the ability of the court to
38apportion the assets and debts of the parties as provided for inbegin delete law.end delete
39begin insert law, or the ability to determine the temporary use, possession, and
40control of personal property pursuant to Sections 6324 and 6340.end insert

P5    1(e) No cause of action shall lie against any wireless telephone
2service provider, its officers, employees, or agents, for actions
3taken in accordance with the terms of a court order issued pursuant
4to this section.

5(f) The Judicial Council shall, on or before July 1, 2016, develop
6any forms or rules necessary to effectuate this section.

7

SEC. 3.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
8Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
9the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
10district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
11infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
12for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
13the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
14the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
15Constitution.



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